How to Grow Cucumbers In a Grow Bag: The Essential Guide

Are you a beginner gardener trying to save money by growing cucumbers in a grow bag, but do not know how to grow them? Or you may be an expert trying something new to see if it works. Well, you may be surprised at how easy the grow bags are to use.

So, you want to know how to grow cucumbers in a grow bag? Yes, that is right. You can grow cucumbers in a grow bag. No, these are not normal bags that you get while checking out at your local grocery stores but they are cheap enough you can buy many at one time.

We are going to explain in detail everything you need to know about growing cucumbers in grow bags. And give you a few simple ideas to make this experience even better.

What are Grow Bags?

Grow bags are bags made with certain material for you to grow smaller plants or vegetables. The material that is used for the grow bags is either breathable or plastic. People usually fill them with organic compost or different types of soil to help it grow better. 

These grow bags come in many different sizes, and for the most part, have a square or rectangular bottom. The sizes of these grow bags range from 1 gallon all the way up to 50 gallons. Which most sellers just call the bags small, medium, or large. But they will let you know about how much each bag can hold when purchasing.

Now, of course, the smaller ones are for plants or vegetables that do not grow large and will not weigh a lot at full growth. The 50-gallon grow bags are more for trees or plants with large roots. There are also short and taller bags for plants, vegetables, or trees that may have a higher base. These types of grow bags are great for those who do not have a lot of space for huge pots, or they want to save a few dollars.

For growing only one cucumber plant, you are better off with the gallon grow bags. This will guarantee your seeds get enough nourishment. If you want to grow a few cucumbers, you can get the 5-gallon grow bag and put two or three seeds inside the bag. Now, if you are planning on growing a ton of cucumbers, you can always do multiple 5-gallon bags or go larger with your grow bag. The most important thing to remember is not to place your seeds or cucumber plant too close to one another. 

Different Types of Grow Bags

So the next huge question is, what types of grow bags can I choose from. Well, we are glad you asked because there is more than one option out there for you to choose from.

  • Biodegradable bags. These grow bags are made with biodegradable material that is perfect for your cucumbers and for the environment. The grow bags do not have any harmful chemicals that could hurt the growth of your cucumbers. Another great thing about these biodegradable bags is they usually have handles.
  • Fabric. The fabric grow bags are usually made with felt or non-woven fabrics. These bags are great for circulation and are very lightweight. Almost all these bags come with handles so they are easy to transport. People have even used the bags you buy at check out from the grocery stores, as a fabric bag for cucumbers.
  • Bags with soil already in it. These types of grow bags look very similar to regular soil or compost bags, but they have marked slots in them, to show you where to cut an opening. Then you can either place your cucumber seeds directly into the soil or you can add small containers called Halos to help with watering. These types of bags also are great because they lay flat and can be stacked if you are not using them right away.
  • Plastic Bags. These grow bags are, of course, made with plastic and usually do not have handles. The bags do usually have holes towards the bottom for circulation. 

With each type of grow bag, you can grow pretty much anything. It is not recommended to grow plants with huge roots in any type of grow bags.

The Good and Bad of Each Grow Bag

So, let’s start with the good things behind a grow bag. 

  • Each bag is pretty cheap! 
  • Fabric bags (click to see on Amazon) are the most expensive.  Prices vary depending on the size and quantity you purchase at one time. 
  • Biodegradable (find on Amazon) bags cost less than fabric but more than plastic.  
  • Plastic (click link to see on Amazon) bags are also really cheap. Plastic bags with soil in them are more expensive than just the bags themselves. These bags are very similar to compost bags but will have the markings for you to cut out.

All these bags are very easy to work with. They are very similar to pots, but you can move them easily and the bags do not take up much space. Since it is a bag you can move the soil and fertilizer around easily.

There are a few negatives about grow bags:

  • The bags may tear and need to be replaced more often than a pot. But this also depends on if you try to put too much into one bag. 
  • Also, the bags do have an expiration date. As in the bag may only make it through one season.
  • Another huge flaw is a critter can chew through most of the grow bags. As a pot will protect the sides.
  • You will need to water them more often. The plastic grow bags have holes in them, which will leak some of the water. The fabric bags will also leak some of the water.

Expiration Dates on These Bags

Yes, each bag has an expiration date. Now, this is the estimation from each company, and each bag could last longer than what is stated. 

If you live in a colder area, it is best to dry out the bags and put them away before it is snowing. This way, the bags will be fresh, dry, and ready for the next season. 

For the warmer states, you may need to replace your bags sooner than the expiration date due to sun damage. But since each bag is cheap, it will not hurt your wallet as bad as buying a new pot.

The plastic bags with soil in them expire when the soil/compost is dried out or if the plant does not take in that type of soil. The fabric bags last between 3 to 5 seasons but have been proven to last longer if taken care of correctly. Some biodegradable bags can last you a couple of seasons, while others may only last one season.

How many seasons you get out of these grow bags truly comes down to how well you take care of them. Make sure wherever you place the bags down that it is not on a rough surface, or it could rip the bags open.

Step by Step Guide

Now, everyone is different and may have a special routine, but for the most part, these are the basic steps in getting your cucumbers on their way to growing.

  • Pick the right size bag- it depends on how many seeds you want to plant, but for the most part, you will need either a 1 gallon or 5 gallon grow bag.
  • Loosen up the soil if it is already in the grow bag by shaking the whole bag or if you are adding soil to a grow bag, gently loosen it with fingers.
  • Fill the bag to a certain level with soil- you do not want to put soil all the way to the top- leave about three to four fingers width without soil. This will help with the water overflowing and your soil falling out.
  • Add a certain amount of fertilizer-depending on the size of the grow bag, and how many seeds you put in.  Typically, you want to use about ½ teaspoon for each gallon.
  • Put in cucumbers seed/seeds- dig a small hole into the soil using your fingers and place your seed inside the hole and then cover it up with the same soil. If the cucumber plant is larger, you just dig a large enough space for the roots to go into the soil. If you are planting more than one inside a grow bag, make sure to leave enough space in-between each one.
  • Place the bag in a place that has a lot of sunshine- cucumbers need a minimum of 6 hours of sunshine.
  • Water.  Your cucumbers need between 1 and 2 inches of water  weekly. Some people make the mistake of overwatering their plants because they touch the top of the soil. The top of the soil will seem dry but you may have enough water by the roots. By simply placing your dry finger inside the soil will let you know if your cucumbers need more water. But remember it’s the soil in the middle. You can poke a small hole into the side of the bag.
  • Check up on the cucumber bag daily- as the cucumbers grow, you may want to add a cane for the plant to grow upon and keep it off the floor. If you do not, that is okay. Just make sure the area around the bag is clean.

How Many Seeds Per Bag?

You can place more than one seed in a grow bag. Depending on the size of the bag will determine how many you can place inside. Normally if the grow bag is one gallon, then one seed is perfect, but if it is five gallons, then you can place between two to three. The seeds need about a palm length apart from each other to grow properly. You do not want to put too many seeds in one bag as it may cause your cucumbers not to grow to their full potential.

When Can You Grow Cucumbers?

Depending on where you live, you could grow cucumbers almost all year long. Cucumbers do not grow well in the cold. So, it is recommended to only grow cucumbers during the summer.

It will take between 50 to 80 days for the cucumber plants to produce any cucumbers.

So, if you live up north, you will need to narrow down your warmer months. Make sure you have at least three months of warm weather before you start your harvest.

Different Ways to Grow

We not only told you that you could use grow bags instead of pots but you can also use these grow bags in different ways.   

  • Basic. On the ground directly or on top of a pallet. You will be able to move them around without any issues, but you will be taking up floor space.
  • Swinging. You can hang the bags anywhere there is sunshine. This will free up floor space, but you will have to make sure whatever you hang them on can handle the weight. You also need to make sure that the space under the bags can handle getting wet.
  • Flowerbed. A flowerbed is also a great option because you will designate an area in which you are growing your cucumbers. You could also put a crate in the flowerbed if you wanted to. This would allow you to pick the bags up easily once the season was done instead of ripping them out of the soil.

Using Canes or String

While having your cucumbers in grow bags is great, you could always add another great touch to your cucumbers. You could place cane sticks around your cucumber plant to grow upon. Simply place a 4 to 6 feet cane stick close but not too close to each cucumber plant. If you are using more than one cane stick, make sure it is at least 30 centimeters away from the other canes. Be very careful when pushing them into the bag, as you do not want to damage the bag or the plant. You can also place the cane sticks on the outside of the bags and tie them gently to the bags.

As your cucumber plant grows, you will need to gently wrap your cucumber plant around the cane stick. 

Another great option, and cheaper, is to use string instead of the canes- I prefer heavy gauge bailing twine. You will need to tie the string to something above the cucumber plant. If you do not have anything for the string to be tied to, then you can build a small wooden piece to be placed next to the plants. For this, you will need two small 4 to 6 feet of wood pieces/metal and one longer wood piece/metal for the top. The length of the top piece depends on how long your garden over the cucumbers will be. Once you have this built, you tie a string firmly on the wood and pull it down to the plant. Just like the canes, you will wrap the plant around the string as it grows.

Fertilizer Options

There are so many great options out there that it may become a little overwhelming. We suggest you use something organic and test it. You will find some fertilizers may work better with certain soil than others. Also, there are some fertilizers that are better with vegetables. Cucumbers need a lot of potassium and phosphorus to grow well. It is best to read the package to see if the fertilizer has what the cucumbers need.

We have a great article here on the nutrients your plants need in order to produce food – fast!

Will Your Cucumbers Grow to Full Potential?

Of course, you can grow cucumbers! If you want to have the best in town you will need to take care of them. Remember, the sun is extremely important, and it must have enough water to keep it moist but not drowning.

It may take you a couple of seasons to get the hang of it, but please do not give up. It is totally worth the time you put into it.

Other Vegetables You Can Grow in Bags

Believe it or not, the options are endless! You can plant whatever your heart desires. This includes but is not limited to flowers, tomatoes, peppers, basil, potatoes, carrots, and beans.

You can also place small trees inside a grow bag. With trees, you will have to monitor them a little closer because of the roots. 

Final Thoughts

Grow bags are great and can save you a ton of money. With the world trying to be more green, you will be helping out a lot with your grow bags.

If at first, your cucumbers do not make it, try again. Cucumbers can be tricky! Remember, they require a lot of sunshine and water.  But that first taste of a crisp, cool cucumber is definitely worth all that work.

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