missamyck
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Weed or Cucumber?

I'm a newbie gardener (so sick of prefacing all my posts with that :) ) and where I'm planting is a haven for weeds of all shapes and sizes...I'm talking ridiculous amounts of weeds.

I planted one big mound of peas and 3 smaller mounds of cucumbers surrounding it. My peas grew beautifully but I just couldn't determine if cucumber leaves were growing, until recently. I've looked up images of cucumber plants and came across something very similar to what I have here, but the question is, "Is it a cucumber plant?"

I know they sprout little yellow flowers so I could just wait and see, but I'll feel pretty foolish if I'm harboring a weed this whole time.

Any ideas? Thanks!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62188924@N ... hotostream

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hendi_alex
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Morning glory. Better pluck those unless you want the vines growing everywhere!
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

missamyck
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aw darn, not the answer I was looking for, thank you though! It amazes me how you could tell, this plant looks just like pictures I've seen online of cucumber plants. I honestly don't see a difference.

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hendi_alex
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Cucumber leaves are not nearly as much smooth heart shaped as they are blocky heart shaped. The edges of the leaves are more irregular or jagged. Also the stems of a cucumber plant are much thicker with a light green color.



Image

Image
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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hendi_alex
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BTW, beautiful twins (I assume) at your flickr site.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

missamyck
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these pictures are incredibly helpful, thank you! I can actually see the difference.

I'm going to try planting some more cucumber seeds this weekend; hopefully they'll grow into beautiful plants :)

mattie g
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I was actually thinking it's wild violet. If so, then they are very invasive (if you don't want them). Either way, as alex mentioned, they aren't cukes, so you do want to pull them. Good luck!

missamyck
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and now that I look around to other parts of my backyard I see this everywhere; I think I just really wanted it to be cucumbers and so kept a blind eye to it growing in other places.

Now that I know, I'll be pulling that sucker everywhere!

missamyck
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Since you seem like you know what you're talking about, maybe you can tell me if my makeshift trellis in that first picture I posted will be suitable for growing cucumbers? I just built around it, I know it's probably best to build straight up but I thought it'd be easier to build a little up and more out. Any thoughts?

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hendi_alex
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Most cucumber varieties, except for the most compact bush types, are vigorous growers. They do perfectly fine growing along the ground, but do have a large footprint of up to maybe 36 square feet. It is hard to tell from your photo, but it appears that a typical cucumber vine would overwhelm your small trellis. Plus the trellis really does little to reduce the plant's foot print. Most people who trellis their cucumber vines do so to run them almost totally in a vertical direction, thereby reducing the footprint to just a couple of square feet. Some kind of fencing material a few feet wide and four or five feet high would make a better trellis IMO. But if you have room, there is nothing wrong with letting the plants sprawl. The only downside to growing on the ground is that plants off of the ground seem to tolerate the summer heat a little better, at least in my experience with them.

I sometimes grow my cucumber vines up five foot tomato cages. Have also run the vines up a flat section of the five foot concrete re-enforcing wire. But since my space is almost unlimited, my plants are usually just allowed to sprawl.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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mattie g
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missamyck wrote:and now that I look around to other parts of my backyard I see this everywhere; I think I just really wanted it to be cucumbers and so kept a blind eye to it growing in other places.

Now that I know, I'll be pulling that sucker everywhere!


If it's wild violet, it's almost guaranteed to keep coming back, as it will happily grow back if any roots are left behind. I have some in my lawn, and despite my best efforts at pulling it from the roots (before i realized I needed to get *all* roots out), it just grew back again within a couple weeks.

Only some really strong/particular broadleaf herbicides will rid you of it. But of course it's your call as to whether you want to go that route or not.

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hendi_alex
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My sister in law has wild violet in her yard. These plants are not shaped like the violets, plus the photo shows the beginning of a runner on the one plant. In addition, the flower pictured on flickr appears to be that of a morning glory. Violets are much more difficult to control than morning glory. Violets are perennials in mild winter areas and when removing a plant, even the smallest bit of root will give rise to a new plant.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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applestar
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This is OT but is "wild violet" something other than the ones that bloom in spring with incredibly scented dainty purple flowers?

...I was just amused to think here's yet another WEED that I'm cultivating and encouraging to grow... :lol:

mattie g
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hendi_alex wrote:My sister in law has wild violet in her yard. These plants are not shaped like the violets, plus the photo shows the beginning of a runner on the one plant. In addition, the flower pictured on flickr appears to be that of a morning glory. Violets are much more difficult to control than morning glory. Violets are perennials in mild winter areas and when removing a plant, even the smallest bit of root will give rise to a new plant.


Ah...I didn't notice the runner. Looking again, you're likely right. Morning Glories and Moonflowers can get pretty big by mid summer, so I thought it may have been obvious should they have grown before (whereas wild violets stay much more compact).

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