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Why are my cucumbers drying up?

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Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  sarah16 on 6/17/2010, 2:29 pm

So my little tiny cumcumbers, which I thought were going to grow into big cucumbers turned yellow and shriveled up.

It's a straight eight variety and I thought it was doing great. I water well every morning and it's been quite hot and humid here in central VA lately.

Everything else in the garden seems to be doing well and growing fruit - the tomatoes, peppers, carrots, etc., so I don't get it.

My row gardener neigbhbor says I'm watering it too much and that I should de-trellis it and let is spill onto the ground and that should help it. Uh, no thanks.

Could overwatering be the problem? Pollination the problem? Nutrient deficency the problem? Please help! Thanks!

It starts off as this beautiful little thing:




And then shrivels to this (note there are two shriveled in this pic):




And this is the overall plant (which I thought looked pretty healthy):



Any help is greatly appreciated!
Sarah

sarah16

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  Chopper on 6/17/2010, 2:36 pm

This is all very interesting because I have never watched my garden so closely and you see everything. I am wondering if it isn't pollination? It was ready to go, but never got the go ahead. Could be that it is early too and the plant needs to grow more before following thru on fruit? I will be very interested to see what people say. It does not look diseased or bug stressed.

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  jeboo on 6/17/2010, 4:26 pm

I am having the same problem. I started pollinating myself and it still happens, but it seems like a few more of the little guys make it than before.

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  junequilt on 6/17/2010, 4:33 pm

I'm not sure you can overwater a cuke, unless you flood it! Looks to me as though your problems are due to pollination. How long have your plants been flowering? Mine usually have to put forth quite a number of flowers before pollination "takes" and a baby cuke results.

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  Mirjam on 6/17/2010, 4:54 pm

thought I posted a reply, but I must have hit the wrong button Smile
Cukes have male and female flowers, the females having a fruit already started in the stem of the flower, the males just having a "regular" thin stem.
From your pictures, I'd say the flower in the first picture is female, and it will develop a fruit after pollination. The shriveled flowers in the second picture seem to be males, so they just die after having produced the pollen.

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  sarah16 on 6/17/2010, 5:21 pm

Thanks for the replies.

The plant has been flowering for a few weeks. The ones in the second picture were definitely female blossoms with cukes behind them, although it may not be very clear in the picture.

The three that have turned yellow and shriveled up were the first three female blooms on the plant. Not sure if the plant thought they needed to be sacrificed for the rest of the plant or what.

I think I'll go out this evening once the kids are in bed with a q-tip and try to pollinate myself. Why not, right?

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  junequilt on 6/17/2010, 5:39 pm

I think that's a great idea. I might even do that myself when I get home, providing the plants aren't wet (we appear to be "having weather" at the moment).

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  jenjehle on 6/17/2010, 8:57 pm

I think your cuks look great. And some of that is just normal. I may be wrong but it seems like similar things I've seen before in my garden. I really do think your cuks look very healthy!

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  Megan on 6/17/2010, 9:48 pm

My cukes are just starting to bloom (looks like male flowers?) so this is very timely info for me. Thanks and crossing my fingers!

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  miinva on 6/17/2010, 11:07 pm

That happened to a few of ours and I figured we wouldn't get any cucumbers, but then I found one hiding under the leaves on one plant and there's one forming on the other two plants too, so you may discover that it's just part of the natural process of things. Are your other plants getting pollinated?

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  Shoda on 6/17/2010, 11:15 pm

A 4-H mom and master gardener looked at one of my squash plants recently which is having a similar problem. She said that she often sees this on the first few cucumbers or squashes on a plant. When they do not get pollinated, the plant doesn't produce the fruit.

Usually, the plant is supposed to produce the male flowers first, followed by the female. I am not sure how you would hand pollinate to avoid the pollination problem but it sounds like that might be part of the problem.

On my squash, I am going to play wait and see for a while.

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Re: Why are my cucumbers drying up?

Post  jenjehle on 6/18/2010, 10:09 am

I am almost certain that I had a few of these also early on last year. But it surely didn't affect my overall result! I had tons of cuks! We were very pleased with what we had last year. My plant was so tall it grew above and beyond the trellis!



That's the pickling cuks at the back of those two trellis's, just before they started slowing down production b/c of powdery mildew Sad



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