21 Tips for Growing Cucumbers in Raised Beds & Containers

No Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Learn how to grow cucumbers in raised beds and containers with 21 best tips for success, best practices for watering, pest control, fertilizing, trellising, recipes & more!

Growing your own delicious cucumbers is one of the best things about gardening. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, you need these 21 tips on how to grow cucumbers in raised beds.

How to Grow Cucumbers

Cucumbers grow well in most garden zones, including my zone 5 garden. All you need is a sunny location, good soil, and some cucumber seeds or seedlings. Get my printable garden planting guide here to help you keep track of when and what to plant!

With a little bit of care and attention, you’ll be harvesting delicious, fresh cucumbers in no time. Here are the top 21 tips you need to know if you’re looking for tips to make growing cucumbers easier and more productive.

Benefits of Growing Cucumbers in Raised Beds or Containers

Cucumbers are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of space. Plus, they’re a versatile vegetable that can be used in salads, sandwiches, and pickles.

Growing cucumbers in a raised bed or other container can help create a healthier growing environment for the plants and make gardening more enjoyable and productive for the gardener. It also helps you control the soil quality and drainage, which can lead to healthier plants and higher yields.

Here are a few more benefits of growing cucumbers in a raised bed:

  1. Better drainage: Raised beds are typically filled with loose, well-draining soil that allows excess water to drain away from the plants. This can help prevent waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases.
  2. Improved soil quality: Raised beds can be filled with high-quality soil and amendments, such as compost, that provide the nutrients and organic matter that cucumber plants need to thrive. The soil can also be amended more easily over time to maintain its fertility.
  3. Better aeration: The loose soil in a raised bed allows for better aeration, which promotes root growth and can help prevent soil compaction.
  4. Better weed control: Raised beds can be mulched to help suppress weeds, which can compete with cucumber plants for nutrients and water.
  5. Easier maintenance: Raised beds can be designed to a height that is comfortable for the gardener to work in, reducing strain on the back and knees. They can also be covered with row covers or netting to protect the plants from pests.
  6. Longer growing season: Raised beds can warm up more quickly in the spring and retain heat longer into the fall, allowing for a longer growing season for cucumbers.

Choose the Right Type of Cucumbers to Grow

There are lots of types of cucumbers and choosing the best cucumber for garden space as well as your needs will be key to maximizing your cucumber harvest. Here are the most common different types of cucumbers:

Slicing cucumbers – 

These are the most common type of cucumbers that are often eaten fresh or used in salads and sandwiches. Some popular varieties include Straight Eight, Marketmore, and Burpless.

Pickling cucumbers – 

These cucumbers are smaller and have thinner skins than slicing cucumbers, which makes them ideal for pickling. Some popular varieties include National Pickling, Boston Pickling, and Carolina.

Burpless cucumbers – 

These cucumbers are seedless or have smaller seeds, which makes them easier to digest and less likely to cause indigestion or burping. Some popular varieties include Sweet Success, Tasty Green, and Armenian.

Bush cucumbers

Bush cucumbers are a compact variety that grows well in raised beds. They are a good choice for small gardens and can be grown without support.

Specialty cucumbers – 

These cucumbers come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and are often used in unique dishes. Some popular varieties include Lemon cucumbers, English cucumbers, and Japanese cucumbers.

Beit Alpha cucumbers – 

These are Middle Eastern cucumbers that are often small and slightly curved, with a tender skin and sweet flavor. Some popular varieties include Socrates, Tasty Green, and Diva.

Our Favorite Types of Heirloom Cucumbers to Grow

  1. Lemon Cucumber – a small, round cucumber with a yellow skin and mild flavor.
  2. Armenian Cucumber – also known as the snake melon, this cucumber has a thin, light green skin and a crisp, mild flavor.
  3. Boston Pickling Cucumber – a classic pickling cucumber with a thin skin and a crunchy texture. It’s the best when pickled using my Grandma’s Secret Dill Pickle Recipe!
  4. Japanese Climbing Cucumber – a long, slender cucumber that is great for slicing or pickling.
  5. Crystal Apple Cucumber – a small, round cucumber with a crispy texture and a sweet, mild flavor.
  6. Mexican Sour Gherkin or Cucamelon – a small, tangy cucumber that looks like a miniature watermelon.
  7. Straight Eight Cucumber – a long, slender cucumber that is perfect for slicing or pickling.
  8. Boothby Blonde Cucumber – a small, pale yellow cucumber with a sweet flavor that is great for pickling.
cucumbers growing up a trellis

Deciding on Garden Beds or Containers for Growing Cucumbers

Cucumbers can grow in a variety of containers, as long as they have sufficient drainage, space, and support. Here are some types of containers that work well for growing cucumbers:

Grow bags: 

Grow bags are a great option for growing cucumbers, as they provide good drainage and ample space for the plants to grow. Choose a grow bag that is at least 18 inches deep and 12-18 inches in diameter.

Plastic or ceramic pots: 

Plastic or ceramic pots are another option for growing cucumbers. Choose a pot that is at least 18 inches deep and 12-18 inches in diameter, and make sure it has drainage holes. 5 gallon buckets can work quite well as long as you poke drainage holes in the bottom.

Hanging baskets: 

Hanging baskets can be used to grow smaller cucumber varieties, such as bush or patio cucumbers. Choose a basket that is at least 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep, and make sure it has good drainage.


Troughs are a good option for growing cucumbers in a narrow space, such as a balcony or small patio. Choose a trough that is at least 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep, and make sure it has drainage holes

cucumber seedling

Best Soil for Growing Cucumbers

The best soil for growing cucumbers is loose, well-draining, and rich in organic matter. Here are some factors to consider when choosing soil for your cucumber plants:

pH level: 

Cucumber plants prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8. Soil pH can be adjusted with lime or sulfur, depending on the starting pH level. Measure soil pH with this handy garden tool.


Cucumber plants need well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged conditions that can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. To improve drainage, consider adding sand or perlite to the soil.

Nutrient content: 

Cucumber plants require adequate nutrients to grow and produce fruit. Add organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to the soil to improve its nutrient content. Additionally, apply a balanced organic fertilizer to the soil before planting and periodically throughout the growing season.

Soil texture: 

Cucumber plants prefer soil that is loose and well-aerated, allowing for good root growth and nutrient uptake. Soil that is too heavy and compacted can restrict root growth and lead to stunted plants.

Soil temperature: 

Cucumber seeds and young plants prefer warm soil temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C). Consider warming the soil with thick black plastic or using a raised bed to help the soil warm up more quickly in the spring.

cucumber seeds - How to Grow Cucumbers

How to Start Cucumbers from Seeds

Starting cucumbers indoors from seed is easy, but you do need to take care because they can become root bound very easily. Start cucumber seeds indoors about 3-4 weeks before the last expected frost in your area. Plant the seeds in small pots filled with a seed-starting mix, or in peat pots that can be planted directly in the soil later. Make sure they get adequate water, light, and have enough room so they don’t become root bound.

For all the tips and tricks on how to start seeds indoors, read this post.

best soil for growing cucumbers

When to Plant Cucumbers Outside

Cucumbers are warm weather crops and need to be planted once the danger of frost has passed. My Zone 5 garden has an average last frost date of mid to late May and an average first frost date of mid to late October.

In zone 5 gardens, cucumber seedlings can be planted outdoors in late spring once the soil has warmed up and all danger of frost has passed, generally in late May or early June. You can also sow cucumber seeds directly into your raised beds or containers at the same time.

How to Plant Cucumbers in a Raised Bed or Other Container

Ready to start your own cucumber garden in a raised bed? Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose a variety of cucumber that suits your taste and the growing conditions in your area.
  2. Prepare your raised bed by filling it with well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Choose a sunny location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
  3. Water your cucumbers regularly and deeply, especially during hot and dry weather. Fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer or compost every few weeks to promote healthy growth and fruiting.
  4. Monitor your cucumbers for pests and diseases and use organic methods such as neem oil, insecticidal soap, and handpicking to manage these issues.
  5. Pick your cucumbers when they are firm and crisp, and before they become too mature and seedy. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can enjoy fresh and delicious cucumbers from your own garden!

Make Sure to Take Advantage of Companion Plants

Companion planting is the practice of growing certain plants together in a garden to benefit each other by improving soil health, reducing pest pressure, and increasing yields. 

Several companion plants that can help to support a cucumber plant’s growth and overall health. Here are some of the best companion plants for growing cucumbers:

  1. Beans: Beans are a great companion plant for cucumbers as they fix nitrogen in the soil, which cucumbers require for healthy growth.
  2. Radishes: Radishes are a fast-growing plant that can help to loosen and aerate the soil around cucumber plants, making it easier for them to take up nutrients.
  3. Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are a popular companion plant for cucumbers as they repel pests such as aphids and cucumber beetles, while also adding a splash of color to the garden.
  4. Marigolds: Marigolds are another plant that can help to repel pests such as nematodes and whiteflies, while also attracting beneficial insects to the garden.
  5. Dill: Dill is a natural insect repellent and can help to repel pests such as aphids, spider mites, and squash bugs. It also attracts beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings.
  6. Sunflowers: Sunflowers can help attract pollinators to the garden, which is important for producing cucumbers. They also provide shade and can help to protect cucumber plants from excessive heat.
  7. Corn: Corn is a tall plant that wants cooler roots, and cucumber plants provide shade for the corn roots. The corn also helps to protect the cucumber against high winds, which can damage the cucumber’s leaves.
  8. Peas: Peas are another nitrogen-fixing plant that can help to improve soil health and provide support for cucumber plants as they grow.

But Avoid These Plants Which can be Harmful To Cucumbers

There are some garden plants that should not be planted with cucumbers as they can compete for soil nutrients, attract pests, or otherwise inhibit the growth and productivity of the cucumber plants. Here are some plants that should be avoided when planting cucumbers:

  1. Potatoes: Potatoes and cucumbers are both susceptible to the same diseases and pests, including blight and beetles, so planting them together can increase the risk of these issues.
  2. Melons: Melons are in the same family as cucumbers and can attract the same pests and diseases, so it’s best to avoid planting them together to prevent cross-contamination.
  3. Aromatic herbs: Some aromatic herbs such as sage, thyme, and rosemary can inhibit the growth of cucumbers and should be planted away from them.
  4. Fennel: Fennel is known to inhibit the growth of several plants, including cucumbers, so it’s best to plant them separately.
  5. Brassicas: Brassicas such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can attract pests such as cabbage worms and aphids, which can also attack cucumber plants.

By avoiding these plants when planting cucumbers, you can help to create a more harmonious and productive garden ecosystem and maximize the growth and yield of your plants.

trellising cucumbers

Why You Should Consider Trellising your Cucumbers

One of the best tips for how to grow cucumbers in raised beds is using trellising. Training cucumbers to grow up a trellis or other support structure can have several benefits for the plants, such as:

Good air circulation: 

When cucumbers climb a trellis, they are more exposed to air movement, which can help reduce the risk of disease and pest infestations.

More efficient use of space

By growing cucumbers vertically, they take up less horizontal space in the garden, allowing you to grow more plants in a smaller area.

Straighter fruit: 

When cucumbers grow vertically, the fruit is less likely to develop a curved shape, which can be a problem when they grow on the ground.

Easier harvesting: 

Cucumbers grown on a trellis are easier to harvest, as they are more accessible and visible.

How to Grow Cucumbers

The Best Trellis to use for Cucumbers

There are several types of trellises that work well for growing cucumbers. You can use a variety of found objects, sticks, sunflower stalks, and more. Here are a few of the best trellises to use for cucumbers.

A-frame trellis: 

An A-frame trellis is a simple structure made from two angled pieces of wood or metal that form an “A” shape. The cucumber plants can be trained to climb up the sides of the structure, which provides ample support for the plants and makes harvesting easier.

Cattle panel trellis: 

A cattle panel trellis is made from a sturdy metal panel that is suspended horizontally between two posts. The cucumber plants can be trained to climb up the panel, which provides ample support and allows for easy harvesting from both sides.

Teepee trellis: 

A teepee trellis is made from several long poles (sticks or sunflower stalks work well) that are arranged in a teepee shape and tied together at the top. The cucumber plants can be trained to climb up the poles, which provides ample support and makes harvesting easier.

Wall trellis: 

A wall trellis is a simple trellis that is attached to a wall or fence. The cucumber plants can be trained to climb up the trellis, which provides ample support and saves space in the garden.

String trellis: 

A string trellis is made by tying several lengths of string between two poles or posts. The cucumber plants can be trained to climb up the strings, which provides ample support and makes harvesting easier.

cucumbers growing up cattle pannel

How to Train Your Cucumbers to Climb a Trellis

Install the trellis: 

Before you can train your cucumbers to climb a trellis, you need to install the trellis. Choose a sturdy trellis that is at least 6 feet tall and secure it firmly in the ground.

Plant the cucumbers: 

Plant the cucumbers at the base of the trellis. Space the plants about 1-2 feet apart.

Tie the plants to the trellis: 

As the cucumbers grow, gently tie the stems to the cucumber trellis using soft plant ties or twine. Make sure not to tie the stems too tightly, as this can damage the plant.

Prune the plants: 

Once the cucumbers start to grow, prune the side shoots and tendrils that are not growing up the trellis. This will direct the plant’s energy into growing up the trellis and producing fruit.

Train the vines: 

As the cucumbers grow, gently guide the vines up the trellis. Be sure to check the plants regularly and adjust the ties as needed.

Watering Requirements for Cucumbers

Cucumbers need consistent moisture throughout the growing season to thrive. In general, they need about 1 to 2 inches of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. However, this can vary depending on the temperature and humidity levels in your area.

During hot and dry periods, cucumbers may require more frequent watering. It’s important to water deeply, providing enough water to penetrate the soil to the root zone, rather than just wetting the surface. This helps encourage the roots to grow deeper into the soil, which can help the plant tolerate drought.

To determine whether your cucumbers need water, check the soil moisture level by inserting your finger into the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 inches or by using a soil moisture tool. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot and other problems.

Best Way to Water Cucumbers

Water deeply: 

Cucumbers have deep roots, so it’s important to water them deeply rather than frequently. Watering deeply encourages the roots to grow deep and helps the plant withstand drought.

Water in the morning: 

Watering in the morning allows the leaves to dry off during the day, which can help prevent fungal diseases from developing. Avoid watering in the evening or at night, as this can promote the growth of fungal diseases.

Use a soaker hose or drip irrigation:

Using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system is a great way to deliver water directly to the base of the plants without getting the leaves wet. This can help prevent fungal diseases and conserve water.

Mulch around the plants: 

Mulching around the plants can help retain moisture in the soil and prevent evaporation. Use organic mulch such as straw, shredded leaves, or grass clippings.

Don’t overwater: 

Overwatering can lead to root rot and other diseases. Only water the cucumbers when the soil feels dry to the touch. It’s better to underwater than to overwater cucumbers.

Remember, I also have a free garden planner download for my blog subscribers! Get instant access to my Subscriber Library by signing up for my email list.

Read this post to learn all the best tricks for making your plant watering more eco-friendly.

The Best Organic Fertilizers for Cucumbers

It’s important to use organic fertilizers in moderation and follow the application instructions on the package. Over-fertilizing can lead to nutrient imbalances, plant stress, and even damage.

 It’s also a good idea to test your soil from time to time to ensure that your plants are getting the nutrients they need. That said, there are several types of organic fertilizers we recommend for growing cucumbers. Here are some of our favorite types of organic fertilizers for cucumbers:


Compost is a nutrient-rich organic matter that can be added to the soil to improve soil structure and fertility. Cucumber plants benefit from compost as it provides a slow release of nutrients and helps retain moisture in the soil.

The really great thing about compost is that you can make it yourself. That means it’s free! It also helps reduce the amount of garbage you send to the landfill.

Worm castings: 

Worm castings are a rich source of organic matter and nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They also contain beneficial microorganisms that can help improve soil health and plant growth. 

If you have a worm composting system, worm castings are another type of free organic fertilizer for your garden!

Learn how to start worm composting here.

Fish emulsion: 

Fish emulsion is a liquid organic fertilizer made from fish waste that is high in nitrogen and other micronutrients. It can be applied as a foliar spray or added to the soil to promote healthy growth and fruiting.

Bone meal: 

Bone meal is a slow-release organic fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, which is important for fruit development. It can be mixed into the soil before planting or applied as a top dressing during the growing season.

Blood meal: 

Blood meal is a fast-acting organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. It can be used to give cucumber plants a quick boost of nutrients during the growing season.

striped cucumber beetle

How to Protect Your Cucumber from Pests 

Use companion planting:

 Planting companion plants like marigolds, nasturtiums, and herbs like basil and dill can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Cover the plants: 

Covering the plants with floating row covers can protect them from pests like cucumber beetles and squash bugs.

Handpick pests: 

Picking pests off the plants by hand is a simple and effective way to control their population. Look for eggs, larvae, and adult pests and remove them as soon as you see them.

Apply organic pesticides: 

Organic pesticides like diatomaceous earth, neem oil, pyrethrin, and insecticidal soap can be used to control pests. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the pesticide only as needed to avoid harming beneficial insects.

Rotate crops: 

Crop rotation can help prevent the buildup of pests in the soil. Avoid planting cucumbers in the same spot for more than two years in a row.

Keep your garden clean: 

Cleaning up fallen leaves, fruit, and other debris can help prevent pests from taking up residence in your garden.

How to Protect Cucumbers from Diseases 

The best way to prevent diseases in cucumber plants includes using mulch, trellising plants, planting disease-resistant varieties, practicing good crop rotation, maintaining soil health, removing infected plant material, using organic fungicides, and practicing good pest management techniques. 

Here are the common diseases you need to be aware of:

Powdery mildew: 

This fungal disease causes a white, powdery coating on leaves, stems, and fruit. It can reduce photosynthesis and cause premature leaf drop, which can result in poor plant growth and yield.

Downy mildew: 

Downy Mildew causes yellowing and wilting of leaves, and can result in reduced plant growth and yield. It is caused by a fungal-like organism that thrives in humid conditions.

Bacterial wilt:

Cucumber beetles cause bacterial wilt. This deadly bacteria infects the plant’s vascular system causing it to wilt and eventually die. Once your cucumbers are infected with bacterial wild, it’s pretty impossible to control.


Anthracnose causes dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, and fruit of cucumber plants. It can cause premature fruit drop and reduce plant growth and yield.

Cucumber mosaic virus:

Cucumber mosaic virus can cause distorted growth and mottled leaves, and can reduce plant growth and yield. Aphids spread this virus and it can survive in infected debris left in the soil.

How Long Does it Take Cucumbers to Grow

How long it takes cucumbers to grow can vary depending on the variety, growing conditions, etc. In general, cucumbers take between 50 and 70 days from planting to harvest.

For example, smaller cucumber varieties such as pickling cucumbers may be ready to harvest in as little as 50-55 days, while larger slicing cucumbers may take closer to 60-70 days.

Other factors that can affect the growth rate of cucumbers include temperature, moisture, soil fertility, and pest pressure. In general, cucumbers grow best in warm temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C) and require consistent moisture to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter or misshapen.

basket full of cucumbers

Tips for Harvesting Cucumbers

You might not think that harvesting is related to how to grow cucumbers in a raised bed, but it is. If you don’t pick often enough, your yield will suffer. Here are some things you need to know about harvesting cucumbers to maximize garden yield!

Harvest when mature: 

Harvest cucumbers when they are mature, but still firm and crisp. The ideal size for harvesting depends on the variety of cucumbers. Typically, you’ll harvest slicing cucumbers when they get to be 6-8 inches long. Harvest pickling cucumbers when they’re much smaller, about 2-4 inches long.

Check frequently: 

It’s important to check cucumber plants frequently for ripe fruit, as they can mature quickly, sometimes in just a few days. If you’ve ever found a huge cucumber hiding in the foliage, you know exactly what I mean! Harvesting regularly also encourages the plants to produce more fruit.

Use sharp shears or a sharp knife: 

To harvest cucumbers, use a sharp pair of shears or a knife to cut the stem just above the fruit. This helps prevent damage to the plant and can reduce the risk of disease.

Avoid bruising: 

Handle cucumbers gently to avoid bruising, which can lead to decay. Try not to drop or throw them into the basket or container.

Harvest in the morning: 

It’s best to harvest cucumbers in the morning when the plants are still cool and the fruit is firm. Avoid harvesting in the heat of the day, as the fruit may be soft and more prone to damage.

Store properly: 

Store freshly harvested cucumbers in a cool, dry place, such as the refrigerator. They can be stored for up to a week, but are best when eaten soon after harvesting.

Now that you know all about how to grow cucumbers in raised bed, make sure to check out these posts on growing other delicious garden veggies too!

Favorite Recipes Using Cucumbers

Now that you’ll have lots of delicious veg because you know how to grow cucumbers in raised beds, here are some of our favorite ways to eat them!

Quick & Easy Greek Style Cucumber Salad Recipe

Grandma’s Secret Dill Pickle Recipe for Canning

Gurken Salat {German Cucumber Salad}

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *