The Q&A Archives: my vegetable garden

Question: It's me again i forgot to inquire about my cuccumbers. They are small and shaped like a c. They too seemed to be burning up from the sun. What can i do??

Answer: The curling could be due to poor pollination or physical damage to the young cucumber. Cucumber fruits are composed of three interior segments or locules. For the cucumber to grow straight, all the seeds in each locule need to be properly pollinated. If one of the locules doesn't develop normally (because of improper pollination or physical damage to the fruit while it's still young) and the other two continue growing, then the cucumber will be curled. Growing cucumbers on the ground can also cause curling. Young cucumbers are growing so fast that if a stem or stick gets in the way, the fruit is forced to grow around it. Trellis your cucumber plants to avoid this problem. You can shade your plants with a sunscreen fabric to keep them from burning up in the sun. I just drive a few stakes into the garden and attach burlap, sun shade or floating row cover to the stakes about 12 inches above the plants. This allows good air circulation and also shades the plants from the hot afternoon susnhine. Best wishes with your veggie garden.

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