When to sow cucumber seeds
Sow your long cucumber, round cucumber and gherkin seeds in April in an unheated greenhouse or windowsill. Sow your cucumber seeds directly outdoors in late May or June when all risk of frost has passed, choosing a warm, sunny spot to push your seeds into the ground.
How long do cucumber seeds take to germinate?
Cucumber seeds usually germinate within two weeks of sowing. Make sure your cucumber seeds stay moist and warm to speed up germination. Always sow a few more seeds than you need just in case of germination failure. Sowing a few seeds every couple weeks from early spring to early summer extends the cropping season and sowing a mix of pickling, smooth skinned and round varieties ensures you’ll never be bored with your crop.
How to sow cucumber seeds
Sow your cucumber seeds on their sides, by pushing them into 9cm pots of multi-purpose compost so they rest about 1cm under the soil surface. Cover the seed and water the pots well before placing them in a warm position to germinate. Sow your cucumber seeds outdoors in June into their final positions when the weather warms up and there’s no risk of a late frost.
When you’re sowing your seeds outdoors into their final positions, make sure each cucumber has plenty of room to grow – at least 30cm on each side. It’s a good idea to sow two seeds into each hole to allow for any germination failure. Simply pinch out the weaker seedling later on, keeping the strongest to mature.
When to sow courgette seeds
Make early sowings of your courgette seeds in April in a heated greenhouse, warm windowsill or heated propagator. Otherwise, sow your courgette seeds in May and June directly into the garden or into pots outdoors on the patio. Wait for the last frost date to pass before you sow your courgette seeds outdoors.
How to sow courgette seeds
Courgette seeds are quite large, so only sow one seed per 9cm pot or module. Use fine seed compost or sieved multi-purpose compost, pushing each seed on their side to the depth of an inch into the pot before covering with compost and watering with a light spray to settle the soil but not disturb the seeds. Remember to label each variety at this stage to avoid confusion between marrows and courgettes later on.
Move your pots of courgette seeds into a warm sheltered space to germinate or, if you’re sowing directly into the soil, mark out your row using labels or a string between two markers.
How long do courgette seeds take to germinate?
In warm temperatures, courgette seeds germinate in around seven days. If you’re sowing directly outdoors in cooler temperatures, courgette seeds may take up to two weeks to germinate.
Which way to plant courgette seeds
Courgettes are easy to start from seed. Sow your seeds in pots of damp compost in spring to plant out into patio pots in the summer or out into the veggie patch. Grow a mix of yellow courgettes, round courgettes and giant marrows to ensure you have plenty of fun at harvest time. If you don’t have the time or space to sow seeds, jump ahead by ordering peat-free courgette potted plants ready to harden off and pot up or plant out.