Vegetables > Cucumber

Reader q&a on cucumber problems:

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General Information
See our page on Cucumbers.


Question

How do I tell the difference between the male and female flowers of cucumbers? I have bought a packet of seeds called (F' PRIMA TOP), if that's any help.
Thanks.


The Green Chronicle replies...

As you have an all female type you don't have to worry. These plants will produce only fruit bearing female flowers. If you had an old fashioned variety then it would have been the flowers on thin stems with no tiny little fruit behind them that you would have taken off. As it is you need not worry.


Question

Please could you advise me. I bought a Mini Alpha Beta F1 cucumber plant which is growing well on a sunny windowsill. However, it has begun to develop both male, and female flowers with the little fruits under. Should I be removing the male flowers?
Years ago I grew beautiful cucumbers which were too bitter to eat because, I read, of the male flowers pollinating the fruit.

Would be grateful for your advice.


The Green Chronicle replies...

Theoretically F1 cucumbers should not produce male flowers, and yes you are right, you should be removing them, and fast! If there is fruit already forming which might have been pollinated then pick it small before the seeds develop - take them off at gherkin size at the most. It may be that stress of some kind has caused the plant to produce male flowers - has it been getting enough water? Have you tried a liquid feed? Hope you enjoy your cucumbers!


Question

I have a problem with cucumbers this year. They are grown in a 6ft x 10ft greenhouse well ventilated and watered and fed weekly with liquid general purpose fertiliser as I have done every year with success. But this year lots of the small cucumbers have reached two to three inches in length and just shrivel up and died. I have shaded them  and left the vents open at night. Several of the fruits have grown well but are bent and of peculiar shade. The plants are grown in the greenhouse border. Could it be botrytis mould? I have sprayed for this five days ago. I don't like using chemicals as tomatoes are grown on the other side of the greenhouse. Hope you can help.
Thanks.


The Green Chronicle replies...

It doesn't sound like botrytis to me, but there could be a number of causes for small fruit withering. Try this: remove all of the withered fruits; give the plants a feed, then reduce water for a week, although still keeping the ground moist. I wonder if you have grown your cucumbers too often on the same spot and have thereby stored up problems for yourself. As a completely organic grower I would advise not spraying, but instead rotating your crops each season.

If you have any questions on Cucumber plants, e-mail us and we may be able to help!


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