Cucumbers in raised beds: planting, varieties & companions


For many years now, I have been growing various vegetables as a hobby in my spare time, which is what ultimately led me to studying horticulture. I find it fascinating to watch as plants grow from seed to fruit and to then finally be able to make use of the literal fruits of my labour.

Favourite fruit: Strawberries and cherries
Favourite vegetable: Potatoes, tomatoes and garlic

Raised beds make gardening easy and enjoyable. Cucumbers are an excellent veggie to grow in raised beds along with a wide variety of others.

brick raised garden bed for cucumbers
Cucumbers grow well trailing in raised beds [Photo: vaivirga/]

Read on to find out how to grow cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) in raised beds, which cucumber varieties are suitable for planting in raised beds, and which companion plants you can plant alongside them.

Planting cucumbers in raised beds: soil & location

Before planting cucumbers, make sure you know which requirements the cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae) have for soil and location as well as plant care. Cucumbers are heavy feeders, so you will need to improve the soil beforehand because they need a lot of nutrients. You may have already filled your raised bed with loose, nutrient-rich potting soil, but if you need to replenish it, our Plantura Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost is a great choice. This substrate is ideal for all types of vegetables and provides heavy feeders with all the nutrients they need.

Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
Organic Tomato & Vegetable Compost, 40L
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  • Perfect for tomatoes & other vegetables such as chillies, courgettes & more
  • For strong & healthy plant growth as well as an abundant vegetable harvest
  • Peat-free & organic soil: CO2-saving composition

Place the raised bed in a sunny, warm and sheltered spot, as cucumber plants thrive in these conditions. Check out our other article for an in-depth guide to planting cucumbers.

Suitable varieties

While you can only grow outdoor cucumber types in raised beds, keep in mind that some varieties are more robust and better suited to outdoor conditions. Certain gherkins and mini cucumbers, for example, do very well. These are our favourite cucumber varieties for raised beds:


  • ˈLiefjeˈ: aromatic gherkin with long growing period, good leaf health and shiny, dark skin with some warts
  • ˈHokusˈ: resilient to powdery mildew, very tasty fruits with prickly skin
  • ˈVorgebirgstraubenˈ: produces many small, dark green fruits, popular among hobby gardeners
basket of freshly harvested gherkins
Once you have harvested enough gherkins, you can pickle them [Photo: vaivirga/]

Ridge cucumbers

  • ˈPersikaˈ: high yields of mainly non-bitter, smooth-skinned fruit about 20 cm long
  • ˈTanjaˈ: high-yielding variety with slightly thorny, slender fruit, not bitter and about 20 – 25 cm long
  • ˈSonjaˈ: robust and healthy variety that produces non-bitter, dark green fruits about 35 cm long
  • ˈBonoˈ: old outdoor cucumber variety with aromatic, large and mostly smooth fruits
  • ˈMarketmore 76ˈ: slicing cucumber with rich yields of aromatic, non-bitter fruits with a small seed centre and firm flesh. Resilient to both powdery and downy mildew, scab (Cladosporium cucumerinum) and cucumber mosaic virus
smooth cucumbers hanging from plant
Cucumber varieties come with either smooth or prickly skin [Photo: Cineberg/]

Long cucumbers

  • ˈGerganaˈ: bountiful variety of crunchy, tasty long cucumbers, tastes best when harvested young

Baby cucumbers

  • ˈBeth Alphaˈ: early to mid-early variety with high yields of crunchy, non-bitter, slightly sweet cucumbers with smooth skin, about 13 – 15 cm long
  • ˈLimonaˈ: popular, fruitful cucumber variety with many oval fruits, 6 to 8 cm. Sweet flesh with mild skin, ripe fruits turn lemon yellow. Take a closer look at the lemon cucumber here
  • ˈLa Divaˈ: smooth, tasty fruits with a nice shape about 20 cm long. Grows vigorously and healthy with a late development period, resilient to powdery mildew
round yellow cucumbers with prickles
The cucumber variety ˈLimonaˈ has an unusual shape [Photo: Max_555/]

How to grow cucumbers in a raised bed

If you have raised seedlings, plant them in the bed from mid-May, after the last frost. To encourage lateral root growth, plant them a little deeper or mounded – unless they are grafted cucumbers. If this is the case, keep the grafting point above ground. Space cucumber plants in raised beds about 100 x 40 cm apart.

If you want to sow your cucumbers outdoors, wait until mid-May. Sow them about 2 cm deep, space them as above and keep them moist. To protect them from low temperatures, place a fleece over the raised bed.

For further care, bear in mind that cucumbers are heavy feeders and require a lot of nutrients. Learn how to fertilise cucumbers and produce higher yields in our other article. Also, you may need to prune cucumbers if they start taking up too much space. Pruning also helps prevent diseases and benefits the harvest. Spread a layer of mulch so that the fruit does not lie directly on the soil and become mouldy, especially when it rains.

Tip: find out how to identify and treat cucumber diseases in our comprehensive article.

Supporting cucumbers in raised beds

Since raised beds are usually the ideal height for comfortable gardening, you will probably not need a trellis for your cucumbers and it may even obstruct the harvest. You can simply let the plants creep along the soil. If tendrils start growing over the bed’s edge and on to the ground, gently direct them back into the bed, as snails may climb up them otherwise.

cucumber trellis in raised bed
Use wire trellises to grow cucumbers on an angle in a raised bed [Photo: Ryan R Fox/]

Still, cucumber trellises in raised beds can be useful, when placed well. Between two beds, create an archway you can pass under. That way, you can harvest the hanging cucumbers more easily while adding charm to your garden with a flourishing arch.

Companion plants for cucumbers in raised beds

Cucumbers and dill (Anethum graveolens) are known for being a good match in the kitchen and they get along well in the vegetable patch, too. Borage (Borago officinalis), dwarf beans (Phaseolus vulgaris var. nanus) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) as well as peas (Pisum sativum) are also suitable companion plants for cucumbers. Avoid growing cucumbers with tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) or peppers (Capsicum), as they are all heavy feeders and may compete for space and nutrients. Strawberries (Fragaria) are also popular in raised beds and tend to be neutral companions, neither particularly beneficial nor harmful to cucumbers. Find more detailed information on good companions for cucumbers here.

Suitable companions for cucumbers in raised beds:

  • Dill
  • Borage
  • Dwarf beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peas

Unsuitable companions for cucumbers in raised beds:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
dill and cucumber plant growing together
Dill and cucumbers grow happily together in raised beds [Photo: Anna Hoychuk/]

If you have had a lot of luck growing cucumbers in your raised bed but do not know what to do with all the fruit, check out our article on how to preserve cucumbers.