Ask a Question forum: Growing pickling cucumber indoors, is it possible?

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montreal
blitz35
Jun 10, 2017 11:37 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.
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sallyg
Jun 10, 2017 7:23 PM CST
I'm impressed that you got it that tall and blooming indoors. I wonder if it just doesn't have the extra 'oomph' to actually make fruit though.
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LizDTM
Jun 10, 2017 10:03 PM CST
You have to hand pollinate. I'm growing cukes indoors. First you have to figure out the difference between male and female flowers, then how to pollinate. I watched some videos on YouTube to learn how.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 10, 2017 10:15 PM CST
Could you possibly post a photo of these little black prickles? Cucumbers that don't get pollinated just turn yellow and drop off. Cucumbers that get partially pollinated grow lumpy.

BTW, cucumbers labeled as "hothouse" generally are self-pollinating.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 11, 2017 7:28 AM CST
Some cucumbers do have black spines.

@Blitz35 -- what sort of lighting are you providing for the plant?
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montreal
blitz35
Jun 11, 2017 4:36 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Some cucumbers do have black spines.

@Blitz35 -- what sort of lighting are you providing for the plant?


I had it under a mix of led's and cfl's, I put it outside this weekend to perhaps help with pollination, but the conditions aren't good outside, too windy, not enough sun. I threw it out today, the plant was big, but cucumbers didn't last. I'll stick to the dill in the window instead..at least it doesn't need pollination:)
montreal
blitz35
Jun 11, 2017 4:45 PM CST
LizDTM said:You have to hand pollinate. I'm growing cukes indoors. First you have to figure out the difference between male and female flowers, then how to pollinate. I watched some videos on YouTube to learn how.


I've watched countless videos and articles, though not much can be found for growing strictly inside. Either way, I found some notes, and the plant grew nicely..only reason it slowed after 5 feet was it grew above the lights lol, I counted over a hundred flowers and at least 20 cucumbers 2 weeks after first flower showed up. I tried a toothbrush, qtip, even taking some males off and pulling stem back and inserting to the female..many cukes grew but then shriveled up in a day or stopped growing..from what I read it's improper pollination. Leaves were huge and green, no deficiencies..water was ph'ed to 6.5 when watering. Only thing I noticed is when starting out the cukes were nice and green and before dying, the pricks got black and behind the flower, black hairs grew.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 11, 2017 6:17 PM CST
Maybe try again using a bush-type variety?

I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of growing them indoors... but not enough to buy the lights that I think they would need. I start a lot of seeds using just regular "shop lights," but I don't think those would support growing something like a cucumber plant and its fruit to maturity.
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montreal
blitz35
Jun 12, 2017 7:02 PM CST
Weedwhacker said:Maybe try again using a bush-type variety?

I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of growing them indoors... but not enough to buy the lights that I think they would need. I start a lot of seeds using just regular "shop lights," but I don't think those would support growing something like a cucumber plant and its fruit to maturity.


Those lights wouldn't support most any vegetable once fruiting begins. Im just going to stick to herbs for now and parsley...I'm not attempting vegetables again indoor..im waiting for the pepper plants to bloom some more, will probably put that on the balcony soon and I have a tiny tim that will go outside as well..otherwise it will just grow a big plant in here with no fruit lol:) Seems a ladybug found her way in..i think when I chopped up the cucumber plant yesterday..it may have been on it and got stuck inside..she likes resting on the marigold..but from the looks of it..hasn't found anything to eat on them!:)
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DaisyI
Jun 12, 2017 7:44 PM CST
You have a balcony? There you go! My daughter lived in an apartment with a small balcany while in college. She grew an amazing garden in 3 or 4 large (they were about 2 ft across) pots on her balcony including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, beets and carrots.

She found the pots at Home Depot for about $10 apiece. She is out of college and has a home with a big yard but hasn't given up her pots. We got some just last weekend and yes, they are still $10 a pot.

If you can't find cheap pots, look for plastic bins and small garbage cans. Its easy to add drain holes.
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montreal
blitz35
Jun 13, 2017 5:54 PM CST
DaisyI said:You have a balcony? There you go! My daughter lived in an apartment with a small balcany while in college. She grew an amazing garden in 3 or 4 large (they were about 2 ft across) pots on her balcony including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, beets and carrots.

She found the pots at Home Depot for about $10 apiece. She is out of college and has a home with a big yard but hasn't given up her pots. We got some just last weekend and yes, they are still $10 a pot.

If you can't find cheap pots, look for plastic bins and small garbage cans. Its easy to add drain holes.

I have all the pots already, containers already..my issue was I couldn't do it on the balcony because it doesn't get sun for long enough..also I put the cucumber in a 5 gallon container outside and the wind knocked it all over, so outside is pointless on the balcony, hence why I tried inside. I have 2 peppers left with a tomato, but the pepper will be put outside next week or the week after...it won't be able to produce peppers inside anyway..though the plant/leaves are quite big on one of them. This was a bad time to start with summer arriving..its way too hot for peppers as well. If you live in montreal..im willing to donate them all as they are likely going in the garbage after next weekend..my 2 month experiment is coming to an end:)

Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
Jun 13, 2017 8:45 PM CST
Too hot for peppers? Never! They are growing happily down here in 105 plus weather every day. Peppers love hot weather.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 13, 2017 8:50 PM CST
I agree, Liz -- as long as they get plenty of water, heat is no problem. Not that I usually have much to worry about in that department Whistling
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montreal
blitz35
Jun 14, 2017 7:30 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:I agree, Liz -- as long as they get plenty of water, heat is no problem. Not that I usually have much to worry about in that department Whistling

Who knows..so much conflicting info out there..but I saw a video and read 2 articles stating the same thing, that peppers are actually very sensitive to heat, and if average temps hit 30 Celsius, the pollen will not be viable anymore, also if nighttime temps stay above 25 Celsius, flowers will drop as well. which was happening to mine. I guess a lot of it seems to be guesswork:) Thanks for all the help, if I ever get an outdoor garden, i'll be back:) The major heat wave is finally gone, I can clear out the rest of the plants and end this project lol:) Have a nice summer everyone, happy gardening!
montreal
blitz35
Jun 23, 2017 4:28 PM CST
blitz35 said:
Who knows..so much conflicting info out there..but I saw a video and read 2 articles stating the same thing, that peppers are actually very sensitive to heat, and if average temps hit 30 Celsius, the pollen will not be viable anymore, also if nighttime temps stay above 25 Celsius, flowers will drop as well. which was happening to mine. I guess a lot of it seems to be guesswork:) Thanks for all the help, if I ever get an outdoor garden, i'll be back:) The major heat wave is finally gone, I can clear out the rest of the plants and end this project lol:) Have a nice summer everyone, happy gardening!

So it seems the peppers are doing the same. One of them is growing one pepper..but other flowers are falling since, and the other plant won't hold any flowers, otherwise plants are healthy as can be. Im putting it on the balcony for good tmr. As for my planter with the parsley, tiny tim tomato, and marigold is growing, marigold is very bushy but no flowering, tomato has shown its firs blossoms 2 days ago and parsley is about 4 inches tall, though one is growing kind of inverted (like when a dog's ear is flipped inside out lol)..leaves are looking like that. The dill separately is growing nicely.

Name: Liz Shaw
Gilbert, AZ (Sunset Zone 13) (Zone 9a)
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LizDTM
Jun 23, 2017 10:30 PM CST
I had a pepper plant flower last week at 110 F and there is a small pepper there now after a week of temps 115+. Maybe they sell different pepper plants down here knowing that we are always going to have high heat? I just know that we are having extreme heat, and they are going great guns.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anaïs Nin
montreal
blitz35
Jun 26, 2017 8:00 AM CST
LizDTM said:I had a pepper plant flower last week at 110 F and there is a small pepper there now after a week of temps 115+. Maybe they sell different pepper plants down here knowing that we are always going to have high heat? I just know that we are having extreme heat, and they are going great guns.

Im sure they do sell different ones. From what I read temps above 90 are detrimental to pollen in peppers. Some hot varieties especially can tolerate higher temps, but most will not produce well if temps are too high, especially at night. I don't know..i have 2 plants, one is 2 feet tall, the other is a bit shorter and 1 pepper after 2+months lol. No matter what I do, flowers just fall without pollination, even leaving them outside now doesn't seem to do anything..plant just grows, no flowers stay though. Maybe doing them in a container was also a bad idea, oh well, live and learn:)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 26, 2017 10:12 AM CST
Most of my peppers are in the ground but a few long season ones are in pots. They are not doing well in this heat. The ones in the ground are going great guns. It could be that peppers don't like hot roots.
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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Name: greene
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greene
Jun 26, 2017 12:08 PM CST
I was confused right from the beginning of this thread. I read and followed the answers. The OP has already given up. Not sure why.

In Montreal the climate is similar to that where I lived in the northeastern US. Here is a planting calendar for Montreal.
http://www.porcupine.montreal....

If the OP has a balcony and could have added supplemental lighting (and yes, shop lights work just fine!!), he could have has some success with the cucumbers.

From the descriptions offered, perhaps the fertilizer encouraged leaf growth and not the veggie growth? Too much nitrogen can do that.

Better luck next time. Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
montreal
blitz35
Jun 26, 2017 1:03 PM CST
I have built a $2000 cob led light aimed at them..the lighting is not an issue whatsoever! The feeding was checked each time, ppm's and ph were closely monitored. Nitrogen was kept low once blooming started and I increased phosphorus and potassium. Im very well versed on how plants grow and what they need at what time!:) Shop lights will only work for the germination phase and a little into vegetation..otherwise, you cant grow full cycle with just shop lights! You will be lucky to get a pepper or two. Then again..with my powerful, professional lights, it wasn't making a difference, hence why I gave up and put them out on the balcony for good. No point to pay electricity for powerful lights to grow them indoors when all they grow are leaves and flowers keep dropping. The northeast u.s. is not very close to temps in montreal. NYC is 8 hours away by car and temps there are much much warmer than up here! If they get to 0 degrees in winter they panic..here its regularly -10 to -20 in January and February..even now at nighttime its in the 50's. I thought the heat wave 2 weeks ago may have caused the pollen to become useless, but now temps are perfect and still not doing much. The other poster may be right..maybe the roots don't like the heat and in my container it gets too hot? Who knows..the dill is the only thing that seems to be growing as it should:)

[Last edited by blitz35 - Jun 26, 2017 1:05 PM (+)]
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