The Q&A Archives: Indoor Sowing of Cucumbers (Squash, Pumpkings, etc.)

Question: I've read that the most prudent approach is to plant Cumcumbers outside when all sign of frost is gone. But, that means the last week-end of May for our garden. If we were to start cucumber seedlings inside, what would you recommend?

Answer: For some reason squash and pumpkins do not transplant well so the best approach is to choose short season varieties so they will have time to mature when you plant the seeds outdoors in late May or early June. Look for days to harvest on the backs of the packages and choose those with the shortest number of days to maturity. Cucumbers seem to transplant well and you can start the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before planting outdoors. You will need a source of artificial light to keep your new plants growing so plan on investing in either gro-lites or fluorescent shop lights. Sow the cucumber seeds in trays or individual pots and keep the light source about 2 inches from the tops of the plants, moving the lights upward as the seedlings grow. Transplant the seedlings into larger pots as their root systems grow and then harden them off gradually before planting outdoors in the garden. Or, choose short season types and sow your seeds directly outdoors.

Best wishes with your garden!

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