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"shop of horrors" cucumber plants

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"shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  Terraverde on 6/6/2014, 10:06 am

Help! My cucumber plants are growing by leaps and bounds, but while the leaves are humungous and the stems are really thick, they are not producing any cucumbers. They are growing lots of flowers too, but nothing else. They're growing every which way up the trellis and are grabbing on to my tomato plants and threatening to choke them! Is is alright to prune them back? And does anyone know why they're not producing some cukes?
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shop of horrors cucumber plants

Post  Boz on 6/6/2014, 10:28 am

If you are getting flowers but no cucumbers than the flower is probably not getting fertilized. For more information cucumber flower
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/6/2014, 10:30 am

Do you have female flowers yet?  If so, do you have pollinators?

It's alright to prune the suckers.  Cut them after a female flower if there's one on it.

CC
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/6/2014, 12:17 pm

I had no idea when I chose my username, I end up living it with my cucumber plant.
Your description describes my cucumber plant. It's going wild. There are very few pollinators it seems.
So I broke down, and hand pollinated them just a few days ago. I tried the brush method but could not detect any pollen at all on the brush, so I have been taking a male flower and squashing it into the female. I'm pretty sure at least one of them "took" almost immediately. There are a few different techniques but all the same end result.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHg4AsQCXLA
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  Terraverde on 6/6/2014, 9:14 pm

Thank you Boz, CapeCoddess, and FeedMeSeeMore! I'll go out and play matchmaker for my cucumber plants. Will let you know what happens from here.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/7/2014, 1:20 am

Excess nitrogen can sometimes result in that sort of lush growth and blossoms that don't set fruit. Phosphorous or dolomite lime are often recommended cures.
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need clarification

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/7/2014, 5:07 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Excess nitrogen can sometimes result in that sort of lush growth and blossoms that don't set fruit.  Phosphorous or dolomite lime are often recommended cures.
Before I add lime or phosphorous...When you say setting fruit, do you mean that excess nitrogen prevents the plant from making female flowers?   I do have both the female and male flowers all over the plant.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/8/2014, 1:35 am

Well, dolomite lime is to correct for acidity, a very common problem here in the Pacific Northwest, so really I said that wrong last time. In acidic soil, flowers of some types of vegetables sometimes don't set fruit. A year or so ago, I asked an agricultural extension agent who was visiting a friend's stand at the farmers market why I had so many blossoms on my tomatoes and no fruit, for weeks on end. The blossoms would just drop off. He said our acid soils around here can prevent fruit set, and recommended dolomite lime. I sprinkled some around my tomatoes and the NEXT DAY, I already noticed fruits forming. Zero problems after that.

That's one type of problem that affects fruit set, and one solution. If you don't have acid soil, that's not your problem and not your solution.

Nitrogen works differently, and so does its surplus or shortage. It encourages lush green growth, and its lack inhibits it. When plants get plenty of nitrogen in an otherwise healthy environment, they will often use that nitrogen to put out more green growth and delay reproduction.

Phosphorous contributes to flowering and fruit set. Its lack, like a surplus of nitrogen, can make plants put the majority of their energy into green growth and little into reproduction. Thus, you might get a huge tomato plant, say, yet no tomatoes.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/8/2014, 12:27 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:
Phosphorous contributes to flowering and fruit set.  Its lack, like a surplus of nitrogen, can make plants put the majority of their energy into green growth and little into reproduction.  Thus, you might get a huge tomato plant, say, yet no tomatoes.  

So even if the female flowers were pollinated, they might not develop if one of those elements were way out of balance? Sorry if my newbie-ness is showing. I really don't think nitrogen is lacking, but now I'm wondering about the other things. Couldn't hurt to add a little lime or phosphorous or both? I've been using E.B. Stone Organics fertilizer for vegetables at the recommended rate. Thanks for the input. I need all the advice I can get. That dang cucumber plant nearly died and I like to think I brought it back and now, admittedly, I'm kind of obsessed over it. I've seen one bumble bee around the plant and am thankful for that, but I wish he'd bring some friends around.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  boffer on 6/8/2014, 12:39 pm

Feedmeseemore, what type of growing medium are you using?
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  sanderson on 6/8/2014, 2:31 pm

boffer wrote:Feedmeseemore, what type of growing medium are you using?  
+1
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/8/2014, 4:54 pm

boffer wrote:Feedmeseemore, what type of growing medium are you using?  

Mel's Mix we made ourselves. The 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 perlite and 1/3 of 5 types of compost I'd been saving all last winter. We also mixed in a bag of semi fresh farm manure near the bottom. They said it was fine just don't put it directly near the plants.
When the cucumber went into transplant shock for about 3 weeks, it had just 3 leaves. I watered deeply as suggested and also gave it a tblsp. of organic vegetable food, since I'd read they were heavy feeders and then I hung over it everyday Smile It felt sorry for me I guess and started to grow and hasn't looked back. Maybe I'm just impatient. It has lots of flowers both male and female, but only two have unmistakably turned into growing cukes.
And by the way everything else seems to just love that soil. It's a miracle in my book.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  boffer on 6/8/2014, 5:05 pm

I realize this is your baby, but you can't protect her from everything that might happen!   Don't be treating her for pneumonia when she hasn't even caught a cold yet! Wink 

Seriously, properly made homemade MM will grow nearly everything. If you're getting pollination, relax, watch, and marvel.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/8/2014, 5:15 pm

From two tiny heirloom seeds. "The Twins." New mother syndrome. And yes, I'm just marveling that I can grow a garden we actually eat from in my first year.
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/8/2014, 8:22 pm

Those look beautifully healthy!
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  sanderson on 6/9/2014, 3:48 am

New mother syndrome!  Very Happy I think a lot of us were (are) like that.   Embarassed 
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Re: "shop of horrors" cucumber plants

Post  AtlantaTerry on 7/14/2017, 10:33 pm

FeedMeSeeMore wrote:...
There are very few pollinators it seems.
...
FYI, you can be a pollinator!

This tip works for peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. Just stick the tip of your little finger into a male flower then insert it into a female flower. If you do not want to use a finger, use a small clean paint brush with soft bristles.
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