Is it common for cukes and watermelons to get a slow start?

HighlanderNorthJune 10, 2014

I decided to grow my watermelons and cucumbers from seed this year. Turns out I had a 1/2 seed packet of lemon cucumbers from last year, so I sprouted them in 2" x 2" market packs on May 6th in garden soil. They came up, grew the first level of oval leaves, then began growing the first regular shaped leaf on each plant when I transplanted them into the ground. They were about 3" tall at that time. That was roughly 3 weeks ago, and the temps were in the mid 50's to low 70's until just last week when it went up to the high 70's to mid 80's around here. I looked at the plants yesterday, and they are maybe 7" tall with about 3 levels of primary leaves, but they have not yet fallen over and started growing like a vine yet.

Next the watermelons. I bought Orangleglo watermelon seeds on May 21st, sprouted them in wet paper towels, moved them outdoors to the final growing spot about 2 days after the roots broke out of the seeds, about May 26th. There were no leaves yet showing, only a 1/2" long root. I planted them about 1.5" deep under a mix of garden soil and regular soil, and a little mulch. I looked at them yesterday(6/9/14), and they are showing the first oval leaves and the first primary leaves and are about 2.5" tall now.

Is it normal for cukes to take about 5 weeks from seed to 7" tall plants when the temps are at or below 74 degrees F for 3 weeks, and is it normal for watermelons to take 19 days from seed to 2.5" tall with 1 primary leaf level at those same temps?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They'll start taking off once the weather warms up. I've noticed they don't grow too much when the weather is in the 70's. Once its consistently at least in the mid 80's they should start growing quicker. Mine were doing the same thing until we started warming up.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

What are 2" x 2" market packs? The cukes seem a bit slow for 5 weeks. OTOH the watermelons seem on schedule since you only planted them a couple of weeks ago. My only thought about the cukes was that they were in some sort of peat cup and getting root bound.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

RE: Is it common for cukes and watermelons to get a slow start?


Yes the are slow if the soil and air temperatures are low.
But once they are established and temps have improved, they will take off and grow fast.

The garlic (seen in the picture) will be gone soon

Here is a picture of my cukes taken yesterday. I started them in 3" pots under hoop and then transplanted into garden bed.
It has been almost three weeks from sowing them.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm considering replanting my cukes. They are tiny, tiny, tiny. I planted early May and then we had a few nights of 40 degree temps. Since they are so small I don't think I'll lose much growing time by reseeding, and they might even do better now that we are consistently warm.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think I'm in the same boat with my Little Leaf cukes, seed originally bought in 2011, only maybe 30% germination. Summer squash are doing better, but the cantaloupe and slicing cukes aren't coming up either. Seeded Mem Day, have had temps mostly in the 70's since then but a few 80's and some nights below 50. But warming up next week.

Beans are germinating nicely, those were seeded a few days later. Wish I knew what I did with my soil thermometer!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OK, I was back over there today(2 days after posting this thread) and its generally been in the low 80's for the last few days, but only 70 today. However, the recently warmer weather has seemingly caused them to start growing. They appeared to be at least 2 inches taller than 2 days earlier, and they appear to be a bit wider, meaning that I believe their primary leaves are growing larger finally.

I had grown standard Burpee burpless cuke plants in 2011 from market packs bought at Home depot, and they were small when planted, and with them I bought a single pack that had like 6 separate cuke plants all close together in that standard store market pack, so I carefully separated them, and planted them. But it took like 2 weeks before I noticed any significant growth from them at that time, even though I planted those plants in early June in one of the hottest summers om record. But once they finally started growing, they really took off!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

You cannot push cucumbers. Even If you plant store bought seedling with few true leaves , plant them but if your weather is cool, they will just sit there and if it was too cold they will get cold stress and might not fully recover. (Lots of IFs. Call it iffy.hehe)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ju1234((8 Dallas TX))

I would suggest, plant a few more seeds out there.

I had worse problem this year. The cucs did not grow at all despite good temps. I planted some more seeds later. Those are now several feet while the original seedlings are still sitting at few inches. Same soil, same food, same water, same seed.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I saw more Little Leaf coming up today - about the size of seysonn's.

I'd say if yours are growing now they'll really take off once the weather warms up. You could start more seed in case of cucumber beetles, powdery mildew, etc. though.

I think I'm going to throw more cantaloupe seed out this weekend since I only had 1 pop up.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:56PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
More efficient planting
Found this in the Oklahoma Gardening forum... tube...
Identifying garden pests
Dear Experts Could you figure what type of pests are...
Problem Peas - germination
Can anyone advise me on the best way of getting peas...
Steve Kind
Artichoke Failure, HELP!!!
I am in zone 7a, middle TN, and attempting to grow...
Will I be too late to start a vegetable garden for the summer?
Hello! My husband and I will be moving from Florida...
Sponsored Products
Antique Chic Twin-size 2-piece Quilt Set
Aero Wall or Ceiling Light by Eglo
$38.00 | Lumens
Good Housekeeping Roman Shades: Linens Light Filtering
Indigo Royal Wool Rug
$44.99 | zulily
Old Fashion Industrial Iron Pendant Lighting
10'x14' Sky Blue Oushak 100% Wool Washed Out Handmade Oriental Rug Sh19735
1800 Get A Rug
Westerfield Tufted Ottoman
Grandin Road
Fire Magic 1D-SSA Built-In Beverage Center - 1D-SSA
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™