Crunchy, juicy cucumbers, who doesn’t love eating those?! When compared to other veggies, though, cucumbers take up a lot of space in your garden. You need a space of at least 3 feet apart per plant to grow most cucumber varieties. That makes growing them a less practical option for people who have a small vegetable bed.
If you don’t have the space, though, and you still insist on growing this crunchy treat in your garden or your apartment, the best thing to do is grow them in fabric grow bags. They’re just what they sound like – a bag made of fabric that you can grow your crops in!
In this article, we’re not just explaining how to grow fresh cucumbers using a grow bag but also some bonus tips to get a spectacular cucumber growing experience.
Table of contents
- Picking A Place for Your Bag
- Bag Preparations
- How Many Cucumber Seeds Should You Grow in One Bag?
- Planting the Seeds
- Check Out Our Cucumber Seed Recommendations…
- Seasonal Care
- Two Different Methods to Grow Cucumbers in Grow Bags
- The Best Time to Grow Cucumbers
- Best Cucumber Varieties for Grow Bags
Picking A Place for Your Bag
Unlike open-ground agricultural systems, grow bags don’t require heavy machinery. But there are some considerations to have in mind if you want a successful cucumber growing experience.
If you grow them in more than one bag, don’t place them in a square, as it will be harder to equip and take care of them. Instead, place them in a row. It’s best to place your bag in a spot where shadows are diffused. The sun has to fall on your cukes without being strong enough to burn the leaves. Somewhere like under gazebos or fruit trees is ideal.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the various options of fertilizers in the market. Always look for something organic. Some fertilizers work great for vegetables, so always look for these kinds.
We suggest you get a fertilizer that has phosphorus and potassium for your cucumbers. It’s always a good idea to read the package and check if a fertilizer has what you need for your cucumbers to grow.
Additionally, you want soil that has enough moisture but isn’t too soggy. Grow bags tend to dry faster due to their breathable fabric. On hot days, water your cucumbers in the evenings, when the temperature starts to decrease.
Though each climate and cucumber variety has its own special conditions, there are some general rules when it comes to growing cucumbers in bags.
Choosing the size of your bag depends on the number of seeds you’re going to plant in there, but typically, you’ll need a 1- to 5-gallon bag to start with. If the soil is already in your bag, try to shake the bag to loosen it up. But if you’re going to add the soil to the bag, use your fingers to loosen it.
Don’t over-fill your bag with soil – leave a width of four fingers without any soil. This will prevent the water from overflowing and your soil from falling out. Now it’s time to plant your seeds!
How Many Cucumber Seeds Should You Grow in One Bag?
If you have a one-gallon grow bag, one seed will be just fine. But if it’s a five-gallon bag, we recommend that you plant 2-3 seeds. Leave a space of about a hand’s width between every two seeds to allow them to grow healthy. If you put more seeds than you should in your bag, the cucumbers won’t grow to their maximum potential.
Planting the Seeds
Depending on the grow bag’s size and the number of seeds you planted, add your fertilizer. For each gallon in bag size, use half a teaspoon of fertilizer. Since cold temperatures aren’t the best for cucumbers, you want the soil to be at a minimum of 70ºF. You also want soil that is moist and a bit acidic (6.5-7.0 pH).
Use your fingers to dig a little hole into your soil, put the seed inside this hole and cover it with soil.
For larger cucumber plants, make sure the space you dig is large enough to allow the roots to go into the soil. If more than one seed is growing inside your bag, be careful not to over-crowd them, and make sure to leave good space between them.
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Make sure to leave the bag in a place where sunshine can reach. To enable them to grow and be healthy, you should water your cucumbers with 1-2 inches of water every week.
One common mistake that makes people over-water the plants is only letting the water touch the top of their soil, which is usually the fastest drying part of the soil. So, place your finger inside the soil to check how dry your plants really are.
The soil in the middle of your bag will tell you whether the cucumbers need watering or not. Poking a little hole into one side of your bag will definitely help! For faster results, if you grow your cucumbers in a large bag, don’t make holes in the top and sow the seeds. Instead, make 10 cuts – 5 cm long, each – on the sides.
Then, place your seeds in the soil and gently tamp it. This will make the seedlings show in almost a week! Check your bag regularly – every day if possible – and make sure the space around the grow bag is clear as your cucumbers grow. You can even place a support for your plant to prevent it from touching the floor.
Cucumber sizes differ depending on the variety you grow. The ideal time of day to harvest your cucumbers is in the early morning when the vines get cool and damp. Get rid of the cucumbers with rotten ends or the ones that aren’t properly growing. This will allow the plant to concentrate its growth and nutrients on the healthier ones.
As for the good ones, just cut them down by the stem, ¼ inch over each cucumber, and collect your green goodies in a box or basket!
Two Different Methods to Grow Cucumbers in Grow Bags
Now that you know how to plant cucumbers in grow bags, there are different methods to place and use your grow bags.
In this method, you just place your cucumber grow bag directly on the ground or even on a pallet. Yes, it’ll take up space on the floor, but it’s worth it if you ever want to move your bag around!
The best thing about hanging your bag is the free space you’ll get on the floor. This method is simple – just find a sunny spot where you can hang the bag on something that’s strong enough to carry its weight. Also, make sure it’s OK for the area under your bag to get wet.
The Best Time to Grow Cucumbers
Choosing the best time, of course, depends on where you live. But as a general rule, cucumbers can grow at almost all times of the year, and the plants take 50-80 days to produce them.
Cold days aren’t the best to grow cucumbers, so make use of those summer months while they last!
Best Cucumber Varieties for Grow Bags
This European variety has thin skin and a sweet taste. It’s a great one to grow as it matures only in 50 days.
This uniform variety has thick, dark skin, and it’s a good option for commercial growing, as it can handle long-distance shipping. But it doesn’t mean you can’t grow it in your bag at home. In fact, it has a short growing time of 55 days and needs no pollination, making it a great variety to grow at home.
H-19 Little Leaf
Whether you’re into fresh taste or pickling, this variety will work wonders for you. It’s great for grow bags and takes 58 days to mature.
If you choose to grow this variety in your grow bag, you get to enjoy its mildly sweet flavor within 59 days!
Who doesn’t like pickles? The National Pickling variety is perfect for this use. It’s a high-yielding slicer that takes just 52 days to grow fully.
As soon as you try a Poona Kheera cucumber, you’ll fall in love with this golden, juicy Indian variety. And the best part is, it matures in a maximum of 55 days!
Though cucumbers are more flavorful when eaten fresh, you still can leave them in the fridge for about a week, or just go ahead and pickle them for longer storage! No matter what you choose to do, they’re delicious anyway!