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Growing DWC Cucumbers

I am Growing DWC Cucumbers and will show you how you can grow hydroponic cucumbers too.

Take a look at these roots on a 30-day old cucumber plant grown in deep water culture.

Growing DWC Cucumbers

Growing DWC Cucumbers Indoors Under Lights

Before you can start growing cucumbers indoors you will need adequate lighting. Cucumbers are light-loving plants.

If you have a patio that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day you can grow them there but that garden will be a seasonal one.

But if you want to grow cucumbers indoors it will have to be under lights. A full spectrum LED is the best choice.

I am using a Spider Farmer SF 2000 in this grow with cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. They all do great under it.

This light is reasonably priced and offers you low energy use with high efficiency.

It can cover a 2 foot by 4-foot area. Larger sizes are available but this should work for most of you.

Here is an article on building  Bubble Buckets another name for a DWC bucket system Bubble Bucket Hydroponics [ Supercharge Your Growth ] (indoorvegetablegrower.com)

Here is an article about DWC tomatoes but it applies to setting up DWC cucumbers too. DWC Tomatoes Easy Deep Water Culture Setup (indoorvegetablegrower.com)

Choosing Hydroponic Cucumber Varieties

Choosing the right cucumber varieties will be crucial for your success. Cucumbers naturally grow as a vining plant and can take up a lot of space.

In a greenhouse, they can be trained up towards the ceiling and this works well.

But growing tall cucumbers in an apartment may not be ideal. Luckily breeders have developed bush cucumber varieties.

I am growing the Burpee Bush Champion Slicing Cucumber. They are strong healthy plants and their size can be controlled easily.

They make short vines and can be contained within a 2 by 2 space. They also can bear 8-12″ cukes. Get them here on Amazon. 

There may be other good bush cucumber varieties but I know this one works in DWC.

Burpee Bush Champion Cucumber

Trellising DWC Cucumbers Indoors

No matter what variety of cucumbers you choose you will need to provide a trellis.

The Bush Champion cucumber only gets about six inches tall but it will get 2 feet wide. And you will want to hold the fruit up.

Using A Horizontal Trellis

I am using a 2-foot x 4-foot horizontal trellis and training the vides around the edges. If height is an issue this may work well for you.

It also is supporting a bush Early Girl tomato and a Bush Belle pepper plant. All are from Burpee Seeds.

Using A Vertical Trellis

A vertical trellis may work better for you if floor space is limited. By going up instead of out space can be saved.

You can train your vines with netting hung on the wall. The vines have tendrils that will latch onto the netting but you may also need to tie the vines up too.

In a commercial greenhouse, vines are often grown along a string attached near the ceiling because working through a trellis can make harvest difficult.

This should not be a problem when growing cucumbers in an apartment but it is when harvesting a large crop in a greenhouse.

The important point here is your vines will need some form of support. So just make sure you can provide it.

DWC Hydroponic Cucumber Fertilizer

In deep water culture, your roots are suspended in a nutrient solution 24/7. There is no soil in this system to supply nutrients.

So it is important to use a complete hydroponic fertilizer that will supply all your plant’s needs.

Because there is no soil, there is no buffering capacity meaning everything in this solution is in an available form.

So we will use less plant food than if we were growing in soil or coco coir. You should have a TDS meter and a pH pen to measure it.

Hydroponic nutrients are often called salts. They are made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium chemical salts along with important minerals.

You should not use organic fertilizers in deep water culture because they can cause unwanted bacterial growth in your bucket.

This can result in a root rot called Pythium so it is best to run a sterile or near sterile nutrient solution to keep your roots healthy.

Additionally, you want nutrients that are designed for recirculating hydroponic systems and DWC.

I like to use House And Garden Aqua flakes. It is a 2 part base nutrient and works very well. Here is a link to Amazon.

The nice thing about Aqua Flakes is one ml of bottle A and 1 ml of bottle B together comes to 100 ppm per gallon.

This makes measuring nutrient strength really easy to calculate. 

Nutrient Strength

As I said before you will use a lower nutrient strength growing cucumbers in DWC. I run my nutrient solution at 6-700 ppm.

This is one situation where less is more. You don’t want to burn your plants. Remember everything is instantly available to the roots.

Water Temperature In DWC

Your water temperature is very important when growing in DWC. Colder water can hold more oxygen than warm water.

You need proper oxygen levels in the root zone to keep plants healthy. 68 degrees is considered optimal for DWC.

Really cold water can shock your roots and warm water can cause Pythium root rot which can kill your plants if not corrected.

Above 72 degrees you can have problems with root disease so try to keep your water cooler than that.

You can use a product called UC Roots to protect your plants. Prevention is the best cure.

But I would strongly recommend using this product if temperatures get above 70 degrees.

Growing DWC Cucumbers In My Kitchen

Today is day 40 for my Bush Champion cucumbers. Not bad growth considering they were set in as a small seedling with only the first 2 true leaves.

I have 3 vines so far. There should be flowers pretty soon. This cucumber plant makes really large leaves that hide the young vines at first.

Growing DWC Cucumbers In My Kitchen