You can totally start the cucurbit family plants inside. You don’t have to – but you can. I do it all the time.
Here are the tricks for starting any cucurbits under lights where slugs won’t eat them the minute they germinate:
- Start them in a generous sized pot or soil block. A 2-inch pot for cucumbers is good. Larger seed? Larger pot.
- Seed them about 3 weeks before you’d direct sow them. Don’t push it. These are fast growing plants and what you really don’t want is for them to get root bound before you can transplant them out.
- Transplant out into pre-warmed soil (pin down black plastic for a month or two before you plant) if possible.
- Transplant before they are even thinking of being root bound. You want a cucumber plant that is just rooted enough that the soil ball barely hangs together when you tip the plant out to transplant.
- Be gentle.
How To Grow Cucumbers in the Pacific Northwest (coming soon!)