Ask a Question forum: Growing cucumbers

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Name: Cathy
Gulfport, MS (Zone 8b)
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Cathyaudioelements
Feb 11, 2016 1:46 PM CST
I've planted several varieties of cucumbers the last few years, trying to get a good yield, both in quality and quantity. The last season was the very worst. I planted some "pickling" cukes, and one other kind. They grew up beautifully, but cucumbers came out like tennis balls. Ugliest things I've ever seen. I just bought some organic straight eights seed, and am hoping for some advice that'll head me in the right direction. I'm planting in raised beds with a mix of topsoil, potting soil and homemade compost. I'm in Gulfport, MS, North of I-10, out in the county. Thanks!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 11, 2016 2:16 PM CST
Hi, Cathy and Welcome! One of my favorite cucumbers is an heirloom variety called "Lemon" and they sure do come out looking a bit like tennis balls. But they're really delicious, and very prolific too. Reason they named them Lemon is because if you let them get mature, they turn bright yellow. But you should really eat them before they turn yellow so they are tender and sweet and never ever bitter.

Straight Eight is a good production cuke, but can be very bitter. The bitterness is a random thing with only some varieties, so better to avoid types that do this, in my experience.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 11, 2016 2:17 PM CST
You probably accidentally got Lemon Cucumbers. They are tennis ball size and yellow. I grew them a couple of years ago, but wasn't crazy about the flavor.

Ha! Cross posted with Elaine. Sounds like I should have tried eating mine a bit sooner.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
[Last edited by woofie - Feb 11, 2016 2:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 11, 2016 2:28 PM CST
You should pick lemon cukes when they are the size of a small lemon. They will still be green in color but tender and yummy. My favorite kind.

I think what your soil is missing is manure. I use steer manure because is cost about a $1 a bag and its mild. Mix 1/3 to 1/2 steer manure and the rest your soil. Get it completely wet before planting your cucumbers or you will burn their roots. Toss some time release fertizler in there too.

Daisy
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Feb 11, 2016 2:29 PM CST

Plants Admin

I agree with the others, you probably had the variety "Lemon'. It's actually quite a nice cucumber...you should have tried them.


Straight Eight's are a variety I grow often, along with several of the 'Marketmore' varieties out there and they are fantastic cukes. Grow them like you grew the others and provide them with a trellis to grow upwards onto (not totally necessary, but is a huge space saver and it allows the cukes to hang straight down as they grow so they don't end up curling.)


and welcome to ATP Cathy!
[Last edited by robertduval14 - Feb 11, 2016 2:30 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 11, 2016 2:33 PM CST
Just a thought. Sometimes cucumbers that are not well-pollinated can form unusual shapes. Attract pollinators to your garden to insure success.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Weedwhacker
Feb 11, 2016 8:10 PM CST
If you aren't averse to growing a hybrid, I can HIGHLY recommend a variety called "Summer Dance." I grow these on a trellis and they are long, straight (slicing-type) cukes, sweet and mild, with small seeds and thin skin. Honestly, I just can't say enough good about these things!

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Summer Dance')

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Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Feb 11, 2016 8:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Weedwhacker said:If you aren't averse to growing a hybrid, I can HIGHLY recommend a variety called "Summer Dance." I grow these on a trellis and they are long, straight (slicing-type) cukes, sweet and mild, with small seeds and thin skin. Honestly, I just can't say enough good about these things!

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Summer Dance')



Wow...those get fairly long. They remind me in look to many 'burpless' varieties. May give them a try myself if I run across seed for them.

montreal
blitz35
Jun 10, 2017 11:35 AM CST
Hi..I've searched google extensively and seems im the only onewith this issue. First time trying to grow pickling cucumbers indoors in a container. Plant is now about 6-7 weeks from seed and has reached 6 feet tall. Im pollinating daily with a toothbrush and fan going on the plant 18 hours a day, yet even after the cukes start to grow, they get black hairs along the pricks of it and the flower and shrivel up and die. Its in a 4.5 gallon bucket and im watering with fertilizer every 3rd day 3.5 litres. The leaves are healthy looking, but ckes are not staying it seems. is it fair to say that cukes can't be grown indoors without inviting bugs from outside to pollinate it? Im about to throw the plant out as every cucumber just gets black spots on the pricks and dies in a day. I read that once pollinated, the flower closes up..that's what spome of them do, but then they die anyway.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 10, 2017 1:07 PM CST
Well, don't throw it out. If you can't grow it outside where you are, give it to somebody who can. I would think probably the problem is pollination. But it also may be not enough heat, or sunlight. How many little cukes have you had abort so far?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
montreal
blitz35
Jun 12, 2017 6:55 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Well, don't throw it out. If you can't grow it outside where you are, give it to somebody who can. I would think probably the problem is pollination. But it also may be not enough heat, or sunlight. How many little cukes have you had abort so far?


Im pretty sure it was pollination, there were no bugs on it at all..was grown entirely inside, beautiful leaves and so many flowers! Temps were in mid 20's (Celsius), humidity at 50%. It was in the light for 19 hours a day, which also may have been an issue. Maybe i'll try one again if I have an outdoor garden:) I had no one to give it to, I don't know anyone lol. The cantaloupe I chucked as well..it was 2 weeks old on its 3rd set of leaves, but that would have been much more complicated than the cuke! my dill is growing nicely and the marigold! lol, im not sure the tomato will be a keeper either, it likely can't pollinate either, I might put that out as well once it blooms, its a tiny tim so surely it won get knocked over by the wind:)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Birds
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Weedwhacker
Jun 12, 2017 7:45 PM CST
Blitz35, don't give up on your tomato -- they are self pollinating! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 12, 2017 7:49 PM CST
If you are helping with pollination, use a soft brush. Brush the male flower a couple times then repeat with the female flower. Its really not hard but needs a gentle touch.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 12, 2017 7:50 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Blitz35, don't give up on your tomato -- they are self pollinating! Smiling


That's true. If the fruits aren't setting, shake the vine. Smiling

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Jun 13, 2017 11:55 AM CST
And they most definitely will set fruit indoors. I have a poor neglected cherry still in a tiny 4 inch pot upstairs and it has a little ripe red tomato on it with no assistance from me!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2017 12:33 PM CST
woofie said:And they most definitely will set fruit indoors. I have a poor neglected cherry still in a tiny 4 inch pot upstairs and it has a little ripe red tomato on it with no assistance from me!


That's just an act of desperation. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Birds
Image
Weedwhacker
Jun 13, 2017 1:04 PM CST
Geez, Woofie -- give that poor plant a bigger pot!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
montreal
blitz35
Jun 13, 2017 5:45 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Blitz35, don't give up on your tomato -- they are self pollinating! Smiling

I thought te cucumber was self-pollinating as well. I put the tiny tim in the window sill, only a couple hours of light there...but maybe it'll grow a tomato on it:)
montreal
blitz35
Jun 13, 2017 5:49 PM CST
DaisyI said:If you are helping with pollination, use a soft brush. Brush the male flower a couple times then repeat with the female flower. Its really not hard but needs a gentle touch.


I was brushing and shaking vines for an hour a day for 2 weeks lol..it made no difference. Fan on the plants for 14 hours a day. From what I read it seems that 30 degree temps killed the pollen and it's why it couldn't pollinate. maybe the cucumber seeds I had were not good, who knows..it was an experiment, now I know not to attempt them inside again! lol. I think even my dill is vanishing..the ladybug that got in may have eaten half of one as I see leaves missing on it since this morning lol. Lesson learned..plants are meant to be outside lol:)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2017 6:12 PM CST
woofie said:And they most definitely will set fruit indoors. I have a poor neglected cherry still in a tiny 4 inch pot upstairs and it has a little ripe red tomato on it with no assistance from me!


That's just an act of desperation. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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