Pruning Vining Cucumber Plants – Important? How To Do It

Q.  We are being inundated with vines on our Cucumber vertical growing attempt.  I put up some more strings for climbing, however, I don’t think that is the solution.

If it was tomatoes, I would just snip them off, as I have successfully done that this year, with no apparent harm to the plant. However, I do not have much information on the cucumbers.

A.  Cucumber vines should be pruned when growing vertically.  They produce a sucker stem at each leaf node, similar to tomatoes.  However, you DO NOT take out the sucker stem right at the main stem, but instead you let it grow to the first leaf.  There will be a leaf and a tiny cucumber forming, and then a continuation of the stem.  Take the stem off after the leaf and new cucumber.

For plants that have not been pruned I can’t advise accurately without seeing them, but I would personally prune them back to something manageable using the procedures I discuss in the previous paragraph.

Jim Kennard