Growing cucumbers in Washington is certainly possible as long as you know the correct timing. If you’re asking, ‘when to plant cucumbers in Washington state?’ take a look at our short guide below.
When to Plant Cucumbers in Washington State
In Washington, the best time to plant cucumbers is when the ground or outdoor environment has significantly warmed up. Specifically, cucumber seeds will only germinate when temperatures have reached at least 65 degrees F or greater.
The state has several planting zones and is mostly divided between the east and west. Cucumber seeds can be planted directly outdoors when all risk of frost has passed and when the ground has started to warm up.
You can sow them from mid- to late May in the western regions while those in the east can plant them as early as the month of April.
It’s worth noting that cucumber requires anywhere between 50 to 70 growing days, which may not be enough for some zones in Washington. If you’re worried that your cucumber harvest might be cut short by the climate, then it’s best that you choose early maturing varieties and from garden centers and catalogs.
Also, cucumbers belong in the warm season crops, which means they can’t tolerate frost or the cold. Generally speaking, you’ll want the weather to be nice and warm before planting cucumbers in your garden.
Alternatively, you can start cucumber seeds indoors in pots around four or five weeks before you transplant them. You’ll need 4 inch pots or an egg carton as a temporary home; afterwards, you can put them directly in your garden after the risk of frost has passed.
How to Plant Cucumbers in Washington State
The earliest date you can plant cucumber in Washington is two weeks in the spring season. Once the outdoor temperature is viable, you can drop the seeds in mounds to start them off.
A good rule of thumb is to put two to four seeds per mound of soil in about an inch. Space the mounds about 4-5 feet apart and water them in.
You’ll want to place them in a sunny location and within well-draining soil that has been generously amended with rich organic matter.
Cucumber plants require a lot of space, so keep this in mind when planning where to put them in your garden. They can grow up to five feet tall before producing fruits; you can have them grow on a trellis as a support or structure.
Aside from bright direct sun cucumbers require plenty of water, especially on hotter days and the summer season.
How to Grow Cucumber in Washington State
Cucumbers are considered easy growing plants and require only a bit of maintenance. However, the first two weeks of planting are important, and it’s the time when you should pay close attention.
The seeds should germinate as long as they’re viable and high quality. For uneven germination, check and see if the soil is too cold or if they’re planted too deep.
During the seedling stage, monitor the health of the plant twice or thrice weekly and check the foliage health and overall appearance.
Wilting is often an issue with cucumber, which indicates either overwatering or underwatering. Keep the soil near the seedling moist but not too wet, and don’t allow it to fully dry out. Pale leaves indicate that there’s not enough nutrients in the soil, which can be remedied by adding organic matter.
Cucumber is a pollination plant, which means that in order for the fruit to appear it must be visited by butterflies or bees. It’s recommended that you hold off on the pesticide or insecticide solutions so nature can take its course and result in a bountiful harvest. Look out for insect pests and remove these by hand or using organic methods.
Soil moisture level dictates the size and quality of the fruit, so make sure your cucumbers are getting enough water. You can harvest the fruit once it turns into a deep green shade; don’t wait for it to turn yellow or else they become bitter and soft.
Frequent picking is encouraged so the plant continues producing fruit. The correct way to harvest is to snip off just a fourth of an inch above the cucumber you want to get. After the growing season you can use the plant material as organic soil matter.