Cucumbers are a favorite vegetable in many home gardens and restaurants around the world, and they’re easy to grow from seeds. The key is starting them early enough to have large plants — about 4 inches or so in height — by the time the frosts are past and they can be planted outdoors. This can be done by starting them indoors in spring or summer, but the ideal way is to plant a variety that has been bred to thrive in containers and produce fruit without pollination (see sidebar).
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When direct-sown start cucumber seeds indoors plants are planted, they should be ready to go out into the garden about two weeks after the last frost date. This is because cucumbers can be damaged by cold temperatures and need a little extra warmth before they’re able to be out in the garden.
If you’re starting the seeds indoors, it’s a good idea to soak them in water for 12-24 hours before sowing. This will help them germinate faster. For best results, start cucumber seeds indoors in peat pots or large cell trays filled with seed starting mix. Then, plant the seeds one or two at a time into each cell, about 1/2 to 1 inch deep. Keep the cells moist until they sprout, then gradually increase the amount of watering to about an inch a week. When the seedlings are ready to transplant, a dome can be used over the container to protect them from harsh weather conditions until they’re hardened off.