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What are the practical differences between cucumbers grown from seed and cucumbers of the same maturity level and equivalent root maturity from cuttings?

Is there a significant difference between yield and fruit size/quality of cucumbers grown from seed, which have taproots, and cucumbers grown from cuttings, which don't?

I'm guessing the depth of the soil wouldn't matter as much for cuttings, since they don't have taproots, so long as there were enough soil. I have heard that cuttings from some plants will grow thicker and stronger regular roots to try to make up for the lack of a taproot. I'm not sure if that applies to cucumbers.

I'm growing cucumbers both from seed and from cuttings of the same plants. So, I was wondering if I should expect different sizes of fruit, different levels of production and such. The variety I'm growing, as far as I know, is one called Bushy (since that's the closest matching cucumber seed packet the person I got the cucumber that I saved the seeds from had). However, the plants get huge for that variety, but otherwise the cucumbers seem to be those. They're great for fresh eating and make the best tasting vertical pickle slices I've ever had.

Anyway, I've got an idea that cuttings might be more suitable for a raised bed with black plastic underneath than the seed-grown plants.

I'm also trying to root some watermelon cuttings (Mississippi Cobb Gem, and I'm planning to take a Ledmon cutting, today) in soil. After a few days, my watermelon cutting is still alive and looking well. So, that's a good sign. Hopefully it'll work. It's a large variety that normally probably wouldn't do well in a raised bed with black plastic underneath, due to it preventing the taproot from growing very far down. I've tried a somewhat large variety there before (Klondike Stripe, I think), and the fruit was pitifully small and soft. It's maybe 18 inches of soil. So, it would be interesting to see if they did better from cuttings in such an environment. (I mean, because they have no taproot, the soil depth shouldn't make as much of a difference, it would seem.)

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Ok, I'll break this down and answer what I can. I haven't extensively grown cucurbits from cuttings, but I've grown pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, and other melons this way. I've found that I can establish a cutting faster than a seed, but there are also drawbacks IME.

What are the practical differences between cucumbers grown from seed and cucumbers of the same maturity level and equivalent root maturity from cuttings?

I've found that the cuttings seem more 'tired' in a way, even when they amass the proper ratio of root/top growth. The seedlings had greater vigor, and seemed far less susceptible to viruses.

Is there a significant difference between yield and fruit size/quality of cucumbers grown from seed, which have taproots, and cucumbers grown from cuttings, which don't?

The cuttings put out flowers far before the seedlings, but weren't strong enough to support fruit yet, so the first ones were aborted. Once the plants were well established, the different crops grew differently. The cucumbers were almost identical, and all produced similarly up until frost. With the crops that are let to mature on the vine (pumpkins, melons), the seedlings were capable of a much greater load, but the fruit on the cutting plants matured first (by over a week). This was especially noticeable on the pumpkins, which did not ever get very robust from the cuttings.

I'm guessing the depth of the soil wouldn't matter as much for cuttings, since they don't have taproots, so long as there were enough soil.

Comparably, the cuttings and seedlings did the same in the raised beds as the ground. The cutting and seedling plants in the raised beds were earlier, grew faster, and declined faster. The ones in the ground (which was most of them) produced later and larger. The plastic under the raised beds (which had 8" of topsoil in them) didn't seem to affect the plants at all.

Anyway, I've got an idea that cuttings might be more suitable for a raised bed with black plastic underneath than the seed-grown plants.

Actually, well over 90% of a cucurbit's feeder roots are in the top 2-6". The lowest roots are mostly anchorage/water source. The larger fruits that grew in the raised beds (in only 8" of topsoil over plastic) did surprisingly well, with lots and lots of water, and healthy, fertile soil fortified with plenty of manure the previous season.

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    Wow. That's exactly what I was looking for. :) Very interesting. Thanks! I have a feeling our raised beds may be nutrient depleted, especially of potassium and maybe calcium. So, that could somewhat account for the smaller watermelons I mentioned, too. The soil probably needs to be looser, also, to allow more oxygen through. – Shule Mar 27 '15 at 22:51
  • This makes me wonder if the taproots are better at taking up potassium and the other roots are better at taking up phosphorus. – Shule Mar 27 '15 at 23:00
  • A cutting is still as old the donor plant, you can rejuvenate some plants through cloning, but for the most part, many grow as if they are already aged...because ... Well... They are – Escoce Apr 1 '15 at 0:03
  • J. Musser, what varieties of watermelons did you use, and approximately how heavy were the resulting fruits? – Shule Apr 23 '15 at 20:19
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    @Shule That year I grew carolina cross, which averaged at around 90lbs, and Millionaire, which averaged at just under 30lbs. – J. Musser Apr 23 '15 at 23:14

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