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Growing cucumbers with kids

Cucumbers are really fun to grow - you can plant them in containers or grow them in the ground. If you choose special 'outside' seeds you don't need a greenhouse. Outdoor grown cucumbers won't look as long and smooth as supermarket ones, but they will taste better than anything you can buy in a shop!

What you'll need:

  • • Outdoor cucumber seeds
  • • 7.5cm seed sowing pots
  • • Plastic bag
  • • Large container filled with multipurpose compost

Step 1: Sow your cucumber seeds

cucumber seedlingsPlant seeds on their sides
Image: rodimov/ shutterstock
  • • Fill your little pots with seed compost.
  • • Make a hole in the soil about 1cm deep.
  • • Drop a seed into the hole, lying on its side, and cover with soil.
  • • Arrange your pots on a tray and put them in a sealed plastic bag.
  • • Leave them somewhere warm, but not directly in the sun.
  • • Keep the soil moist. Shoots will appear in 7-10 days.
  • • Take the bag off and move your pots to a bright windowsill that's not directly in the sun.

Step 2: Move your seedlings outside

Keep the soil moist
Image:Robinson Thomas/ shutterstock
  • • Fill a container with compost and put it in a sunny place.
  • • Help your seedlings get used to their new home before you plant them! Take them outside every day for a week, but remember to bring them in at night.
  • • Make a hole in the soil and plant the seedling. Don't touch the roots.
  • • Check your cucumber every day and keep the soil moist.
  • • When seven leaves have formed, gently cut off the top of the main stem. This is called "pinching out."
  • • The cucumber plants might start to grow in all directions and trail along the ground! You can tie them gently to canes if you want to.

Step 3: Harvest and eat!

harvesting cucumbersEnjoy eating your fresh, juicy cucumbers!
Image: Oleksandr Zaiats/ shutterstock
  • • Cucumber plants are very generous. When you pick the fruit they will keep growing more!
  • • If you pick your cucumbers before they get too big they will be juicy and sweet.
  • • Your cucumber plants can produce fruit from June to October.

Suggested varieties:

  • • Medium size, not too many seeds: Jogger
  • • Crunchy, snack-sized fruit: Goblin
  • • Mini juicy fruits: Tenderstar

There's plenty more information in the downloadable guide. Print it out for more detailed instructions and even more curious cucumber facts!

  Click the image to download the full pdf guide  
growing cucumbers with kids pdf

Banner image: mike_green/ Shutterstock

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