If you are interested in getting as many cucumbers from your cucumber plants as possible, you have come to the right place. I have been growing cucumbers for a while and I have some specific tips for you that you can use to maximize the yield from your plants.
The best way to maximize the yield from cucumber plants is to grow them in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil in a spot where they can get 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day.
If you can achieve this, you’re off to a great start but there are a couple of other things you should also do. That’s why I will be sharing eight simple but extremely effective tricks in this article which I use every year to get as many cucumbers from my plants as possible. I also get into what you should expect in terms of yield from your cucumber plants.
How to Maximize the Yield From a Cucumber Plant (8 Tips)
I do the following eight things every year when I grow cucumbers since I have found that they all contribute to better-growing and more productive plants. Read through them and try the ones that make sense for you. They are all easy to apply and can lead to excellent results.
1. Cucumber plants need 6-8 hours of sunlight per day
Getting a sufficient amount of sunlight is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to maximizing the yield from cucumber plants.
Cucumber plants need 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. More than that can sometimes be fine but too much will cause the plants to wilt and get scorched. Too little sun will cause the plants to grow and produce fruit much slower and in much smaller quantities than otherwise.
If your cucumber plants get a lot less sunlight than those 6-8 hours, they might not grow at all. Keep in mind, though, that there are several other potential causes if your cucumbers aren’t growing. You can read more about that on this link.
2. Space your cucumbers 3-4 feet apart for the best yield
Cucumber plants can take up a lot of space but will usually also produce more fruit, the larger they are. That’s why it is important to provide them with the space they need, which might be more than you expect.
A good rule of thumb is to space cucumber plants 3-4 feet apart or 1 foot apart if grown in a row on a trellis with 3-4 feet between rows. For potted cucumber plants, it is best to use a pot that is 12 inches (30 cm) or more in both width and depth.
It is important to mention that space requirements depend on the variety so the most reliable way to figure out how much space your specific cucumber plants need is to read on the seed packet.
It might seem like a lot of space and it can be tempting to plant them closer. Sure, you can plant them a bit closer, but in my experience, it doesn’t lead to more fruit. Instead, you will most likely get the same amount of fruit split between more plants. That’s mostly because they will block sunlight from each other and prevent the roots from growing as much as they would otherwise.
There are other, more serious, consequences of not giving your plants enough space. If you’re interested in learning about that, you can read about it on this link.
3. Grow your cucumber plants on a trellis to maximize production
By using a trellis for your cucumber plants, you can fit a lot more plants into the same space. This makes using a trellis one of the best ways to maximize the number of cucumbers you get from your garden.
Increasing the yield is certainly a great advantage, but there are actually also several other advantages to using a trellis for your cucumber plants. A simple trellis like mine in the photo above works wonders. You can read all about these advantages in the article on this link where I also share my opinion on various types of trellises.
4. Harvest your cucumbers often for the highest yield
A question I have often been asked is whether it is time to harvest cucumbers or not. My answer is almost always the same. If the fruit is anywhere close to its full size, which you can find on the seed packet, pick it.
In fact, picking the fruit from your cucumber plants allow the plants to focus on producing new fruit. That’s why harvesting often is one of the best ways to maximize the yield compared to letting the fruit stay on the plant for a long time.
If you leave the fruit on the plant for too long, it will actually cause the plant to stop producing any new fruit. The short version of why that happens is that the plant’s goal is to reproduce, which means produce seeds, so once a fruit matures fully, the plant is done and will stop.
5. Keep Your Cucumber Plants’ Soil Consistently Moist
Cucumbers consist almost entirely of water which, naturally, means that you have to give the plants a lot of water. This is especially true if your cucumber plants are getting a lot of sunlight since that makes them consume more water.
Watering cucumbers is all about finding the right balance but if you do find that balance, you will be rewarded with bountiful harvests.
Too little water and your cucumbers will become underdeveloped and you won’t get nearly as much fruit as otherwise. Too much water can certainly also be an issue, though, as it can lead to the development of mold and increase the risk of pests and diseases.
If you are growing cucumbers in pots and want an easy trick that can make watering a lot easier and actually also boost production, I recommend that you read the article on this link.
6. Grow your cucumbers in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil
A lot of people underestimate the importance of good soil in the garden and so did I when I first started gardening. The simple fact, however, is that proper soil is crucial for your plants and the better the soil is, the better our plants will grow and the more fruit they will produce.
Cucumber plants grow best and produce the most fruit in slightly acidic, nutrient-rich soil with high amounts of organic matter and some sand to improve drainage.
I explain everything you need to know about how to get the best soil for your cucumber plants including how to improve the soil you have in the article on this link. In my experience, getting good soil is one of the best investments you can make in your garden.
7. Add a layer of mulch on the soil around your cucumber plants
Mulch serves multiple purposes in the garden. It helps provide nutrients to the soil as it breaks down over time and it helps retain moisture in the soil for longer by preventing the water from evaporating as fast as it would otherwise.
Both of these contribute to healthier soil which leads to better-growing cucumber plants that produce more fruit.
I have been using wood chippings as mulch for my cucumbers for several years and have seen excellent results. You can see how I spread it all over the solid around two of my cucumber plants in the photo above.
8. Pick a prolific variety to get a higher yield
There are a lot of different cucumber varieties with different appearances and flavors. In my opinion, the most important thing to consider when picking a variety is to consider what you would actually enjoy eating. That said, variety plays a huge role when it comes to the overall yield from the plant.
Here are some examples of prolific cucumber varieties that will reward you with a lot of fruit if you take good care of them.
- Bush Champion
- Boston Pickling
- Marketmore 76
- Lemon Cucumber
- Burpless Bush
I will get into just how many cucumbers you should expect from your plants now.
Here Is How Many Cucumbers You Can Expect From One Plant
I have read a lot of different sources that stated that you could get anywhere between 10-50 cucumbers from a single plant, so what exactly is the truth?
In my experience, the truth is somewhere in between but certainly closer to those 50 than the 10 if you follow all the tips I have shared in this article.
The amount of cucumbers you get per plant (and the size of the cucumbers) depends heavily on the growing conditions and how well you take care of them. So if you live in a place that gets a lot of sunlight, the best thing you can do is follow the eight tips I shared in this article.