Cucumbers are a great addition to any garden.
They can be grown in containers, making them a perfect choice for gardeners who lack space.
Bush cucumbers are a type of cucumber that is well suited for container gardening.
They grow on vines, but don’t require as much space as other types of cucumbers.
To grow bush cucumbers in a container choose a 12 inch wide pot and use a good quality compost. Keep your plant in a warm and sheltered location and feed with a good quality fertilizer when it flowers. The cucumbers will be ready for harvest 60 to 70 days after planting.
Selecting a container
When choosing a container for your bush cucumbers, make sure to select one that is at least 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
This will give the roots enough room to grow and the plant enough room to produce fruit.
Choose a variety of bush cucumber
When selecting a variety of bush cucumber, be sure to choose one that is suited for container gardening.
Some varieties grow on vines and require a lot of space, while others, known as bush cucumbers, grow in a more compact manner.
Bush cucumbers are perfect for container gardening.
Prepare the container
Before planting, make sure to prepare the container. Drill drainage holes into the bottom of the container and cover the drainage holes with a thin layer of gravel or a few small clean stones.
These will help the water to drain out of the container while preventing the soil from falling out of the holes.
Fill the container with soil
Fill the container with a high-quality potting mix or compost.
Water this well and allow to drain so that the compost is damp but not sodden.
Plant the bush cucumber seeds
Plant your cucumber seeds into the compost. Sow three or four seeds per pot, at a depth of around 1 inch.
Cover the pot with a plastic bag and keep the pots in a warm place until the seeds begin to germinate.
At the first signs of germination remove the plastic cover and place the pots in a warm, well lit area and allow the seeds to develop.
Once the seedlings have germinated and grown to around 2 inches tall, thin out the weaker plants, leaving only the strongest one or two plants per pot.
Water and fertilize regularly
Once your cucumber plants have started to grow, make sure to water them regularly.
They will need around an inch of water per week.
Be careful not to overwater them as this can lead to the roots rotting.
Pot the seedlings on as they grow
As your cucumber plants grow, they will need to be potted on into larger containers.
This will give them enough room to continue growing and producing fruit.
You will also need to think about where to place the pots.
Ideally you will have a warm outdoor area that is sheltered from winds.
If you can place your pots against a south facing wall then this will capture the heat of the sun keeping your plants warm during the evenings.
Alternatively you could place your cucumber plants inside a greenhouse or conservatory.
Feeding your cucumber plant
When your cucumber plant starts to flower, you will need to start feeding it with a high-potash fertilizer. This will encourage the plant to produce fruit.
Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packet as to how often to feed your cucumber plant.
Looking after the plant
Once the plant has started to produce fruits, it is important to support the weight of the cucumbers by tying them loosely to the stems with string or twine.
This will prevent the cucumbers from breaking the stems as they grow.
Harvest your cucumbers
Your bush cucumbers will be ready to harvest around 60-70 days after planting.
To harvest, simply cut the cucumber from the plant with a sharp knife.
Once you have harvested your bush cucumbers, make sure to keep an eye on the plants and keep them well watered and fertilized.
With a little care, you can enjoy a second crop of cucumbers.
Avoid getting water on the leaves of the plant as this can encourage fungal diseases.
If you are growing your cucumbers in a greenhouse or conservatory, make sure to open the doors or windows on hot days to allow for ventilation.
Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids and whitefly. These can be controlled with insecticidal sprays.
Harvest your cucumbers regularly to encourage the plant to produce more fruit.
With a little care and attention, it is easy to grow bush cucumbers in containers.
By following the tips above, you can enjoy a great crop of delicious cucumbers.
So why not give it a try?