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Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), which are mostly water, make a thirst-satisfying summer treat. If left to their own choices, cucumbers will grow along large areas of land and sprawl across the garden. You can start seeds indoors in a container filled with seed starting mix 4 weeks before the last average frost free date or they can be directly sown in the garden after the average frost free date. In addition, cucumber plants can be grown from cucumber vine cuttings and even overwintered when they're grown this way.
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Step 1: Choosing Cucumber Shoots to Start a Vine From a Cutting
Select a healthy shoot that is actively growing. Unhealthy shoots will be browning or withering while new growth is usually indicated by a lighter green as less chlorophyll has been accumulated in the tissue.
Step 2: Collect Your Cutting
With a sharp knife, cut the shoot behind the second set of leaves from the tip so that you have the growing tip, a set of leaves and a second set of leaves. The buds nested between the leaves and the stem will turn into roots.
Step 3: Remove the Second Set of Leaves
Remove the second set of leaves by pulling them backward and snapping the petiole of the leaf. Make sure not to damage the bud that is nestled between the leaf stem and the cucumber vine. Also, you do not want to remove the first set of leaves nearest the growing tip as your vine will need the energy captured by the leaves for the roots to grow.
Step 4: Cut the Two Remaining Leaves
Cut a half of each of the two remaining leaves away with your knife. Cucumber leaves are too large to be supported by the stem until the roots grow.
Step 5: Treat the Stem With Rooting Hormone
Dip the cut end of the cucumber into powdered rooting hormone, which encourages the growing buds to become roots rather than leaves, and be sure to get some on the buds where you removed the leaves. Tap the stem cutting lightly to knock off any excess rooting hormone.
Step 6: Prepare the Planting Pot
Fill a 4-inch pot with potting soil. Push a pencil into the center of the soil forming a hole one-half inch deep.
Step 7: Plant the Cucumber Vine Cutting
Stick the cut end of the cucumber vine cutting into the hole in the center of the potting soil. Pack the soil around the cucumber cutting.
Step 8: Water the Cutting
Water your planted cucumber vine cutting. Be sure to keep the cucumber from drying out while the roots grow. Roots should begin to grow within a few weeks, however, approximately how long it will take before the plant is strong enough to put out new leaves is somewhat unpredictable.
If the leaves continue to wilt despite being cut in half, reduce the leaf size further.
Gardening vertically with cucumbers not only preserves garden space but also reduces rotting where the cucumber touches the ground. To garden vertically, you need to tie the cucumber to a fence or trellis as it grows.