You can grow cucumbers both outside and in a greenhouse. Both methods can work really well but both of them also have advantages that the other method doesn’t. If you are interested in learning about this, I recommend you read this article since I go into some pretty interesting details, but if you just want a quick conclusion, here you go.
Cucumber plants typically live for longer and produce more fruit overall in a greenhouse than outside since the greenhouse helps them stay warm for longer. That said, cucumbers can also grow very well outside and it might even be slightly easier since there is usually more space than in a greenhouse.
These are just some of the advantages of the two ways of growing cucumbers, but there are a lot more that I have learned about by growing a lot on my own. I have made a table where I summarize all the advantages and disadvantages of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse and outside. So if you just want a quick overview, take a look at that, but if you want more details, keep reading as I dive into each of the advantages below.
Advantages of Growing Cucumbers in a Greenhouse vs Outside
You can grow cucumbers in a greenhouse or outside and you will most likely get very good results either way, but both ways have their advantages over the other. To give you an easy overview of the advantages of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse compared to outside, I made this table.
|Advantages of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse||Advantages of growing cucumbers outside|
|The growing season is usually longer||The plants usually have more room to spread and grow big|
|More options when it comes to cucumber varieties||It can be easier to set up a trellis|
|The plants are better protected from animals||Better airflow than in a greenhouse|
|The plants are better protected from the weather|
|Less risk of overwatering plants|
|The plants are better protected from invasive plants|
It might seem like growing cucumbers in a greenhouse is a lot better than growing them outside and to be fair, I have also had very good results with growing cucumbers in a greenhouse. That said, you can also get some really good results from growing cucumbers outside, so if you don’t have a greenhouse or just prefer to grow your cucumbers outside, you should absolutely go for it.
Probably the biggest advantage of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse is that they will be producing flowers and fruit for longer than outside. You can read more about what to do when cucumber plants are flowering, why it happens, and much more on this link, so that you are ready when it happens. That is far from the only advantage, though.
If you keep reading, you will learn precisely why the advantages I have listed in the table above are worth considering.
Advantages of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse
- The growing season is usually longer
- One of the major advantages of growing your cucumbers in a greenhouse is that it can keep the plants warmer for a lot longer than if they stayed outside. This can help them live for longer than they otherwise would (read more about that here). I was able to harvest cucumbers from my greenhouse well into the fall, which is about a month more than if they were growing outside. Cucumbers are annual plants which means that they don’t come back every year (read more about that here), so keeping them in a greenhouse is a great way to get more out of your plants.
- More options when it comes to cucumber varieties
- The fact that a greenhouse keeps your cucumbers warmer and makes the growing season longer also allows you to grow some more varieties than you would be able to outside. This is because some varieties need higher temperatures and longer time to grow than others.
- The plants are better protected from animals
- Another advantage of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse is that they are better protected from animals than if they were growing outside. Of course, you can’t avoid tiny insects entirely in a greenhouse (although it helps), but larger animals such as mice, rats, and rabbits have a much harder time getting to your plants.
- The plants are better protected from the weather
- Although some rain and wind is definitely a good thing for cucumbers, too much of it can kill them. A greenhouse is a very effective way to keep plants protected from heavy rain and wind.
- Less risk of overwatering plants
- Related to the point above, a greenhouse will also significantly reduce the risk of overwatering since the plants are not exposed to heavy rain but instead only watered when you decide to do it. If plants are overwatered for too long, the roots will begin to rot and the plants will die.
- The plants are better protected from invasive plants
- The last advantage of using a greenhouse for growing your cucumbers I want to cover is that they are better protected from invasive plants. This is not a huge problem outside either since you can just cut back any plant that gets too close to your cucumbers, but in a greenhouse, you rarely have to do that since the plants are more isolated.
Advantages of growing cucumbers outside
- The plants usually have more room to spread and grow big
- The biggest advantage of growing cucumbers outside compared to in a greenhouse is that your plants (usually) have a lot more room to grow. Of course, this depends on your growing space, but it is absolutely worth mentioning since more room allows the plants to grow bigger and (potentially) produce more fruit within a shorter period. Just keep in mind that cucumber plants can get very tall (if you use a trellis), which can make it hard to reach some of the fruit. I share some ways to keep cucumber plants from getting too tall on this link.
- It can be easier to set up a trellis
- Since there is usually more room outside than in a greenhouse, it can be a lot easier to set up a trellis for your cucumbers outside. Cucumbers don’t necessarily need a trellis to grow, but there are several advantages to using one. You can read more about that in this article.
- Better airflow than in a greenhouse
- Since there is usually more room around the plants outside compared to in a greenhouse, the air is able to flow a lot better around and between the plants and their leaves. Good airflow significantly reduces the risk of mold and other problems. A trellis can also be used to improve airflow but if you prefer not to use one, I recommend that you read this article for some tips.
Regardless if you end up growing your cucumbers in a greenhouse or outside, you should grow them in the right type of soil since that can make a huge difference in how well the plants grow and how much fruit they produce. I have a guide on how to make the best soil mix, how to check if the soil you have is good enough, and how to improve it if it isn’t. You can find the guide on this link.