Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Graft Cucumbers

Grafts form a new breed of cucumber.

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The cucumber (Cucumus sativus) is a vine-grown vegetable that favors the warm season. Long green slicing and pickling varieties are two main types of cucumber. While some grow from seed, others propagate through grafting. During the grafting process, the main stems of two different varieties of cucumber fuse together to form a new breed, which contains traits from both plants. In the case of cucumbers, one cotyledon grafting is the most successful.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedRootstock and scion4-inch potPotting soilRazor bladeGrafting clipSpray bottleSuggest Edits1

Choose two cucumber plants to graft. Plant the main cucumber plant or rootstock in a 4-inch pot with damp potting soil. The second plant, or scion, will be grafted to the main rootstock and does not require special potting.

2

Pinch-off the first true leaf from the rootstock using your fingers. Grip the leaf stem at the point where it meets the main stem and pinch to remove.

3

Slice one cotyledon from the rootstock at a 45-degree angle using a razor blade. Perform the same cut on the scion, this time making the 45-degree-angle cut just below the embryo.

4

Press the exposed tissue of the scion against that of the rootstock. Clamp the stems together using a grafting clip.

5

Mist the grafted cucumber plants with water from a spray bottle to moisten. Place the pot in filtered sunlight and continue to maintain moist soil as the graft mends.

6

Check the graft every few days. Remove the grafting clip when the union between the two plants heals.

Tips & Warnings

Cotyledons are tiny leaves that surround a plant’s embryo, forming a temporary supply of nourishment. These tiny leaves are often the first leaves visible after germination.

Always sterilize razor blades before and after each use with 70 percent ethanol to prevent the spread of disease from plant to plant.

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ReferencesCornell University Cooperative Extension: Grafting Cucumbers for Yield and Cold Hardiness in High TunnelsThe University of California: Vegetable GraftingThe Great Plant Escape: Seed StructureResourcesAmerican Society for Horticultural Science: Grafting MethodsPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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