Tag Archives: Growing cucumbers in pots

Growing Cucumbers in Pots is SO Easy!

Imagine eating your own home-grown organic cucumbers. Hmmmm… delicious!

Why not challenge yourself to grow cucumbers in pots or indeed any container which has adequate drainage. Even if you only have a small garden or sunny balcony give it a try and let me know how you get on.

I usually buy about six seedling plugs from the market or a local garden centre in March . They are really cheap  (about 25cents each) and less frustrating/wasteful than growing from seed. If the seedlings are not available in your area then packets of seeds can be purchase in garden centres, DIY shops and even supermarkets.

Growing from seed means you lose about two weeks as they take time to germinate and I’m far too impatient for that. But sometimes needs must and we go with the flow.

Cucumber seedling plugs

Cucumber seedling plugs

I then plant into small containers such as yogurt or small flower pots using multi-purpose compost.

Baby cucumber plants

Baby cucumber plants

Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

Mini cloches - Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect the young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

Mini cloches – Old plastic water bottles are up-cycled as plant cloches to protect the young plants from cold winds and inclement weather until they are more hardy.

The reason I always buy more plants than I need is because some of the seedlings will probably be enjoyed by my pet snail ‘Sid’ and his family, and the runt of the seedlings usually die due to cold weather or just bad luck.

So out of six small plants I end up with three healthy specimens.

When the plants are a little more robust I then plant in one large container in good quality compost and some rotted manure (when available). I initially protect the plants by making plant collars from plastic water bottles

plastic collars to protect plants

plastic collars to protect plants

Once the first flowers appear I feed with liquid tomato feed available from garden centres, supermarkets or DIY stores which seem to sell everything bar toilet rolls. It seems to work well and as yet I’ve not found a more general purpose vegetable feed other than manure tea which if you are living in a confined space is probably not a good idea.

About ten weeks later your first cucumbers are ready to pick. Usually several at once!

Cucumbers grow well in pots

Cucumbers grow well in pots

I will plant my next batch of seedlings in June so these will take me through to October/November – depending on the weather.

Growing Tips:

– Feed every couple of weeks.
– Water daily
– If you let the the cucumbers grow too big the seeds become tough and bitter. I usually pick when the cucumbers are about 6 inches long.

My first crop of cucumbers - May 27th.  2017

My first crop of cucumbers – May 27th. 2017

When I have a glut of cucumbers I now pickle in vinegar with onion. They are delicious!

Pickled Cucumbers

5 Cucumbers
1 Kg onions, peeled and halved
80 grams sea salt
500 ml vinegar
350 grams granulated sugar
4 or 2 tsp mustard seeds (I only use 2 tsp)
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Slice the cucumber and onions thinly, layer them in a bowl, sprinkle salt. Weigh them down with a plate and leave overnight.
Drain off the liquid, rinse well and drain in a colander.
Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric in a pan and bring slowly to boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar, add cucumbers and onions and boil for 1 minute.
Transfer the cucumber and onions to a jar and reduce the liquid for 15 minutes, then divide between the jars to the top.
This will keep for several months.

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So who is going to take up the challenge?

Growing Cucumbers in Pots

Growing cucumbers in a Pot

Growing cucumbers in a Pot

One of my many ‘container’ gardening successes is growing cucumbers in pots. Rather than plant seeds and wait weeks for them to germinate I buy the seedling plugs from local markets.
The only downside is that there are no “fancy” varieties to choose from, or perhaps I should view that as an upside because the plants they sell are hardy and more suited to the climate of the local area. If the veteran Portuguese gardeners are buying them for their hortas, then the varieties are good enough for me.

Growing cucumbers in pots

Growing cucumbers in pots

When to plant: Cucumber plants are available in the Algarve from January onwards although this year I never planted any until March and then not again until May.

Containers: I use a 12x12inch plant pots planting three plants per pot.

Soil: I use a good quality general purpose compost which I mix with sandy soil. Three parts compost to one part soil.

Feed: Once the flowers have formed I feed weekly with MiracleGro or liquid manure which I make from soaking Alpaca or horse manure.

Watering: Water daily and don’t let the soil dry out. I made that mistake and the baby cucumbers withered and died.

Related posts:

Piglet’s Plot in June

This year I’m keeping a photographic diary of my humble vegetable garden; what’s growing when, where and how well. Yes, I know it’s August and I’m writing about July June, but with recent trips to the UK and France I am way, WAY behind on my blogging activities. I took all the photographs, so at least I could backtrack and post at a later date.

Raised vegetable garden June 2013

Raised vegetable garden June 2013

The white onions planted on the 19/11/2012 are now ready for harvest while the red onions planted in January are not that far behind.

Red and white onions

Red and white onions

June Harvest

June Harvest

Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Containers

Tayberries - first flower and fruit

Tayberries – first flower and fruit

My experiment to grow tayberry and blackberry bushes in pots seems (fingers crossed) to be successful. They have produced many flowers which are now forming into fruit. (Toes crossed we get to eat them before the birds or insects)

Tayberry bush growing in pot

Blackberry bush growing in pot

Strawberries growing in containers

Strawberries growing in containers

The rhubarb is doing reasonably well. Not brilliant but it’s still clinging to life. Unfortunately, some white fluffy bugs, which I believe are the dreaded mealy bugs have taken up residence. The only thing I’ve found to kill these annoying little critters is diluted hydrogen peroxide 3% volume. However, I do not want to apply this concoction to something I plan to eat!

Rhubarb growing in pot

Rhubarb growing in pot

The groselhos bush I purchased last year at Lidls continues to thrive but as yet has not yielded any fruit. I think it’s a cross between a gooseberry and a raspberry. We will see.

Groselhos

Groselhos

Can you name these fruit bushes?

The following are stem cuttings I took last year from my daughter’s garden. One is a raspberry the other two are either blackcurrant, or blueberry.

Mystery fruit bushes

Mystery fruit bushes

Yay! I finally have two tiny limes. Despite removing all the leaves affected with the citrus vine weevil it has returned. Nothing seems to deter these tenacious little critters!

Lime tree growing in pot

Lime tree growing in pot

The cucumber plugs planted in March have a couple of healthy cucumbers ready for harvesting with more on the way.

Growing cucumbers in pots

Growing cucumbers in pots

In February I bought two aubergine (beringela) plugs. One I planted in the raised vegetable bed and the other in the pot pictured below. Only the plant in the pot survived and it is now bearing fruit!

Aubergine growing in pot

Aubergine growing in pot

The myestery plants courtesy of God, or the birds proved to be squash plants. There seems to be two varieties – well put it this way, the squash are two different shapes. I’ve never been successful growing squash in previous years so I’m naturally delighted by the gift. This variety must be Piglet proof, so I better remember to save some seed for next year!

squash plants growing in pot

squash plants growing in pot


Squash

Squash

What else am I growing?
Galega Cabbage: Thes cabbages are now over 1m (3′) tall. These are brilliant if you are limited for space. You remove the individual leaves as you need them and you are eventually left with what I can only describe as a cabbage tree!
Red cabbages:
Tomatoes: masses of cherry tomatoes. I was given other varieties but they did not survive or grew too leggy to grow in pots.
Yellow and red peppers: Flowers but no fruit
Raspberries: no fruit
3 peach trees: no fruit
Physalis: fruit, but unripe
Orange Tree: this now has two baby oranges which should be ready by Christmas
Fig tree: all the leaves turned yellow and then fell before turning brown. I was told it was either too much water or not enough. Don’t you just love that tidbit of advice?

Insects

My cabbages are plagued with cabbage white butterflies and then hundreds of squishy green caterpillars. I spray the cabbages with a weak solution of washing-up liquid and water, although over time I’ve manned up and now squish the caterpillars with my bare fingers.

Ants! We have five different types of ant. We’ve tried most branded treatments but none seem to work. I was once given a recipe for a homemade concoction which included a powder called borax. Unfortunately, after spending ages sourcing the borax I lost the recipe.

Related Posts

Piglet’s Plot in May
Recipe: Salada da Favas
Piglet’s Plot in February
Category Archives: Growing fruit and vegetables in Pots
Category Archives: Growing Fruit, Veg and Herbs

April: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in Pots

April 23rd 2012 – My monthly diary for April continues with my ongoing experiment to grow fruit and vegetables in pots and various containers.

Red and orange peppers

Red and orange peppers

This year I planted some orange and red peppers seedlings which I bought from São Teotónio Market in March. At 25cents each they were quite expensive, but still easier and cheaper than buying the packets of seeds and germinating myself. Next year I will see if I can save seeds from these plants and grow some from seed. Orange peppers are always very expensive in Portugal (€5.64 per kg) so I felt if I could persuade them to grow and yield at least two peppers per plant, they should actually save me money!

My first cucumber!

My first cucumber!

This variety of cucumber has a very prickly skin which you need to remove before eating. I only bought the seedlings in February so they have progressed really quickly! It’s great to pop out to my garden and pick my own lettuce, radish and now cucumber.

Tomato plant

Tomato plant

I bought several tomato plants in February which are now all doing well and are in flower.

Strawberry plants grow well in pots

Strawberry plants grow well in pots

My strawberry plants continue to flower and produce a regular crop.

Strawberries grown in containers

Strawberries grown in containers

The blackbirds have discovered my delicious strawberries so I’ve now covered the plants with mosquito nets which I bought very cheaply at a local flea market. However, I need to think of an alternative option because once the nets are wet they cling to the plants and the birds just peck through them.

Strawberries can be grown in a variety of containers

Strawberries can be grown in a variety of containers

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The Rhubarb continues to grow however, I do need to plant directly in the garden but finding the right location is not going to be easy. I may find some old bricks and build a raised bed just for my rhubarb!

Noname - all I know it's a cross between a blackberry and a rasberry

Noname – all I know it’s a cross between a blackberry and a rasberry

I bought this fruit plant at a charity flea market for just €2.00 All I know is that its fruit is a cross between a rasberry and a blackberry and it needs to be kept moist. I am going to transplant into a larger pot next year. Any ideas?

Lemon tree

Lemon tree grown in a large pot

Lemon tree – continues to produce an abundance of fruit and massess of blossom. However, I do keep it well watered and feed regulary.

Physallis – The seeds I planted last year have grown well over the winter and I have now transplanted into larger pots. The orginal plant produced fruit all through the winter, but I’ve now pruned the plant to encourage new growth.

Chili and piri piri – last years plants are now straggly and I’ve used discarded seeds for new plants.

Melons – seedlings are developing slowly, but at least they are still alive!

To do
Buy Auberine and more lettuce seedlings and rasberry and blueberry bushes. Plant radish seeds, cherry tomatoes.

I now use organic feed to spray the leaves of all the above. This is an experiment as I’ve previously only used liquid feed. We will see.

To Do

Related posts:
How did I kill my tomato plants?
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in April
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in March
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in February
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in January
Portugal: Growing Fruit and Vegetables in December