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I planted 3 cucumber seeds in each of 6 hills and only 6 of the 18 cucumbers came up. Of the 6, only 4 seem strong enough to survive and 2 of those are in the same hill (as shown below in the first two pictures).

I've read that the best thing to do is to cut off the weaker seedling at ground level to let the stronger seedling take over. Is transplanting out of the question? I would assume so since there is so little space between them but would hate to be down to just 3 out of 6 hills with plants.

I gave transplanting a shot and moved the smaller plant to a hill a foot away (as shown in the last picture). It's only been a few hours but so far it survived. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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  • Next year, plant individual seeds in pots, and then "plant" the pots in your hills. After germination, you can lift out the pot leaving a neat pot-sized hole, turn it upside down on one hand with your fingers either side of the plant stem (and not touching it), remove the pot with your other hand without disturbing the plant roots and the soil ball, and pop it back in the hole without the pot. The plant doesn't even "know" it's been transplanted - no check to growth or damage from handling it. – alephzero Jul 3 '19 at 0:37
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I would have a go at removing one of those seedlings, carefully, with something narrow and long, like the end of an artists paint brush, taking great care not to disturb the other seedling, and replanting it elsewhere. It looks small enough to only have one longish, thin root, so it might work, but how successful it will be depends on how fine and loose the tilth of the soil is - if its lumpy and sticky, it may not work. Otherwise, just pull it out and dispose of it.

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