Stupid Question (Regarding Cucumbers)

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Potoooooooo, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Potoooooooo

    Potoooooooo Out Of The Brooder

    I've noticed I've been getting mostly female cucumber plants in my harvest lately. Is there something I could do to increase the amount of males? (Thicker = Better ^^)
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Cucumber plants are neither female or male, unless you are speaking of parthenocarpic cukes, in which case, they produce fruit without being pollinated.

    In botany and horticulture, parthenocarpy (literally meaning virgin fruit) is the natural or artificially induced production of fruit without fertilization of ovules. The fruit is therefore seedless.

    Where cucumbers are concerned, the plant produces both male and female blossoms. The male blossoms usually have a longer stem. The female blossoms, if you look very carefully will have a tiny little cucumber attached between the base of the flower and the stem of the flower. If that blossom does not get fertilized with pollen from a male blossom, (usually carried by an insect) the fruit will wither and die. So, any cucumbers produced by a normal plant will be the result of a female blossom being fertilized by a male blossom. There are no "male" cucumbers.

    Perhaps you need to provide more water, or more fertility. If you don't keep your cucumbers harvested, best to harvest them while they are young and tender, the vine will stop producing fruit. (If they get large and seedy, the plant will stop producing.) There are also many varieties. You might want to try one called Suyo Long next year. It is not a hybrid, so if it is the only variety you grow, you can let one of the cukes mature until it gets very large and turns yellow, and harvest and save the seeds for the following year. The science of saving seeds is a topic for an other day.
     

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