The Q&A Archives: Early Blooming Cucumbers

Question: I have two small cucumber plants and several small gourds that are already blossoming, although I don't think they're large enough to be producing fruit. Is it advisable to pinch off these blossoms to allow the plants to reach a larger size? What explanation is there for the rapid development of blossoms before the plant has reached a mature size? Too much fertilizer? Thanks. Melinda Bartoszewicz Tallahassee, FL

Answer: If the cucumber and gourd plants are growing in your garden and look healthy, they may be all right. You might want to try leaving one plant as is, and pinch the blossoms off the other to compare the results. Usually unsuitable environmental conditions cause plants to bloom too early--are your plants getting plenty of water and nutrients? Is your soil rich in organic matter? Overfertilizing, especially with a high-nitrogen fertilizer, usually causes an abundance of foliage with few flowers and fruit.

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