Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Watering Your Cucumber Plants

Cucumber sprouts being watered.

Cucumber sprouts being watered.

Cucumbers have a very high water content, and cannot produce fruit when they’re dry. A cucumber plant needs one to two inches of water weekly—from rain or the garden hose—to maintain fruit production. If watering by hand, focus the water on the base of the plant. Watering on top of the plant will wet the foliage which can encourage disease. If you don’t have the time or patience to water the plants yourself, consider a drip hose or some other drip-irrigation method that will deliver water slowly and deeply into the soil for your cucumber plants.

How often you water your cucumber plants depends on how hot it is and how often they receive water naturally from the rain. In the heat of the summer, your cucumber plants may need to be watered two to three times a week. When in doubt, poke your finger into the soil. If it’s dry beyond the first joint, it’s time to water.

Tip: It’s a good idea to water early in the morning as the sun will evaporate the excess water. Avoid watering during the hottest time of the day when the hot sun will evaporate the water too fast. Using mulch can help keep water where the plants need it and also slow down evaporation.

Plants grown in containers often need to be watered more frequently than cucumbers planted in the ground. There are lots of varying factors that determine the right amount of water and the frequency of watering, including plant size, temperature, amount of sunlight, etc. A water gauge can help you decide how often to water your cucumber plants.

Rainwater is best for your garden plants. If it’s possible for you to collect rainwater, your cucumbers will benefit from that!

When you properly water your cucumbers, you’ll have healthy plants and a good harvest. Improper watering can lead to the following problems that you want to avoid:

  • Bitter fruit
  • Stunted growth and root loss
  • Susceptibility to pests and disease
  • Reduced harvests and lesser-quality cucumbers

How often do you water your cucumber plants? And what time of day do you water? Please tell us how you ensure that your cucumber plants get the right amount of water.

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