Growing Armenian Cucumbers In A Window Box
No Space For A Garden? No Problem!
If you think you have no space for a vegetable garden, think again. A spot big enough outside to hold a window box or a 10" pot -- can be a spot to grow vegetables, no problem!
I grow a full range of edible veggies including Armenian Cucumbers on the balcony of a second story apartment building.
Armenian Cucumbers are mild vegetables with a soft outer skin on them that are light green in color. The interior is a whitish green. Their exteriors have fancy ridges on them that are really attractive as is and when sliced for serving. There is no thick peeling to deal with. Just pick, rinse, and slice. These crisp cucumbers are very mild on the digestive system.
Armenian Cucumbers do well in most areas. They are very hardy plants. Planted from seed the last time I did this project, the seedlings were started in a tiny seedling tray with peat moss. When they were about 3 inches tall I moved them to a window box. I just set in pre-grown Armenian Cucumber starter plants about the same size as that original planting. I am so excited to have these planted again!
All Images: M Burgess unless otherwise noted
Armenian Cucumber - Fully Grown
Window Boxes For Container Gardens - For Outdoor Gardening
Window box containers can be used for growing shallow root system plants. Herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flower plants you want to restrict the growth on can find a window box an adequate home. Window boxes are about 8" wide and 18" long. With them I layer my container garden as the upper tier for decorative and edible plants. The depth of a window box is sufficient enough to grow seedlings you can transplant later if you like or leave them growing in the window box interior. Strawberries do well here and so do some vine growing plants such as cucumbers and cantaloupe.
A window box can be used to do a Bonsai growing effect on a plant you want to be small. It can hold teacup roses and other pretty flower plants or grow you some small onions for onion chives. Be creative with them! They are light weight even when filled with all the dirt you can stuff in them. You can move these container planters easily if it is in the wrong light area or you want to bring them in and protect them from inclement weather situations such as high heat, extreme winter cold, high winds, or heavy rain.
Bonsai is the art of reducing a plant to miniature size. You can apply the Bonsai technique to any plant to retard its growth and care for it as a miniature addition to your garden.
This little manual on window box gardening will give you a more extensive look at using window boxes for planting. Great library selection or gift for your favorite gardening friend!
Terra Cotta window boxes are very sturdy and the red clay color is a handsome addition to your garden. Showcase your favorites in Terra Cotta Style!
My Green Thumb
And Container Gardening
This will be the third season for my green thumb and all of my edible treasures since I moved back to Las Vegas. Where I lived before I had a huge garden that covered about 1/16th of an acre. 2010 was the beginning of my Vegas container gardens where I restarted my love for gardening.
I planted my first garden here in pots off to the side of my landlord's home. She had a very neatly manicured yard and I didn't want to disturb her landscaping with my stuff. When I moved, the container garden moved with me to my little apartment. I couldn't leave my plant babies behind! I consider plants pets.
My last set of Armenian Cucumbers grew some really flavorful produce for me but I scared it when I moved it. With 6 vines growing in a window box and carefully wrapped around 3 tomato cages, it was a little top heavy and I accidentally tipped it over on moving day. This exposed the root base and it eventually faded away after the move. That plant is the one behind the angel in the picture.
I really loved that plant and I wanted to repeat that success again this year.
The Best Armenian Cucumber Seeds
Heirloom Seeds & Seedlings
The best Armenian Cucumber plants come from heirloom seeds and starter plants.
As shown in the image, the ideal spacing for an Armenian Cucumber in a container garden is one plant per about 4" in a window box container. With this year's planting I installed 5 plants. My last one I believe had 6 plants in it. These starts are tiny 3" plants that I bought at the plant nursery.
Try to avoid hybrid seeds and plants as much as possible. They do produce wonderfully but they are not ideal if you want to cultivate plants for produce and seeds..
In time these babies will start pushing forth beautiful yellow flowers that will turn into tasty cucs!
Armenian Cucumber Blossoms
Heirloom Armenian Cucumber Seeds - Order Direct From Amazon
Heirloom seeds have been carefully protected from cross-pollination and tended skillfully. They have been passed down from generation to generation. Heirloom seeds produce wonderful plants and produce. Ideally these are the best seeds you can use but you may use any seed you wish for your container garden.
Crazy Cucumber Videos - Dancing Their Way Around The Garden
Time lapse photography produced some wild action with these crazy cucumbers videos documenting their growth in slow motion and fast forward. They do grow quickly and it is fun to watch these little monsters as they strive to take over anything in their path! The videos describe them as dancing and when set to music it seems that they really do boogie!
This Week's Gardening Headlines - May 20th, 2013 - Armenian Cucumber Threatens Strawberry Plant
You can see how prolific the vines on these Armenian Cucumbers are. This week I had to fight back their growth and nestle them securely back on their side of the porch. I found one vine had wrapped around my pepper plant while this other one is threatening my strawberry plant!
They really are little monsters and I love to walk out and find them up to no good...
The week has been good to my little plants. As you can see in the picture there are buds arriving and blooms showing so it is only a matter of time before I can shoot images of the vegetables developing. These plants are a lot of fun and I highly recommend them for any garden.
Jiffy Pot - Peat Moss Nurseries - For Starting Seedlings
The Jiffy peat moss pot is one of the greatest things to happen for seeds since rain!
A nursery flat will hold a lot of seedlings (72!) so carefully select how many you actually need before you plant a ton of veggies and end up having to ditch some tender babies. You want to keep them all but sometimes that is not possible. You will have to thin out the seedlings when they "hatch" so plant only 3 cucumber seeds per peat moss pot. In time the strongest seedling will win out and tower over its weaker siblings. For really tiny seeds add 7 to 11 per peat pot. With larger seeds adding one or two will be adequate.
Pull the pot apart slightly when planting to give the roots room to spread out. When planting in your container make sure you plant the starter with the new soil matching the level for the peat pot. Spread a little bit of soil over the top of the starter pot. If you bury it too deep it may disturb its growth cycle. Level the plant in the area you are placing it permanently.
This miniature Jiffy Peat Pot nursery / greenhouse comes with plenty of peat moss pots to start a small jungle. This is a wonderful system for planting seeds and it is fun to watch them grow. It would be a great kid's project!
Jiffy Pot Greenhouse Nursery - Sprouting Indoors
Like I said, I don't have much room, but you don't need a huge plot to start a few seeds. This is my Jiffy Pot nursery in action. It is in my living room at the moment and I am anxiously awaiting the new plant babies to show their faces and introduce themselves!
This is the best way I know to start new, healthy plants for gardening. In the Jiffy pot, peat moss is packed into biodegradable fabric that in time will allow the roots to push through and set. Simply take them out of the nursery when they have real leaves showing and set them in another container or in your garden area. Cover the peat moss pot with soil over the top a bit and you have a new planting!
Jiffy Pot Plant Nursery Tray - Week One
Armenian Cucumbers Need To Climb
These Plants Are Leggy Vines
The last window box container I had with Armenian Cucumbers started to vine its way out of the window box container so I set tomato cages to give it room to reach out. You can tell in the image that they are full sun lovers as most of this plants leaves are reaching for exposure to direct sunlight. The plant crawled out to where it could access it better.
We need to train these reaching plants. There are stringers that develop as the plant grows and these reach out for anything they can get a hold on so they can climb up and branch out. They will attach themselves to anything in reach so be aware of that. They will choke out another plant near them so you have to make them behave!
The one tomato cage became two. Then three cages. I nipped the top bud off of them to keep them in their harness. Tie the tomato cages together with a wire or twine to keep them from tipping over. We already know what happens if you lay a window box over. If you see reaching tendrils, poke them gently back down into their allotted area and let them settle back in.
To get seeds from an Armenian Cucumber, leave a few cucumbers on the vine and let them go beyond the ripe stage for eating. Once the sides of the cucs start to burst with cracks in them, they should be ready to dry and harvest the seeds from. This is a great way to have seeds for the next season. This does not apply to hybrid plants. Once you get one season out of a hybrid it will not produce seeds that are productive.
Tomato Cages - & Trellis Supports
Tomato cages are what I use to support tomatoes, pepper, and anything else that may need to be contained. They will help support the plant when the fruit comes in. As the veggie or fruit matures it gets heavy and your plant will appreciate having something to lean on. You may want to try out a trellis or an A Frame support for your plants instead.
I like using them in different ways. i don't always set them up straight. Sometimes I lean them sideways for an odd effect in my little garden. I do this in my large containers so I have room to place a window box on the back and it gives me an extra tier in the garden.
Spiral tomato cages are coated in a special resin to protect them from the elements.
If you have room for a trellis, a vine growing plant will love this!
Set this over your window box cucumber or cantaloupe and watch it turn into a leafy tent. The fruit will hang under the frame for easy picking!
Armenian Cucs - 6 Weeks From Planting
The Armenian Cucumbers are moving right along in the window box. Although they prefer the fall weather I set them in spring to help them get established through the warm months. They have a lot of stretching to do! This is an image of them at 6 weeks from the planting. The tallest vine so far is about 10" in height. I will be transplanting the weakling in the left corner to help it along.
Cucumber Window Box - 10 Weeks In
From here the vines on the cucumbers will continue to reach and grow and fill in the tomato cage with their leggy appendages. This is how tall they have gotten at 10 weeks since the transplanting from starter pot to window box. They are producing stringers and flowers at this stage of development.
Already the vine is putting forth multiple blossoms and I may have to pinch off some of them so the plants can focus their energies on feeding just one or two of the cucumbers. I will have to place loosely tied cotton strings on parts of the vines to help them support the fruit and keep it off of the soil so it will not rot.
You can see the drip irrigation system I installed to help me with my watering chores. (That is my arm in the photo holding back the pepper plant so I could get a decent image for you!)
I think they are happy but they are getting a bit unruly!
Dedicated to my Mother and my Aunt who showed me how to grow vegetables in the desert.
When I first learned of these cucumbers these sisters managed to grow them so big that we called them Fred Flintstone Clubs.
Thank you ladies for instilling the desire to garden!
The Images And Author
RiaB Uses A Nikon COOLPIX L26
All of the images on this page (except where noted) were shot by RiaB (M Burgess) using the It is an amazing piece of equipment! This camera comes with all the features you would expect from a more expensive model. I enjoy taking photos and even shooting amature videos with it. The settings take you anywhere from a wild sports scene to a simple, sweet portrait. Play with the options and gather some great memories with this fabulous camera! Nikon COOLPIX L26 16.1 MP Digital Camera.
The Armenian Cucumber is an easy to grow veggie and it is a fun plant to take care of. In its life over the season it will grow beautiful leaves and flowers and give you fits as you try to get it to behave and stay in its section of your garden. Its ok if they misbehave because what they give in return is very tasty!
Thanks for walking through some of my garden with me today! Check back often as I update the photos for this particular planting!
Have a wonderful day!
Updated: May 22, 2013 - I have multiple flowers on the vines and a multitude of stringers to accompany the blossoms. The cucumbers should show their faces this next week!