Pricking out cucumber seedlings

Morning all,

It's my first time growing cucumbers, I planted two seeds per pot half expecting only one to germinate.  I've seen different advice on t'internet saying don't prick out as cucumber seedlings try to die at every opportunity; prick out at 4 inches; don't prick out but separate the seedlings in as much compost as possible.  

Also other advice seems to say don't replant deeper than they are currently as they don't like their stems wet?

Any 'real life' advice here please?  Feels like I need to do something ????.



  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,656

    Never grown cucumbers so just guessing!

    If they were mine, I would carefully tip up the pot and split it so each seedling has roughly half the soil, then give each its own pot with extra compost to the original level. They are well spaced, so this would give the least root disturbance. I would do it now, because the longer you leave it the more tangled the roots will get. The other option, often suggested, but which I would find hard to do, is simply to remove the 'weaker' seedling. Yours all look strong tthough..... how many cucumbers do you want?

  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 512

    Thanks Buttercupdays.  I probably want to end up with two plants, but don't want to risk losing any at this stage.  If they all survive I'll give them away ?.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 1,783

    I plant two per pot, and just cut off the weaker of the two if they both happen to germinate.  They really hate root disturbance, so I don't even pull out the weak one.  

    Yours have gotten leggy... not enough sun light.  Not much to do about it at this stage.  When you pot them on, you can put them in a tiny bit deeper.. but not much.  Put some kitchen foil behind the plants, to reflect some light back onto them from the window.  

    If you don't want to cut out the weaker one, just pot them both on together.  When I grow them from seed direct in the soil (when I don't get around to starting them indoors in time), I'll plant three per mound.  Different than a pot, I know, but they should be okay.. as long as you keep in mind it's two plants that need twice the space and twice the feeding (once you get them outside/in a bigger pot/etc, no feeding yet).  

    I'd recommend starting a few more plants, and trying to get them less leggy.. you may struggle with those ones once they get outside.  Are you planting in a garden?  Try direct from seed under a cloche in June, taking the cloche off once they are germinated and have the seed leaves up.. giving protection at night for a while.  

    I currently have a foil car screen sun reflector pinned up behind my window seedlings, it's easy to take down to water and move things around.. but it really helps them from getting leggy or leaning too much.  Or as I said, a bit of foil around some cardboard works a treat too.  Anything to reflect back some of that sunlight.  

    And blow on the plants helps too.. pretend you're the wind gently rocking them around a bit to help build a stronger stem.  

    Last edited: 28 April 2017 17:26:56

    Utah, USA.
  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 512

    Thanks Blue Onion, maybe I'll leave one pot with the two seedlings together and separate the other one as a test.  

    Not sure I can do anything about them being leggy as they are on a south facing windowsill (I don't have a greenhouse).  I had read they don't like direct sunlight but they get it for the morning.  I guess I could try the foil method ?.

    They will be going outside (these are an outside variety) and I was planning on them going out in the first week of June after hardening them off.

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