A lettuce, tomato and English cucumber sandwich with a touch of mayo is one of my favourite snacks that I enjoy in the summer with a glass of cold lemonade.
Growing cucumbers indoors along with the other two veggies will provide a great way of having home grown veggies all year long.
If you grow cucumbers indoors as opposed to outdoors you have the advantage of not worrying about bugs or mildew problems. So this is how I will be setting up my hydroponic system this year.
How to grow cucumbers indoors, using a homemade hydroponics system
Making your own hydroponics system is quite easy and a lot of fun for the whole family. This method of growing cucumber indoors from seed can be used to grow your tomatoes as well.
In fact I have designed it for only two net pots one will have the cucumber and the other will have yellow tomatoes. I have never had a yellow tomato before so I thought I would try them on the advice of a person picking up seeds. I saw them pick up the yellow tomatoes and asked them what they were like; I got a one word response “delicious”.
They then went on to say they liked them better than the red ones. So that was good enough for me to give it try.
If you have landed on this page through a search engine and you don’t know much about hydroponics I would recommend taking a look at the following pages:
This will give you the basic idea of what I am going to do.
I am going to use the Kratky method along with an air pump and stone to make it almost maintenance free.
With the Kratky method you allows the water level to drop as the plants use up the water, they then develop hair like roots that absorb the oxygen they require from between the water/nutrient level and the net pot.
The reason for only two plants in this tote is so the water won’t be used up before harvest. I have added the pump and air stone in case I need to add a little water at end, so the plants won’t drown.
What size container should I use?
For this hydroponic system I am using a 10 gallon tote filled with water up to a half inch above the bottom of the net pot, in my case it worked out to be 8 gallons. You need to know how much water is in the tote for adding the right amount of nutrients formula to the water.
I cut three and a half inch holes for the three and three quarter inch net pots I used. I cut the holes towards the back so that I can use a trellis arrangement to support the cucumber plants as they grow. Cucumbers can grow as much as six feet or more because of this it makes it difficult to provide the grow lighting to cover that length.
I decided to put the trellis at a 45 degree angle and suspend the grow lighting at a 45 degree angle. The grow lighting I used can be found In any hardware store. You can use either a T8 or T12 – 48 inch florescent fixture with a couple of grow light florescent tubes. You will also need to add a timer for the lighting. I have it set to ON at 6 am and OFF at 11 pm. The room is dark by then so the plants can get their beauty sleep and grow.
The front net pot in the photo has a couple of cucumbers in it that I grew from seed. I used the peat pots to germinate them until I got the the first leaves, then transplanted them to the net pot when I saw the main leaf starting to grow. I cleaned the peat from roots in a bucket of water before inserting them into the net pot.
The cucumber did not go into shock after transplanting which was surprising. I also cut a little less than half off each baby leaf this will allow them to concentrate on their roots. The photo was taken three days later and I can almost see the plants growing they’re doing so well.
Yellow Pearshaped Tomatoes
The second net pot that looks empty is not empty but contains the Yellow Pearshaped Tomatoes. I put just enough clay pebbles in the bottom of the net pot to absorb the water and sprinkled the seeds on top but not in the water, then I added a few more clay pebbles on top. The tomatoes take seven to fourteen days to germinate so we will see what happens next week. There are many ways to germinate seeds this is just one method I have used before that worked for me. You can also use peat pellets or Rockwool.
Why did I put my trellis at 45 degrees?
This is not only for the grow lighting but (drum roll please) it is so that the cucumbers can hang down from the underside of the trellis which encourages them to grow straight. I made my trellis out of twine wrapped around screws placed 3 inches apart
It snowed today but the plants are nice and warm because I’m growing cucumbers indoors, how about you? Give it a try!
Leave a comment below If you have questions. I will do the best I can to help.