I live in Michigan where houses are side by side and rarely is there a driveway. Luckily, I live at the end of my street where I have a garden along the perimeter of my yard. Every year I follow instructions on the seed packet, but even though I plant my cucumbers along the fence where they can grow up it I still can’t seem to get them to produce. Can you help me please?
The first thing to check is where you have your cucumbers planted. Cucumbers need full, bright sunlight to produce fruit. If this is not the problem take a look at your fertilizer. A fertilizer high in nitrogen can cause the plants to produce more foliage than cucumbers.
Another key to getting cucumbers to produce is pollination. Pollen must be transferred from the male to the female flower in order to produce fruit. You can distinguish a female from a male because the female has a tiny cucumber at the base of the petals. The plant will produce about 10 to 20 male flowers for every female flower. Blooms are only open for a day.
Bees are elemental in the pollinating process. They transfer pollen from male to female blooms. So, if your bee activity is low then your cucumber production will also be low. Cold temperatures and rain reduce bee activity. Over use of insecticides is also detrimental to bees. If you must use an insecticide, do so sparingly and only in the afternoon when bees are less likely to appear.
Cucumbers are a warm season crop that thrive during the warm summer months. They need plenty of sunshine and water. Plants are frost-tender so that they should be set in the garden about two weeks after the last frost date in your area.
plants grow in two forms: vining and bush. Vines scramble along the ground or clamber up trellises, while bush types stay compact. Generally, vining cucumbers yield more fruit throughout the growing season.
Vining cucumber varieties such as â€˜Lemon’ and â€˜Burpless Hybrid’ need the support of stakes or cages to hold plants off the ground. The vines have little tendrils that help the climb up a wire cage or trellis. Staking cucumbers makes it easier to harvest and keeps the fruits clean.
At the Moss Mountain Farm Garden Home I like to support my cucumbers on a trellis arch. It’s as easy to put together as one-two-three.
Form an arch with a piece of concrete reinforcing wire. The highest point of the arch needs to be three feet above the ground. Secure the wire to the soil with u-shaped pins. Plant your cucumbers one foot apart along the base of the arch on one side.
I harvested two hills of cucumbers this year. The fruit had a bitter taste. Can you tell me why? Thank you.
Bitterness in cucumbers is due to a naturally occurring compound called cucurbitin. All cucumber plants contain varying amounts. Sometimes this compound makes its way to the fruit. Hot temperatures, lack of water (cucumbers need at least an inch per week), poor soil and foliage disease can increase the bitterness.
It has been suggested that peeling your cucumbers from the blossom end toward the stem end, and stopping about an inch from the stem end, will eliminate some of the bitterness. This is because the cucurbitin is often concentrated in the skin, stem and light green layer under the skin of the cucumber. It is best to rinse your peeling knife after each slice so as not to spread the bitter taste.