Cucumber pruning

nkessler0709June 16, 2010

Have a couple questions :)

Details about my cucumber plant:

-Bought 'bonnie' brand, Burpee Hybrid as a seedling about 3 wks ago and transferred

next day.

- In 5gal bucket

-Miracle grow 6mo feed soil, mixed with earthgrow (wal-mart) topsoil.

I have searched and searched for a way that I understand, being a first year grower, and have gotten the most help out of pictures or videos, but am thinking an explanation related to my own plant would help too. Unfortunately I have found very little on cucumbers so far. First, I want to know if I should be pruning my cuc (view here - that size, and how exactly it is done. I have read it needs 7 leaves up the main vine before any flowers are allowed to grow. There are sooo many flower buds already at every node, so seven leaves up seem like extremes. If I picked the buds, I would literally be losing around 20 cucumbers. Since it is producing so many buds, should I just allow them to grow? I canÂt imagine I could get any better of a yield by picking them off!

I have a close up shot of the first flower (all the way down toward the roots) on the site above. It looks to be maleÂshould I get rid of the ones this low on the plant? Any also, should I be getting rid of the male flowers period, since it is outdoors?

I am also confused about the suckers. I see which growth to pick very clearly on the tomato plants, but not as sure on the cucs. Seems like they arenÂt really suckers, but just single leaves that are growing off the main vine. Every growth that I would consider to be a sucker, has around 3 blooms on the inside of the leaf, so Im hesitant to remove. Judging by my pics, Which growth should I be removing, if any at all?

Also shown on my above site is my second cuc plant, labeled cucumber2. This plant was purchased the same time, and size, as my larger one was, and also planted in the same conditions. It is quite a bit smaller! Any ideas?

Here is a link that might be useful: my cucumbers

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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I've never pruned a cucumber plant. Is there some advantage to doing so?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 4:53PM
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Don't prune the cucumber.
You only transplanted it three weeks ago and it is already blooming? that is pretty quick.
Remember that most of those early flowers are male so it may take another week or so to see female flowers and cucumbers.
I just picked my first cucumber today. I transplanted six weeks ago but it sounds like you are ahead of me.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 5:37PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

You don't need to prune your vine unless it gets entirely out of control, size wise. It is going to make side vines. That is normal. It sounds to me like you are doing everything right. Keep at it: consistent moisture, sun, and liquid fertilizer regularly, since it's in a pot. If you have a cage or trellis, you might like that to keep the vine from spreading all over the place. They will grab on with their tendrils, but you may need to help it onto the trellis at first.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:11PM
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Susan2010- I have had mixed opinions. From what I heard, removing the first few buds is supposed to put the plant's energy back into growing the root system/branches/vines, so that it will eventually double your crop. Since there becomes more space on more greenery, you get more blooms and stronger support. Then, the suckers "suck" the energy from the fruit once they start to produce, supposidly. I have also been told though, that if you do it incorrectly or at the wrong time, you will just be removing half your crop! So thats my delema since I dont know the correct way :)

sjkly- yes, I am in shock how quick! Especially compared to my other plants. Your right..I dont think I have seen any females, so I guess I wouldn't be losing any real fruit lol. I heard males make the fruit thick and bitter tho- anyone know if this is true? seems odd.

donnabaskets- thanks, I hope I am doing everything :) I do have somewhat of a home made (kinda ghetto) trellis. I raised the bucket onto a chair so it could run downward instead of up. I had some old fencing I've propped up so it has some support under the vines on it's way down.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:16PM
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