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Thread: Cucumber Advice Needed.

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    Default Cucumber Advice Needed.

    Hi folks, I've started growing cucumbers in my shiny new greenhouse. It's doing really well but I need advice about side shoots. I'm training the plant up string and then along a horizontal wire and I've heard tell that the side shoots need to be removed to get it to go vertically up the string. Is this true as I don't want to be lopping off good bits of plant. Also, if it starts to fruit low down do I let the fruit mature or does this also have to come off. There's a few flowers (female) near the bottom of the plant and again, I don't want to be removing wanted growth. Thanks very much for any help.
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    You can prune off the flowers and side shoots for the first foot of the plant to direct the grown upwards. For the next foot prune off the side shoots and let the flowers fruit. After that you can cut the side shoots back after 2 or three leaves.

    Or you can leave it to do what it likes.

    Or go somewhere in between.

    They need to be trained up supports.

    Or allowed to sprawl on the ground (although easier for slugs to get them this way)

    I've done all the above at different times and I've gotten good cucumbers.
    • Pruning it into a nice tidy plant means it's easier to see the fruit and to harvest. But may produce less fruit over a shorter period of time. It is easier to manage and you should still get a decent crop per plant.
    • Letting it run wild can result in half the green house disappearing under it's leaves and you have to hunt around for the fruit. To me it seemed that the harvest was over a longer period. There were time when, leaning over to pick one cucumber, I got coshed by the stealth cucumbers hiding under the foliage
    • Training them up supports gives you more space to underplant with other crops but can produce a lot of shade.
    • Sprawling on the ground means you have to hunt harder and the fruits may be more prone to slug damage. The plant provides less shade but takes up alot of space and is likely to try and climb up anything in reach.
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    Wow thanks Jay-ell, I think you've covered about everything there. I'm off to do some lopping!
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    make sure you don't cut off the wrong bits. You could also train a couple of the side shoots up additional strings either side to increase the harvest.

    Remember to feed it regularly and keep it well watered.

    New all singing all dancing blog - Jasons Jungle

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    Spookily enough I got to thinking that myself! The main stem is about 18" to 20" and the side shoot are the ones bearing a bunch of new leaves as opposed to one leaf. Am I correct? Also remove all fruit for first foot? I wont want to train more than one stem as I've a younger plant ready to put in and the one that is already there is above pepper plants.
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