The Q&A Archives: Starting Cucumbers

Question: I'm debating over whether to sow my cucumbers inside or outside. I've heard cucumbers don't like to be transplanted and should be sown directly outdoors when the weather is warm enough. Others say they can be sown indoors to get a head start. What do you think? If I do sow them outside is there something I can cover the soil with to make it warmer for germination?

Answer: Cucumbers really prefer to grow in the summer when both the weather and the soil are warm. If it's too cold, cucumber plants can fall victim to powdery mildew. You can help your soil warm faster this spring by using a black plastic mulch over the garden area. You can provide additional heat (and faster maturity), by cutting holes in the plastic and sowing your seeds in little mounds of soil once spring arrives. If you decide to start your cucumbers indoors anyway, use peat pellets or peat pots that you can plant directly into the garden, so the roots of the seedlings will be disturbed as little as possible during the transplanting process.

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