Aquaponics Blog Posts

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How to grow cucumbers in small spaces

March 19, 20245 min read

Candy the Aquaponics Lady

How to Grow Cucumbers in Small Spaces

Have you every just wanted to grow cucumbers and thought 'this should be easy', but turned out they didn't grow so well?

I'm going to put my hand up and say... I thought this too, and I missed a couple of things.

It also varies on your location, make sure that they are actually in season, but let's have a look at what they NEED to grow well.

What Cucumbers Need to Grow Well

  1. Cucumbers need full sun. I know this sounds simple, and we can often look at our yard at one time and say, 'yep, sunlight. Check'. But how long does this area get direct sunlight for?

    They need around 6 hours of full sun per day.

  2. Lots of water.

    Unlike most plants, cucumbers need lots of water, an obscene amount. In some areas, this can mean watering them twice a day, especially in hot and humid areas.

    Personally, this is why I love aquaponics, as the cucumbers have constant water (and fertiliser) to support their growing. I grew cucumbers in my aquaponics system as well as in the soil, and I collected 14+ large cucumbers from the plant in my aquaponics system, and the fruit doubled in size every day, whereas in the soil, with less water and fertiliser, I collected 3 cucumbers. Just saying, it makes a difference!

  3. Stakes, trellis, something to let it climb up.

    A healthy cucumber plant can easily grow higher than 1.5 metres if given the chance, and it will spread out. A single stake may not be enough, so trellis or something similar is good to allow the tundrells to grasp and grow on.

    Cucumbers are a vine, they like to grow vertically, so this is perfect to grow against your fence with some wire, mesh or trellis for it to climb up.

cucumber plant

Parts of the Cucumber Plant

cucumber vine

Cucumbers are vines that grow up (or down), and they have 'runners' branches off the main vine to allow the fruit to grow.

They have tendrils that hold onto stakes, trellis, and other plants ~ their roll is to hold the vine up, preventing it falling in a mess. These tendrils are very strong, to hold the vines and fruit.

male and female cucumber flowers

It is important to know that cucumbers have both male and female flowers.

Typically, the male flowers come first, then the females flowers.

The key to knowing the difference, is that the female flower always has the fruit behind the flower.

The male flower holds the pollen that needs to get into the female flower.

If you don't have many natural pollinators around (bees) then hand pollinating is a good idea.

Without pollination, the fruit will rot, die and fall off when small.

Once your fruit are pollinated, and you get some fruit, sometimes they start to die off... why?

Why is my cucumber plant dying after one lot of fruit?

Things have changed in the gardening world since my grandparents day. They grew their own food, traditional seeds, and then kept the seeds to grow new plant.

These days, we buy seedlings at the store (some of us save our seeds and grow from them), however the seedlings from the store may not be labelled correctly, or the seeds may have been modified from the original local ones.

Why am I saying this?

Because my grandparents grew local, ate local, and always had the seasonal produce at home.

These days, there are many variety of seeds, and they have been engineered to perform in different ways, ways that we don't realise unless we research it.

For instance, why did my cucumber plant fruit once, then die off?

You may think that it you, however it might be the type of seed, and what has been done to it.

This is where understanding determinate and indeterminate plants is important. And cucumber plants can be either, both serving a purpose.

Determinate and Indeterminate

This relates to how long a plant will bare fruit for.

They both have the grow, bloom and fruit cycle about them ~ it is the length of the fruit cycle that is the question.

Determinate plants do this all very quickly. The grow, bloom and fruit quickly, then the plant dies. This may be a fruiting period of 1-2 weeks and that is it.

This is great if you want to get in 'one last quick crop', or you have only a small growing period of time.

Indeterminate however, grows, blooms and fruits throughout an entire season. The fruit will just keep on coming.

When the season changes, then the plant will die.

So, sometimes when a plant dies after a short fruiting period, it might not be you, rather it could be a 'determinate' plant.

For You Visual, on How to Grow Cucumbers, Check Out This Video... and my Second Hand Aquaponics System!


Want to get your Eyes and Hands on the FREE Online Aquaponics Essentials Course?

This is a great free resource to really understand how aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem that will grow your organic food is a productive way.

You learn how all the 'parts' make up the 'whole', and helps to give you the foundations of understanding aquaponics.

Sign up HERE


Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a dedicated aquaponics enthusiast with a wealth of formal training in aquaculture. Over the past 15 years, Candy has been deeply immersed in both commercial and backyard aquaponics, honing her skills and expertise in this sustainable farming method.

Candy's passion lies in making aquaponics accessible to everyone. With a mission to simplify aquaponics, she believes that anyone can embark on this sustainable journey.

She encourages those new to aquaponics to "kick the tires" without a significant financial investment. Her guidance focuses on helping people start their aquaponics journey with small-scale systems, ensuring a low barrier to entry for newcomers.

Candy shares practical tips, step-by-step guides, and personal stories to inspire and guide readers on their aquaponics adventure. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or a curious beginner, Candy Alexander is your go-to source for simplifying aquaponics and fostering a sustainable gardening experience.

blog author image

Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a passionate aquaponics educator who believes in the philosophy of keeping things simple and close to nature. With over 15 years of experience in aquaponics and 4 years of formal training in aquaculture, Candy is determined to help people create sustainable gardening in their urban lifestyle. Additionally, she advocates for the therapeutic benefits of aquaponics, viewing it as a form of garden therapy for mental health. Through her expertise and dedication, Candy strives to make the intricate world of aquaponics accessible to all, fostering both environmental sustainability and personal well-being.

Back to Blog

Gardening Blogs

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How to grow cucumbers in small spaces

March 19, 20245 min read

Candy the Aquaponics Lady

How to Grow Cucumbers in Small Spaces

Have you every just wanted to grow cucumbers and thought 'this should be easy', but turned out they didn't grow so well?

I'm going to put my hand up and say... I thought this too, and I missed a couple of things.

It also varies on your location, make sure that they are actually in season, but let's have a look at what they NEED to grow well.

What Cucumbers Need to Grow Well

  1. Cucumbers need full sun. I know this sounds simple, and we can often look at our yard at one time and say, 'yep, sunlight. Check'. But how long does this area get direct sunlight for?

    They need around 6 hours of full sun per day.

  2. Lots of water.

    Unlike most plants, cucumbers need lots of water, an obscene amount. In some areas, this can mean watering them twice a day, especially in hot and humid areas.

    Personally, this is why I love aquaponics, as the cucumbers have constant water (and fertiliser) to support their growing. I grew cucumbers in my aquaponics system as well as in the soil, and I collected 14+ large cucumbers from the plant in my aquaponics system, and the fruit doubled in size every day, whereas in the soil, with less water and fertiliser, I collected 3 cucumbers. Just saying, it makes a difference!

  3. Stakes, trellis, something to let it climb up.

    A healthy cucumber plant can easily grow higher than 1.5 metres if given the chance, and it will spread out. A single stake may not be enough, so trellis or something similar is good to allow the tundrells to grasp and grow on.

    Cucumbers are a vine, they like to grow vertically, so this is perfect to grow against your fence with some wire, mesh or trellis for it to climb up.

cucumber plant

Parts of the Cucumber Plant

cucumber vine

Cucumbers are vines that grow up (or down), and they have 'runners' branches off the main vine to allow the fruit to grow.

They have tendrils that hold onto stakes, trellis, and other plants ~ their roll is to hold the vine up, preventing it falling in a mess. These tendrils are very strong, to hold the vines and fruit.

male and female cucumber flowers

It is important to know that cucumbers have both male and female flowers.

Typically, the male flowers come first, then the females flowers.

The key to knowing the difference, is that the female flower always has the fruit behind the flower.

The male flower holds the pollen that needs to get into the female flower.

If you don't have many natural pollinators around (bees) then hand pollinating is a good idea.

Without pollination, the fruit will rot, die and fall off when small.

Once your fruit are pollinated, and you get some fruit, sometimes they start to die off... why?

Why is my cucumber plant dying after one lot of fruit?

Things have changed in the gardening world since my grandparents day. They grew their own food, traditional seeds, and then kept the seeds to grow new plant.

These days, we buy seedlings at the store (some of us save our seeds and grow from them), however the seedlings from the store may not be labelled correctly, or the seeds may have been modified from the original local ones.

Why am I saying this?

Because my grandparents grew local, ate local, and always had the seasonal produce at home.

These days, there are many variety of seeds, and they have been engineered to perform in different ways, ways that we don't realise unless we research it.

For instance, why did my cucumber plant fruit once, then die off?

You may think that it you, however it might be the type of seed, and what has been done to it.

This is where understanding determinate and indeterminate plants is important. And cucumber plants can be either, both serving a purpose.

Determinate and Indeterminate

This relates to how long a plant will bare fruit for.

They both have the grow, bloom and fruit cycle about them ~ it is the length of the fruit cycle that is the question.

Determinate plants do this all very quickly. The grow, bloom and fruit quickly, then the plant dies. This may be a fruiting period of 1-2 weeks and that is it.

This is great if you want to get in 'one last quick crop', or you have only a small growing period of time.

Indeterminate however, grows, blooms and fruits throughout an entire season. The fruit will just keep on coming.

When the season changes, then the plant will die.

So, sometimes when a plant dies after a short fruiting period, it might not be you, rather it could be a 'determinate' plant.

For You Visual, on How to Grow Cucumbers, Check Out This Video... and my Second Hand Aquaponics System!


Want to get your Eyes and Hands on the FREE Online Aquaponics Essentials Course?

This is a great free resource to really understand how aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem that will grow your organic food is a productive way.

You learn how all the 'parts' make up the 'whole', and helps to give you the foundations of understanding aquaponics.

Sign up HERE


Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a dedicated aquaponics enthusiast with a wealth of formal training in aquaculture. Over the past 15 years, Candy has been deeply immersed in both commercial and backyard aquaponics, honing her skills and expertise in this sustainable farming method.

Candy's passion lies in making aquaponics accessible to everyone. With a mission to simplify aquaponics, she believes that anyone can embark on this sustainable journey.

She encourages those new to aquaponics to "kick the tires" without a significant financial investment. Her guidance focuses on helping people start their aquaponics journey with small-scale systems, ensuring a low barrier to entry for newcomers.

Candy shares practical tips, step-by-step guides, and personal stories to inspire and guide readers on their aquaponics adventure. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or a curious beginner, Candy Alexander is your go-to source for simplifying aquaponics and fostering a sustainable gardening experience.

blog author image

Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a passionate aquaponics educator who believes in the philosophy of keeping things simple and close to nature. With over 15 years of experience in aquaponics and 4 years of formal training in aquaculture, Candy is determined to help people create sustainable gardening in their urban lifestyle. Additionally, she advocates for the therapeutic benefits of aquaponics, viewing it as a form of garden therapy for mental health. Through her expertise and dedication, Candy strives to make the intricate world of aquaponics accessible to all, fostering both environmental sustainability and personal well-being.

Back to Blog

Garden Therapy with Aquaponics Blogs Below

blog image

How to grow cucumbers in small spaces

March 19, 20245 min read

Candy the Aquaponics Lady

How to Grow Cucumbers in Small Spaces

Have you every just wanted to grow cucumbers and thought 'this should be easy', but turned out they didn't grow so well?

I'm going to put my hand up and say... I thought this too, and I missed a couple of things.

It also varies on your location, make sure that they are actually in season, but let's have a look at what they NEED to grow well.

What Cucumbers Need to Grow Well

  1. Cucumbers need full sun. I know this sounds simple, and we can often look at our yard at one time and say, 'yep, sunlight. Check'. But how long does this area get direct sunlight for?

    They need around 6 hours of full sun per day.

  2. Lots of water.

    Unlike most plants, cucumbers need lots of water, an obscene amount. In some areas, this can mean watering them twice a day, especially in hot and humid areas.

    Personally, this is why I love aquaponics, as the cucumbers have constant water (and fertiliser) to support their growing. I grew cucumbers in my aquaponics system as well as in the soil, and I collected 14+ large cucumbers from the plant in my aquaponics system, and the fruit doubled in size every day, whereas in the soil, with less water and fertiliser, I collected 3 cucumbers. Just saying, it makes a difference!

  3. Stakes, trellis, something to let it climb up.

    A healthy cucumber plant can easily grow higher than 1.5 metres if given the chance, and it will spread out. A single stake may not be enough, so trellis or something similar is good to allow the tundrells to grasp and grow on.

    Cucumbers are a vine, they like to grow vertically, so this is perfect to grow against your fence with some wire, mesh or trellis for it to climb up.

cucumber plant

Parts of the Cucumber Plant

cucumber vine

Cucumbers are vines that grow up (or down), and they have 'runners' branches off the main vine to allow the fruit to grow.

They have tendrils that hold onto stakes, trellis, and other plants ~ their roll is to hold the vine up, preventing it falling in a mess. These tendrils are very strong, to hold the vines and fruit.

male and female cucumber flowers

It is important to know that cucumbers have both male and female flowers.

Typically, the male flowers come first, then the females flowers.

The key to knowing the difference, is that the female flower always has the fruit behind the flower.

The male flower holds the pollen that needs to get into the female flower.

If you don't have many natural pollinators around (bees) then hand pollinating is a good idea.

Without pollination, the fruit will rot, die and fall off when small.

Once your fruit are pollinated, and you get some fruit, sometimes they start to die off... why?

Why is my cucumber plant dying after one lot of fruit?

Things have changed in the gardening world since my grandparents day. They grew their own food, traditional seeds, and then kept the seeds to grow new plant.

These days, we buy seedlings at the store (some of us save our seeds and grow from them), however the seedlings from the store may not be labelled correctly, or the seeds may have been modified from the original local ones.

Why am I saying this?

Because my grandparents grew local, ate local, and always had the seasonal produce at home.

These days, there are many variety of seeds, and they have been engineered to perform in different ways, ways that we don't realise unless we research it.

For instance, why did my cucumber plant fruit once, then die off?

You may think that it you, however it might be the type of seed, and what has been done to it.

This is where understanding determinate and indeterminate plants is important. And cucumber plants can be either, both serving a purpose.

Determinate and Indeterminate

This relates to how long a plant will bare fruit for.

They both have the grow, bloom and fruit cycle about them ~ it is the length of the fruit cycle that is the question.

Determinate plants do this all very quickly. The grow, bloom and fruit quickly, then the plant dies. This may be a fruiting period of 1-2 weeks and that is it.

This is great if you want to get in 'one last quick crop', or you have only a small growing period of time.

Indeterminate however, grows, blooms and fruits throughout an entire season. The fruit will just keep on coming.

When the season changes, then the plant will die.

So, sometimes when a plant dies after a short fruiting period, it might not be you, rather it could be a 'determinate' plant.

For You Visual, on How to Grow Cucumbers, Check Out This Video... and my Second Hand Aquaponics System!


Want to get your Eyes and Hands on the FREE Online Aquaponics Essentials Course?

This is a great free resource to really understand how aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem that will grow your organic food is a productive way.

You learn how all the 'parts' make up the 'whole', and helps to give you the foundations of understanding aquaponics.

Sign up HERE


Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a dedicated aquaponics enthusiast with a wealth of formal training in aquaculture. Over the past 15 years, Candy has been deeply immersed in both commercial and backyard aquaponics, honing her skills and expertise in this sustainable farming method.

Candy's passion lies in making aquaponics accessible to everyone. With a mission to simplify aquaponics, she believes that anyone can embark on this sustainable journey.

She encourages those new to aquaponics to "kick the tires" without a significant financial investment. Her guidance focuses on helping people start their aquaponics journey with small-scale systems, ensuring a low barrier to entry for newcomers.

Candy shares practical tips, step-by-step guides, and personal stories to inspire and guide readers on their aquaponics adventure. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or a curious beginner, Candy Alexander is your go-to source for simplifying aquaponics and fostering a sustainable gardening experience.

blog author image

Candy Alexander

Candy Alexander is a passionate aquaponics educator who believes in the philosophy of keeping things simple and close to nature. With over 15 years of experience in aquaponics and 4 years of formal training in aquaculture, Candy is determined to help people create sustainable gardening in their urban lifestyle. Additionally, she advocates for the therapeutic benefits of aquaponics, viewing it as a form of garden therapy for mental health. Through her expertise and dedication, Candy strives to make the intricate world of aquaponics accessible to all, fostering both environmental sustainability and personal well-being.

Back to Blog

The relaxation you feel when your garden is well known. Aquaponics brings a deeper sense of calm as it connects you with the relaxation of fish as well.

Seeing the miracles of nature happening within your aquaponics system gives you a sense of wonder and excitement.

As everything about aquaponics is based on balance, it gives you the physical representation of balance to connect to when you feel overwhelmed by life.

I use aquaponics as a form of garden therapy to help me manage PTSD,

anxiety, depression, and autism.

Have you been thinking about a deeper meaning in life?

Aquaponics can show you this perfectly!

Check out the article below on how I manage my anxiety with aquaponics:

Managing My "Anxiety Octopus" with Aquaponics


Copyright 2023 | Candy Alexander | All Rights Reserved Email: ask@theaquaponicslady.com