When To Plant Cucumbers In Iowa: All You Must Know

Cucumbers are the ideal addition to any vegetable garden: they are easy to grow. Provided that you ensure they receive consistent watering, sun, and warmth, they will not cause you trouble. Not many people know this, but there are two varieties of cucumbers: vining cucumbers, which grow fast and produce abundant crops, or bush cucumbers, which are better suited to grow in containers, perfect for limited spaces. To learn about when to plant cucumbers in Iowa, keep reading this essential guide we put together.

But besides giving your veggies what they need to thrive, if you want to have successful yields in your garden, you must know when to plant them. And that might change depending on where you live.

When To Plant Cucumbers In Iowa

This guide includes everything you should know about adding these vegetables to your garden and how to make the most out of them. Don’t forget to always check your local climate before deciding: weather can drastically change from one year to another, and relying too much on averages might cause your cucumbers to suffer.

But jump to the following sections to learn about the ideal dates to plant (and harvest) your cucumber plants if you are growing them in Iowa. Don’t forget that the region includes USDA hardiness zones from 4 to 6, meaning average minimum temperatures go between -30 and -5F.

Plus, seasonality tends to be clear-cut in these areas, making it not as challenging to know when to plant your veggies. Still, read this essential guide to clarify any doubt.

When to Plant Cucumbers in Iowa

When To Plant Cucumbers In Iowa

Plant cucumbers after the last frost and when soil temperatures reach 60 to 70F. As a rule of thumb, if there hasn’t been a frost for about two weeks, you should be safe to plant your cucumbers outdoors. Usually, that happens between the end of April and May. Don’t forget that some years the last frost might get later (or earlier): always keep an eye on the local weather!

Plant your cucumbers in “hills” containing four to five seeds to increase your chances of success. Once seedlings start to appear, only keep two or three plants per hill. If you want to enjoy earlier crops, consider starting your seeds indoors.

Plant them in proper containers with suitable potting mix two to three weeks before the outdoor planting date. Transplant the seedlings outdoors when you notice your plants have at least one or two true leaves. Don’t forget to ensure the climate is stable (and warm) enough to avoid exposing your cucumbers to too much stress.

Sometimes, you might mistakenly plant your cucumbers too early. Sometimes frost might come after you transfer your plants outside. And because cucumbers are susceptible to frost damage, your might stress them so much they might die. But don’t worry: it happens. Luckily, it doesn’t mean everything is lost. To prevent them from suffering too much damage, consider bringing them inside (if you are growing them in containers) or cover them in burlap.

Also, avoid planting your cucumbers too late; you might never get crops (and if you do, the veggies will be too small for you to enjoy). Ensure you select a location that receives plenty of sun during the day and consider adding fertilizer to the soil to boost production. For even best results, amend the substrate (if necessary) to bring it to a pH of around 6.5 to 7.0. But when should you harvest your cucumbers? Learn about harvesting in the following section!

When to Harvest Cucumbers in Iowa

When To Plant Cucumbers In Iowa

You should always avoid letting your cucumbers get too large: it will cause them to become bitter. Pay close attention to your plants: cucumbers will grow fast under optimal conditions. Check your veggies daily to pick them up at the best time. In Iowa (on average), cucumbers should be ready in September. Of course, that might depend on when you planted them.

When To Plant Cucumbers In Iowa: Final thoughts

You can harvest regular cucumbers at about six to eight inches long. If you are growing pickling cucumbers, don’t let them grow more than two inches long. Avoid letting them go yellow.

A healthy and mature cucumber looks uniformly green, firm, and crisp. Also, don’t forget to use a sterile knife or scissors to cut the stem above the fruit. You should never pull the veggies from the vine: you might damage it! Also, contaminated tools might spread diseases and weaken your plant.

Related Article: When to Plant Lettuce in Iowa?