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HELP! Cucumber-sadness

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HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  notagreenthumbedgal on 7/22/2011, 3:53 pm

Hi all,
My cucumber plants are growing well, lots of flowering! But once a little cucumber starts to develop, it starts to turn yellow and dry out after it gets to be about an inch long.

Last week was hot (high 80's, low 90's), so I kept the soil pretty wet. This week is cooler (low 80's); I've kept them wet, but not too wet. This was the case before it got really hot as well (both the sickly cucumbers and watering conditions). I fertilized with Miracle Grow slow release little bead things (yes, total gardening novice!!Embarassed ) when they were first planted. They get direct sun 4-6 hours/day. I have something for their little tendrils to climb up. I cannot detect any damage to the cucumber as a result of a pest getting to them.

Any suggestions? Let me know if you need more info.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  camprn on 7/22/2011, 3:56 pm

Are you seeing bees? If not it could be a lack of pollination. With the weather that hot my squash and cukes are doing the same thing, fruit failure. Here's hoping for a cooling trend so our vining fruits can set! What a Face
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  stripesmom on 7/22/2011, 7:14 pm

If you have your cukes in a box with proper drainage or on top of the soil, again with proper drainage, you can not over water them. Cucumbers need consistent water. Don't worry about over watering them, make sure they have plenty, especially as they develop fruit. Where I live, it's been over 90 and in the 100's for a week or more with no end in sight. I have been watering mine twice a day and never let the MM dry out. I just picked 3 big cukes today and there are plenty more just about ready.
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  shannon1 on 7/23/2011, 3:41 am

I lost my cucs early this year to desease spred by pests so next spring I plan on growing a self-pollinating variety under an insect barrier.
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  Goosegirl on 7/23/2011, 9:14 am

I had the same problem in the heat wave with my Sugar Baby Watermelon, but just yesterday I found two 1-inch big melons, and a 3-incher! Don't give up on them.

GG
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HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  sherryeo on 7/23/2011, 10:58 am

notagreenthumbedgal - My plants are still putting on lots of little cukes, but not many are making it to harvest. I guess 90+ temps like we've had here may be a bit much for them. I do see bees fairly often, so don't think my problem is entirely a pollination thing - I even get out there and help the bees out sometimes. My cuke plants look awful, with leaves browning and dying off further & further up the vine, even though they still have healthy looking growth towards the top. So you're not alone - not that that is much comfort!

Shannon, I copied your tip and have saved it in my "cucumber tips" file (yea, I'm nerdy that way - have a file for most everything). My brain knows that there are self pollinating cuke varieties out there, but whether I would remember that at planting time (and that that could help me provide a way to protect them against the bad bugs) is a different subject!

My only question, though, is how could we secure the insect barrier around the cukes as they grow up the trellis? Seems like that would take an awful lot of the barrier material. I have some of the extra light insect barrier, but haven't tried it yet. How do you plan to handle yours? Will you trellis them or just let them sprawl? I'm hoping I may benefit (yet again) from your wisdom!
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  Furbalsmom on 7/23/2011, 2:02 pm

Sherryeo wrote:My only question, though, is how could we secure the insect barrier around the cukes as they grow up the trellis? Seems like that would take an awful lot of the barrier material. I have some of the extra light insect barrier, but haven't tried it yet. How do you plan to handle yours? Will you trellis them or just let them sprawl? I'm hoping I may benefit (yet again) from your wisdom!

If I had a self pollinating variety of cucumer on a trellis, I would try to cover it with tulle (nylon bridal veil type material) It comes in either 54 or 108 inch widths so you could easily provide protection against bad bugs.

That is what I used to protect my cabbage, broccoli and other plants that did not need pollination. VERY successful, not a single cabbage worm and no need for BT.cheers
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  shannon1 on 7/24/2011, 12:47 am

Sherry I have been asking myself the same question. Since many of my plants have suffered in the heat this year I'm thinking I will plant the cucs on the north side and trilis them up about 3' then back over the box to provide shade for the rest of the garden. The cucs can then be the support for the insect barrier for the whole garden which I would cover anyway. Kind of killing 2 birds with 1 stone. It is a long way to spring so I may come up with another plan before then who knows.
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  notagreenthumbedgal on 9/2/2011, 4:35 am

Just wanted to follow up:

First thanks for the advice everyone!!! I kept them EXTRA moist as the weather got warmer, and sure enough, beautiful, tasty cucumbers are being picked about once/week.

I'd post a picture, but I'm not so good with the computer either.



Thanks again!!!!!!
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  shannon1 on 9/2/2011, 5:04 am

I can see from here your thumbs are greening up. Congrats don't they taste so much better right from the garden.
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 9/2/2011, 8:52 am

If you are keeping them more or less WET, it's probably a pollination issue. Mine have been my biggest producers this year, and we've had heat that shut tomatoes down.

I notice my cukes are forming, and sticking, in the backs of the vines....in the shade. They are tricky to find at times. Is it possible you have a couple you haven't seen? I would check again. I think I do a good job, but at least once a week I see a new one I had no idea was in there. Just this week, I got an 8 incher and a 9 1/2 incher that I had no clue were even growing.

And, honestly, I have tons of bugs, too. Everytime I move the leaves searching both good and bad bugs fly out of there. Just keep it watered really well and you should still get a few to set fruits.
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Re: HELP! Cucumber-sadness

Post  Suzy on 9/2/2011, 11:35 am

If pollinators (read: bees) are scarce, you can pollinate the fruit by hand. Use a small paintbrush (the artist kind, not the house painter kind) and gently swish the male blossoms, then the fruit-bearing blossoms. Works for squash, too. Wink
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