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Can You Grow Cucumbers in a 5 Gallon Bucket?

Can You Grow Cucumbers in 5 Gallon Buckets?

Container gardening has become quite popular, especially for those families who have limited space.

There are a number of different vegetables that can be grown in containers and many people wonder, can you grow cucumbers in a 5 gallon bucket?

The good news is that it is actually quite easy to grow cucumbers in a 5 gallon bucket, especially those varieties that grow on a bush or a short vine.

In fact, cucumbers are one of the best vegetables to grow in 5 gallon buckets. And if you are considering growing cucumbers in a bucket here is some general information you may find helpful.

Can you grow cucumbers in a 5 gallon bucket

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Why Plant Cucumbers in a 5-Gallon Bucket?

One of the best reasons for growing cucumbers in a 5-gallon bucket is because some homes lack the space to have a full size garden.

Growing cucumbers in buckets allows those families with limited space to grow cucumbers on their patio, deck, and balcony or even inside their home or garage.

In addition, growing this vegetable in a container allows you the flexibility to move your plant to a new location should the need arise.

How Many Cucumber Plants Per 5 Gallon Bucket Should You Grow?

When planting cucumbers in a 5-gallon bucket you should grow no more than two cucumber plants in each bucket. Each plant should yield about ten cucumbers.

What are the Best Varieties of Cucumbers to Grow in 5 Gallon Buckets?

If you are looking for the best variety of cucumber to grow in a 5-gallon bucket, then your best bet is to choose any variety with “bush” in its name since these plants grow on bush type vines no higher than 2 feet or 30 inches. Some good choices include:

  • Burpless – These cucumbers are specifically bred to have lower levels of cucurbitacin, which is a compound in cucumbers that causes people to burp.
  • Bush Champion – This variety of cucumber is perfect for both slicing and eating in salads or as a snack as well as for pickling. The cucumbers grow from 8 to 12 inches.
  • Bush Pickle – This variety of cucumber is perfect for pickling. They are also disease resistant and get a lot of cucumbers per bush. These cucumbers are best when they are harvested when they are about 5 inches long.
  • Salad Bush – The Salad bush variety produces disease resistant 8-inch long and 2 inch wide cucumbers. These vegetables are tender and crisp, making them perfect for enjoying in salads or simply for snacking on.

You can also grow the vine varieties of cucumbers in a 5-gallon bucket as long as you place the buckets near a fence or trellis so that the vines have something to climb.

Things to Consider Before You Plant Cucumbers in a 5-Gallon Bucket

Before you begin growing cucumbers in a container there are a few things you may want to consider so that you can get the best results from your labor.

Type of Cucumber

There are several different varieties of cucumbers so you will want to do some research and decide what type of cucumber you want to grow.

Expected Yield

You will also want to consider how large a harvest you would like so you can make sure that you have the right amount of buckets to grow your vegetables.

Amount of Light

You will need to determine the right area of your yard to set your buckets to ensure that your plants get plenty of sunshine.

If you are growing cucumbers indoors then you are going to want to make sure you have proper artificial light for your cucumbers to thrive.

Watering Needs

You will also want to take into consideration your plants watering needs since they won’t be able to get any additional moisture from the surrounding soil.

What You Need to Begin Growing Your Own Cucumbers in 5-Gallon Buckets

Before you begin planting your cucumbers you are going to want to assemble everything you need to grow your plants successfully.

Here is what you need to begin planting your seeds.

5-Gallon Buckets

You will need five gallon buckets for planting your cucumber seeds. Dark colored buckets are best. (You may be able to get free buckets from restaurants or bakeries that get supplies in them.)

Bark Nuggets

You are going to need bark nuggets for the bottom of your bucket for water drainage. Gravel will work as well, but it is heavier making the buckets harder to move.

Planting Medium

Potting soil is heavy and should not be used for growing plants in containers. A better planting medium for your cucumbers is a combination of peat moss, Perlite and coconut coir.


You are going to want a package of seeds of the variety of cucumbers you would like to grow.

Tomato Cage

Even bush varieties of cucumbers may need a little support. A tomato cage will be large enough to offer support for the shorter vines. Longer vine cucumbers need to be placed near a trellis or a fence.

Light Source

If you are growing your cucumber plants indoors you will need artificial lighting to supply the proper amount of lighting.

(You may also want to read this article on the best vegetables to grow indoors with grow lights).

Growing Cucumbers in a 5 Gallon Bucket

It is best to follow the directions for growing your specific variety of cucumbers that is on the back of the seed package. However, these general directions will give you an idea of how to grow cucumbers.

Start by preparing your 5-gallon buckets by drilling drainage holes in the bottom and the bottom sides of a clean bucket.

Once the holes have been drilled, place a layer of bark nuggets in the bottom of the bucket to control drainage for your plants.

Fill the rest of the bucket with your planting mix and place the bucket in a sunny or warm location.

You need your planting medium to reach a temperature of around 70 degrees before planting your seeds.

Once your soil is warm enough, place 2 seeds about 1 inch into the soil in the center of the bucket. (You are going to want the seeds to be planted a couple of inches apart so they won’t be the exact center.) Then water the soil.

As your plants grow, monitor the moisture of your soil adding water to your planting medium (don’t water the plant itself) as needed.

You will also want to add fertilizer after a couple of weeks to make sure that your plant has good nutrition while growing.

Harvest cucumbers when they are ready. This will be between 50 and 70 days after planting.

Can You Grow Cucumbers in a 5 Gallon Bucket? Conclusion

As you can see, you can grow cucumbers in 5 gallon buckets. In fact, growing cucumbers in a 5-gallon bucket can give families with limited space healthy vegetables to enjoy and a sense of accomplishment from growing their own food.

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