Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings: Replanting Cukes Outside

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After starting cucumber seeds indoors, you’ve got to harden off the plants and then replant them outside. Transplanting cucumber seedlings into the ground is pretty easy, as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Rule #1 – Don’t transplant cucumber seedlings without first acclimating them to the outdoors.

Rule #2 – Choose a cool day with a few more cool or cloudy days in the forecast if possible.

Rule #3 – Consider planting a few cucumber seeds directly in the ground as well. It won’t hurt anything to have a fallback plan, just in case.

I spent about an hour transplanting cukes and pickling cukes in my two raised garden beds.

Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings in the Garden
Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings in the Garden

(Granted, I should’ve done this about a week or two ago, but, hockey. My daughter’s travel hockey schedule kept us hopping since the end of February. For that reason, I am SO far behind with my garden! But I am trying to quickly catch up!)

Wherever you are in the growing process, I can assure you it won’t take you as long as it took me to transplant cucumber seedlings outside. (I took lots of photos for the blog post along the way.)

Here are the simplest steps and most helpful tips I can provide!

What is the best cucumber transplant spacing?

Depending on your preferences, you can grow cucumbers in rows or groups. Plant a hill of 3 cucumbers spaced about 18 inches to the next trio. For rows, space cucumber plants apart by 10 to 12 inches. For cucumbers growing up a trellis, you can plant closer together, such as 4 to 5 inches apart.

Why is my cucumber plant dying after transplant?

Several factors may affect the health of a cucumber transplant. Consider whether you’ve sufficiently hardened off the cucumber seedlings before transplant. Also, determine if the cucumbers received too much or too little water. Another potential issue is that cucumbers sometimes don’t fare well if their roots are disturbed too much.

Try to narrow down what’s stressing your cucumber babies and try to remedy the problem.

Baby Cucumber Seedling Planted Outside
Baby Cucumber Seedling Planted Outside

Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings Outside

Learning how to transplant cucumbers gives you confidence to move the plants from their seed trays or nursery pots to the ground outside.

The best way to transfer cucumber seedlings is actually pretty easy when it comes down to it. Follow these simple steps to replant cucumber seedlings.

  1. Dig a small hole in the garden where you wish to transplant cucumbers.
  2. Gently squeeze the egg carton cell, pot, or container to loosen the cucumbers’ soil.
  3. Remove the cucumber seedlings from their original container.
  4. Gently separate the cucumber seedlings from each other, if applicable. Hold a small plant in each hand and gently loosen the root systems. Pull apart slowly to separate.
  5. Place one cucumber seedling inside the hole you made.
  6. Cover the seedling’s roots and firm the ground around it.
  7. Water the newly transplanted cucumber seedling to help it acclimate.
  8. Check daily for water needs and signs of growth or stress.

Transplanting cucumbers outside is a pretty quick and mindless activity when it comes down to it.

Transplanting Pickling Cucumber Seeding Outside
Transplanting Pickling Cucumber Seeding Outside

The steps above may make it seem like the process is more involved, but nope.

Dig a hole, plant, and water your cuke seedlings and you should be good to go!

Transplanting Cucumber Plants from the Garden Center

If you plan on transplanting cucumber plants outside after buying them from your favorite garden center, the process is very similar.

You may not need to harden off the plants if the garden center already did it sufficiently for you – score!

In most cases, you won’t have to separate cucumber roots from each other, which is great.

Simply release the young cucumber plants from the packaging or container, dig a small hole, plant, replace the soil, and water.

Don’t forget to label your cucumber plants if you plan on growing different kinds!

Transplanting Cucumbers in Containers

Besides planting directly in the ground, you can also try transplanting cucumbers in containers. Essentially, you can pot up cucumbers from a smaller starter container to a larger, more permanent container.

Growing cucumbers in a container still works great with a trellis of some sort. Once you figure out that piece, you can plan to grow multiple cucumbers in the same 5-gallon container.

For a single cucumber plant, aim to provide at least a 10-inch pot.

Soil in containers may dry out more quickly than soil in raised beds or inground gardens. Check frequently to ensure plants don’t dry out and die.

Transplanting Cucumbers from seedlings outdoors
Transplanting Cucumbers from seedlings outdoors

Planting Cucumber Transplants

Learning how to transplant cucumbers into the garden takes only a few moments. You can probably even do it with your instincts.

Cucumber seedlings transplanting works best on a cooler, cloudy day if possible.

Since you took the time to research this process, I want to give you a little extra value for your garden! No matter if you’re planting homegrown cucumbers or nursery transplants, you can benefit from these tips.

Here are a few final tips to help you have the most successful cucumber garden:

  • Be proactive to defeat cucumber beetles. Once you know it’s them, the damage is already done. Act fast against cucumber beetles before they impact your crops!
  • Consider companion plants. Plan your garden with cucumber companion plants in mind to make the most of your space.
  • Don’t forget the trellis! So many items and structures can work well as a trellis, from deck rails to tomato cages, hardwood dowels, or even the fence around your yard. A sunflower plant also makes a fun cucumber trellis idea!

Do you have any questions on transplanting cucumber seedlings or any other fun tips to share? Feel free to share cucumber gardening stories as well – we always love hearing from you in the comments!

Happy Gardening!

11.11.22 – Added link for starting cucumber seeds.

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