How to Grow Cucumbers in the Coastal Bend - The Bend Magazine

How to Grow Cucumbers in the Coastal Bend

Tips for growing cucumbers in the Coastal Bend and an easy-to-follow recipe for dill pickles.

how to grow cucumbers in the Coastal Bend

There is nothing quite like a fresh salad with crisp cucumbers cut from the vines in your garden. Cucumbers are refreshing ingredients for adding texture to salads and sandwiches, and are great for mixing in smoothies and infusing water. At our house, we like to grow cucumbers for both salads and canning jars of pickles. 

Our favorite is the Boston Pickling variety, available online from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. The Straight 8 is an English cucumber, perfect for salads and found at many local nurseries in the Coastal Bend. Here are tips for how to grow cucumbers in the Coastal Bend. 

Gardener’s Notes 


Now that it’s May, you’ll be looking for transplants at your local nursery that can go straight into the garden. Make sure the soil is loose and drains well. Add compost to your beds and give the plants a boost by adding fertilizer; we prefer Medina Growin’ Green 3-2-3. Separate the plants evenly at approximately 18 inches and use a soaker hose to water them in. Consider attracting birds to your garden for natural pest control.


Cucumbers are a vine crop, so plant in full sun beneath a trellis or post with wire. Give the vine plenty of room to run; at least 6 feet. When it’s time to harvest at approximately 60 days, the fruit should be green. If the fruit is orange, it has overripened and surpassed the optimum time to harvest the best flavor. Keep a close eye out, because this fruit will do its best to hide from you.


A jar of pickles can be more than just a fun gift for any occasion. Perfect your recipe and enter your pickles into competitive homemaker shows or county fairs — there are plenty out there. I am proud to say my family took second place in 2022 at the State Fair of Texas with our spicy pickles! If you’re interested in participating, sign up for their newsletter and look to submit your entry sometime in July.

Easy-to-Follow Recipe for Dill Pickles 

All you need are mason jars with lids, a pan for brine and a large pot.


Water, distilled white vinegar, pickling salt, cucumbers, fresh garlic, fresh dill, peppers and whole peppercorns

  • Sanitize jars and lids in boiling water
  • Chop off the ends and then slice cucumbers lengthwise to make four spears. The size of the jar used will determine how many cucumbers are needed.
  • Mix and boil 3 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar and 1/4 cup pickling salt to make brine.
  • Tightly pack the cucumbers, dill, 2 cloves of garlic, peppers and whole peppercorns.
  • Add the brine to the jar, leaving approximately 1/2” of space between the brine and the lid. 
  • Clean off any debris from the mouth of the jar to ensure a good seal with the lid.
  • Hand-tighten the lid of the jar with the ring. Set out in a cool, dry place and listen for the popping sound of the lid sealing into place.

There is no need to refrigerate these canned pickles. Store them in the cupboard and enjoy them months or years later.