How Many Cucumber Seeds Per Hole + Seed Germination Tips

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How many cucumber seeds should you plant per hole? Well, some gardeners say to add two cucumber seeds in every hole just in case one doesn’t sprout. Other gardeners say to add more than two cucumber seeds per hole. Others say you only need one seed per hole! But what’s the best answer? Who is correct?

Planting many cucumber varieties in the organic greenhouse garden.

Let’s examine all three options and weigh the pros and cons. We’ll also discuss everything we know about sowing cucumber seeds, including the ideal number of seeds per hole, the best depth to grow them, the perfect growing conditions, and tips for getting the most out of your preferred cucumber variety

So, let’s get planting!

How Many Cucumber Seeds Per Hole?

Preparing to sow some cucumber seeds directly in the garden.

Planting one, maybe two seeds per hole for tiny seeds, such as lemon cucumbers, works perfectly. You only need one cucumber seed per hole for larger cultivars or full-sized, all-purpose cucumbers.

Why only one to two seeds per hole? Because our cucumber seeds usually have at least a 50% germination rate, so there’s no need to plant more than a few per hole, even for tiny cultivars.

Another significant disadvantage of growing too many seeds per hole is moving your cucumber plants later. As the seedlings grow, you’ll need to thin out any excess plants to ensure that each plant has enough space to develop. The idea is to move the weakest seedlings, leaving the strongest ones with the most true leaves.

You can also germinate your cucumber seeds indoors in biodegradable cups. You only need one seed per cup. You can plant the cup directly in your garden once the seeds sprout. We love this approach because you don’t need to worry or second-guess how many cucumber seeds per hole. Just plant one seed per cup, and plant the cup when it sprouts. Easy!

Planting Depth For Optimal Growth

Sowing some heirloom cucumber seeds in the backyard garden.

Cucumber seeds come in different sizes. But a good rule of thumb is to plant the cucumber seeds at a depth that is one to two times the size of the seed. That usually equates to a depth of one-half-inch (13 mm) into the soil.

After planting the seeds, cover the soil with a thin peat moss or straw layer. This layer will help preserve the soil moisture and prevent the growing medium from drying.

Read More – Why Are My Cucumbers White and Are They Safe To Eat?

Choosing The Right Type Of Soil

Opt for well-drained soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. If planting indoors, use a seed-starting mix. For direct sowing, prepare the garden soil by clearing debris and amending it with compost or well-rotted manure. Space cucumber seeds about two to three feet apart, depending on variety.

Cucumber plants come in two varieties: bush and vine. Bush cucumber plants are stout growers and only need a few feet of growing space on all sides. Vine cucumber plants grow long and narrow and might stretch way beyond your raised garden bed, upwards of ten feet. Plan accordingly!

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Don’t overwater your baby cucumber seedlings! Proper drainage is crucial to growing healthy cucumber plants. Waterlogged soil will lead to root rot, harming the growth and production of cucumber plants. So, select a site with well-draining soil to ensure adequate drainage in your planting area.

If you have heavy soils, you can amend them with compost or sand to increase drainage.

Using A Heat Mat For Faster Germination

Planting cucumber seeds in organic peat growing trays.

Using a heat mat can speed up the germination process for cucumber seeds and significantly boost your baby seedlings. You’ll need a heat mat, a seed tray, and a nutrient-rich, moist potting mix.

After filling your seed trays with a potting mix and sowing your cucumber seeds around one-half-inch deep, the next step is to set up the heat mat in a warm and dry area that is easily accessible. Then, place the seed tray atop the heat mat.

Next, cover the seed tray on the heat mat with a clear plastic dome or plastic wrap. Covering the seed tray will help maintain the seed tray’s warmth and moisture levels, promoting faster and healthier growth. Aiming for a consistent temperature between seventy to eighty degrees Fahrenheit is essential to ensure optimal germination.

Monitor the seeds closely to prevent overheating or drying out. Expect germination in a few days to a few weeks. It won’t take long for the baby cucumber seedlings to grow their first pair of leaves, after which you can safely transplant them to their permanent home in your garden.

Read More – 17 Best Cucumber Varieties That Are Easiest To Grow

Care And Maintenance Of Cucumber Seedlings

Planting organic cucumber seedlings in the garden.

Whether planting your cucumber seeds in a garden patch, raised beds, or containers, understanding the proper care and maintenance of cucumber seedlings is essential for a bountiful harvest.

These are the top things to consider.

Offering Direct Sunlight Or Artificial Light

Cucumber seedlings require a minimum of six hours of full sunlight each day for the best growth and development. (More light is better.)

If planting indoors, mimicking these conditions using artificial light is crucial. A grow light can provide the necessary spectrum of light that cucumber seedlings need to thrive. A general rule of thumb is to keep the grow light on for eight to ten hours daily to simulate natural sunlight.

(But, always follow the directions of the grow light you use. Some offer more power than others.)

A lack of direct sunlight almost always results in an underdeveloped, weak, leggy, and puny cucumber plant.

Watering And Soil Moisture

Lovely cucumber seedlings growing in peat growing cups.

Adult cucumber plants need at least one to two inches of water weekly, especially under the hot summer sun. Even baby cucumber seedlings need consistent soil moisture to grow well, but not so much that it results in root rot.

Here are some practical ways to achieve optimal soil moisture.

Firstly, adding a layer of mulch around adult cucumber plants is a great way to maintain consistent soil moisture. Mulch helps shade the soil, keeping it cool while slowing down moisture evaporation. Mulch also helps keep the soil moist for long periods, ensuring the cucumber seedlings have the necessary moisture to thrive.

Another way to maintain supplemental soil moisture is by using a soaker hose or a drip irrigation system for watering the plants at the base. These watering methods are more efficient than overhead watering, which can lead to pooled and uneven moisture levels. With soaker hoses, water is slowly released into the soil, ensuring maximum moisture absorption by the cucumber seedlings.

We also advise watering your growing cucumber plant at the plant’s base rather than wetting the leaves. Doing so will help to prevent mildew or fungal growth on your cucumber leaves. (During the wet, rainy spells of late summer, your cucumber plants might have white mildew. The mildew can worsen if you soak the leaves with water. That’s another reason to give your cucumber plants at least a few feet between plants, as the added air circulation can help dry them off.)

Planting many cucumber seed varieties in the organic greenhouse garden.

Read More – Pickle Fan? Grow Backyard Pickles With These 5 Best Cucumbers For Pickling!


Thanks so much for reading our guide regarding how many cucumber seeds to plant per hole.

One cucumber seed per hole usually works best. But, for smaller cultivars or those with a reputation for poor germination rates, two or three seeds per hole is acceptable.

What about you?

  • Are you going to plant cucumbers this year?
  • Do you agree that cucumber seeds usually have a 50% germination rate?
  • How many cucumber seeds per hole are you going to try?
  • What is your favorite cucumber cultivar to grow?
  • Do you directly sow your cucumber seeds in your garden? Or do you start them indoors?

We grow cucumbers each year. And we love brainstorming with like-minded cucumber enthusiasts!

So, we hope to hear from you.

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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