Thinning Cucumbers & Pumpkins - Knowledgebase Question

Hiawatha, KS
Question by kkjj
June 10, 2001
We 'hilled' our cucumbers and pumpkins. They are now growing rapidly and spreading out in our garden. Do we need to reduce the number of cucumber and pumpkin vines in each hill to 1 or 2? How far apart should these plants be? Does it hurt if the vines intertwine with each other?

Answer from NGA
June 10, 2001


With vining crops, the general guideline is to thin to just two plants per hill. Hills are spaced 6-10 feet apart for vining types; bush types can be closer at 2-4 feet. Individual pumpkin plants are 36-48 inches apart; cukes 24-48 inches. It's a good idea to plant on the edges of the garden, so vines can sprawl outward. You can also pick up vines and direct them back towards the hill, or grow upwards on trellises. Once the fruit has set, you can pinch back the growing tips to control the spread of the vines. No, it won't hurt if they intertwine. As a matter of fact, it might be hard to stop it!

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