Bush cucumbers are one of the best container-growing cucumber varieties. All you need is a little bit of knowledge and care to grow. There are two main types of cucumbers and bush cucumbers are one of them. The other one is vine cucumbers. We shall look in this article at how to grow bush cucumbers in containers.
As the name indicates, bush cucumbers are bushy. That means they do not want a large space to grow. They hardly grow 2 to 3 feet in height so they are ideal for small spaces. Whereas the vine cucumbers might take a large area to grow. This means they are not suitable for small-space gardening.
BUSH CUCUMBER VARIETIES TO GROW
Bush cucumbers have different varieties and you can choose any of these varieties to grow in containers. They are ideal for small spaces. They do not grow large vines but it is recommended to support them as they will perform better this way. A few of their types are mentioned below, pick any of these for you and follow the steps given below to get successful results.
What kind of cucumbers is bush?
Cucumis sativus is the botanical name for bush cucumbers. This bushy plant is smaller in size but it doesn’t matter because they are going to produce a considerable harvest for you. Use them as salads for your summer treat or pickle them, they are going to be very refreshing.
Bush Cucumbers varieties include Bush slicer, space master, salad bush, parks bush whopper, bush champion, pick a bushel, and salad bush.
- Bush slicer is a disease-resistant variety and is one of the dwarf cucumber plants. These cucumbers can grow really well in both hot and cold temperatures.
- Salad bush produces a full-sized harvest and is perfect to be grown in containers.
- Pick a bushel are also best for small containers and produces two feet long vines that can easily be taken care of.
- Spacemaster is actually the master cucumber for small spaces. This plant produces a medium-sized harvest but the good thing is its early harvest. Expect the harvest sooner than other cucumber varieties.
HOW TO PLANT CUCUMBERS
Planting cucumbers in late spring is recommended. You need to take care of its water requirements, fertilize it in time, and provide sunlight for proper growth, mulching, etc. In this article, we shall discuss each one of these in detail.
Bush cucumbers can be started right from the seeds or you can get some healthy seedlings from a trusted plant store. Growing from seeds would require some extra care during the germination process. But this method is highly recommended as its success rate is higher.
Growing from seedlings might not produce very good results because cucumbers don’t like to be distributed while they are growing.
WHEN TO PLANT BUSH CUCUMBERS
Start the bush cucumber plant from seeds sowing indoors or outdoors as you desire. If starting indoors, start three to four weeks before the last frost. If you wish to start the plant outdoors, sow seeds in garden soil right after the last frost has passed.
Your bush cucumbers need rich and organic soil to produce loads of harvest. Use lightweight and well-draining soil. A good quality potting mix added with organic compost will also prove to be much more beneficial.
Rich potting mix ensures good drainage and airflow. This is essential for your bush cucumbers. Before planting, add slow-release organic fertilizer. This will provide the plant with much-needed nutrients.
HOW TO GROW CUCUMBERS FROM SEEDS INDOORS
Planting seeds indoors before the last frost will provide enough time for your cucumber seeds to germinate and grow till the age when you can transplant them outdoors. The soil temperature should range between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use starter pots, peat pots, or biodegradable trays to start the plant. This is necessary because the tender seedlings don’t like to get shifted. You can transplant them without any risk of transplant shock.
Sow two to three seeds per pot or tray whichever you are using. Fill the pot with the soil you have prepared and sow seeds about a quarter-inch deep. After sowing, water them well and keep watering consistently. This is important till the seeds germinate. After the seedlings appear to be mature enough you can move them to the final container.
PLANT THE BUSH CUCUMBERS OUTDOORS
After the spring frost has passed you can plant the cucumbers outdoors in containers. Filling the containers with nutrient-rich potting soil and sowing 2 to 3 seeds. It would start the germination process. After you see 3 to 4 true leaves on your seedlings it is time to thin them. Just leave a single plant that looks healthier.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR CUCUMBERS
A sunny spot with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight is required by your bush cucumber plant. As you know bush cucumbers don’t grow very long so you don’t need large space so don’t worry about space problems. Bush cucumbers are a little bit vining too, they would require 2 to 3 square feet of space so make arrangements accordingly.
CHOOSING THE CONTAINER FOR CUCUMBERS
First of all your container should have plenty of drainage holes. You can use fabric planters too, they don’t need drainage holes as they already have very good drainage. In case your container doesn’t have any holes in it, manually drill some holes at the base of the container.
Can you grow bush cucumbers in pots?
Container selection is one of the most vital steps while growing bush cucumbers. Wooden, plastic, fiber, or any kind of material can be used for containers. You have to look for a few things before choosing a perfect container for your plants.
The other thing that matters is the size of your container. I would recommend you use a five-gallon container because it will hold enough potting soil for the best results. Plus this much soil can also hold plenty of water required by your bush cucumbers.
GROW CUCUMBERS IN HANGING BASKETS
Bush cucumbers can also be grown easily in hanging pots or baskets. As they need less space you can hang them too, this way they will nourish even better because of the good airflow they will get. The hanging pot or basket should be at least 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches in depth to get the best results.
Whether you grow in hanging baskets or in containers, it is recommended to use some net or gravel so that the soil may not block the drainage holes.
WATERING THE BUSH CUCUMBERS
In the initial stage when the seedlings are young, you have to water them daily. In the later stages, your soil should remain moist all the time. Between the watering, you should check regularly if the soil needs more water to remain moist.
Do not overwater as it would cause your soil to become soggy. Also, avoid water shortage as it would cause your plant to wilt. Keep one thing in mind you are growing in containers and container-grown plants need water more often. Don’t let the soil dry out.
ADD SOME FERTILIZERS TO BUSH CUCUMBERS
At the start of planting use slow-release fertilizer as told before to provide a constant source of feed for your plant. If you have done this, adding other fertilizers at later stages would be supplementary only.
You can use a 1-1.5-3 NPK ratio when you see the first true leaves on the seedlings. Add low nitrogen and high potassium or use a diluted liquid fertilizer every week. Another cheap way to make your very own fertilizer is to make fertilizer tea from grass clippings.
Do I need a trellis for bush cucumbers?
As bush cucumbers are not very heightened plants and do not require any specific support but still you can benefit from providing some kind of support to your bush cucumbers. Although not necessary.
Will bush cucumbers climb?
Bush cucumbers are a little bit vining. You need to train them to grow in a vertical direction with a trellis for cucumbers in pots. Tomato cages will also be the best support for your Bush cucumbers. Just train them to grow this way. If you are growing them in hanging pots, then you don’t need any extra support or trellis.
HARVEST YOUR BUSH CUCUMBERS
How long do bush cucumbers take to grow?
Bush cucumbers would take up to 60 days to mature fully and after all your work and care now they must be fully grown and ready to be harvested. Bush cucumbers plant produces 6 to 8 inches long cucumbers. The ideal time to pick them is when they are 8 inches long.
How do you harvest bush cucumbers?
Use a sharp knife to pick the green and fresh cucumbers. Don’t let the bush cucumbers stay on the plant for a long time because they will turn yellow. They can’t be eaten but you can still use them by decomposing them in a compost bin.
STORE THE BUSH CUCUMBERS
Want a refreshing snack? Use the bush cucumbers when picked freshly as pasta salad, vegan sushi, or just as a cucumber salad. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. Use plastic bags to store them.
PROBLEMS WITH GROWING BUSH CUCUMBERS
You need to keep your cucumbers safe from some common pests and diseases. Keep an eye on your plant and take action as soon as you see any signs of an enemy attack. Here are a few of the problems you might face while growing cucumbers.
Your cucumber plant can face these yellow and black enemies even if you grow them in containers. They have the potential to damage the leaves and roots of your plant. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your cucumber container away from ground gardens.
The shield-shaped and brown in color bugs are also cucumber pests. But they can easily be picked because they are slow-moving. It is recommended to cover your seedlings with some fabric to avoid the attacks of any such pests. You can remove the covers once the plant starts to flower.
ANGULAR LEAF SPOT
This is a bacterial disease that can cause holes in the cucumber leaves. The main cause of this disease is that you probably have started your plant with an infected seed. The other reason could be that the infection transferred to your plant through the ground garden. Keep the container away from them and use trusted seeds from a reputable store.
This is a fungal disease that is the main cause of white powder on the plant leaves. The reason for this fungal disease is humidity and less airflow from the plant. Make sure that your container cucumbers get plenty of airflow and that it doesn’t build up any moisture.