Cucumbers dying, where did I go wrong?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by FrancescaH, May 29, 2021.

  1. FrancescaH

    FrancescaH Gardener

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    After nurturing 20 of these plants and selling off quite a few I am sad that now having planted them out they're all dying on me.

    I grew them from seed, then a few weeks ago I placed them on the top shelf of my growhouse. Eventually I started popping the lid of the growhouse and left it open day and night for about a week. I then moved my cucumber plants to a pot this weekend and they've instantly all keeled over and died.

    The leaves (largest first, but now affecting all) have gone yellow and floppy. I pulled up one cucumber to inspect the roots. They are still quite small, but appear healthy. I cannot see any pests, neither on the leaves or in the roots/soil.

    The compost doesn't feel too damp or too dry. Just nice and moist. It's in a terracotta pot on my sunny deck. It hasn't been hugely sunny since I planted them out at the weekend but during high summer my deck gets a lot of sun and I successfully grew "Petita" variety last year in the same spot and had quite a good harvest (though I started them late).

    What did I do wrong? I'm really sad, but am going to try and learn from it (and am off to purchase some new plug plants to hopefully still get a crop!) Did I plant them too early? Not feed them properly? (I just planted them in the new compost so I hadn't fed them yet). Was there a disease? My courgettes and pumpkins were hardened off in the same growhouse. The courgettes are thriving in the ground and the pumpkins still in the growhouse look healthy and happy.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    I'm gonna say it has been far too cold for cucumbers, they like really warm humid conditions, not been possible this year up to now.

    Corgettes are hardier and so are pumpkin.

    It's nowhere near too late to start again, but be careful what you buy, if it doesn't look good, it might have been chilled also.
    Even seed is still an option.
     
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    • NigelJ

      NigelJ Total Gardener

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      My cucumber seedlings have been struggling and were quite pale until a couple of weeks ago when the nights warmed up, even then they are still in small pots in an unheated greenhouse; I was looking at them this morning and thinking about potting them and the melons into larger pots with a view to putting them into their final large pots mid June about 4 weeks later than most years.
       
    • JWK

      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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      You have been unlucky @FrancescaH as last year was a nice warm dry spring, this year is the opposite. Cucumbers can be so fickle and hate cold so mine are still coming indoors overnight still. I try and get them to a reasonable so they are not so soft. Probably won't risk mine in the greenhouse till mid June.
       
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      • FrancescaH

        FrancescaH Gardener

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        Thanks for the advice. So I was a bit over-eager.

        I've ordered some plants from a big name site, figured even if they turn up worse for wear it'll be easier to get a discount back on them from a larger place (I'm very persistent). We'll see how they look when they arrive in the next few days.

        In the meantime, I've pulled up and repotted the cucumbers and put them back in the greenhouse. Last ditch attempt, I don't expect them to go anywhere but you never know.

        I do have seeds left of this variety, but only 2. So I think I will save them and sow next year instead as I was excited about the variety! (Parisian Pickling, and heirloom so I liked the idea of saving seed at the end of the season).
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I'd sow the seed this year, it might lose viablity by next year.
           
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          • FrancescaH

            FrancescaH Gardener

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            Took your advice. Cancelled my order and went down to the garden centre. Treated myself to a heated propagator (I've just put away the makeshift warming pad and lighting rig in the understairs cupboard and couldn't bothered to make it all up again). Bought two further seed packets of cucumbers (there wasn't much choice) and sowed my Parisian Pickling. Will see what takes and does well and decide whether to find homes for all of the varieties or just keep the successful plants. So now I have Parisian Pickling (which I want for making cornichons), Diva (looked good for salad/sandwiches) and Goblin (look good for dill pickles).

            Currently warming on my houseplant shelf lets hope they take and get going quickly! Maybe plant them out end of June as it should be nice weather by then?
             
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            • Flat1

              Flat1 Gardener

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              Hi
              Moving them back in to the green house might make the problem worse.

              I found that when all possible negative factors have been ruled out
              as not the reason for leaf wilt... it ends up being Nimatodes or bad PH

              Basically they are too small to see unless you use a mini microscope

              Last year i bought some RSH recommended sand from a well known local DIY and garden centre

              I used it to germinate very tiny seeds and film a time-lapse using a laptop and mini microscope camera

              I viewd the screen every day and one day i cought the nematodes exploring the seeds
              Sadly non germinated.

              Thats when i realised those little things have a massive affect (some species eat plant roots!)

              As soon as you said new compost from the garden centre alarm bells started ringing.

              Nematodes live in garden centres and any soil bought from garden centres must be sterilised to avoid disappointment.

              I grow my plants indoors
              And put them on my roof when the time is right.

              And i sterilised that sand in the end by covering it with water and boiling it in the ovan for 1 hour!

              That process killed all the Nimatodes in the RHS recommended sand
              I say that with pleasure

              BTW bad PH leads to plants being unable to take some essential nutrients.

              Always sterlise any new soil
              And quarantine new plants just in case they have nematodes on them

              I dont trust garden centres any more or the RHS or anything with the word Royal on it

              Rich Sweetness mini mellon plants (a few plants)
              Korean mint
              Fennal
              Mamoth Basil
              Germinated Feb 2921
              Photos taken today
              Screenshot_20210529-200253_Gallery.jpg

              Photo Below proves that water mellon can grow in very tiny pots.
              Just water every day 6 times a day

              The above plants are individually in tiny bagsScreenshot_20210529-200801_Gallery.jpg
               
              Last edited: May 29, 2021
            • Scrungee

              Scrungee Well known for it

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              Mine are still indoors 24/7, the forecast for tonight was only 6 deg C earlier today so in no rush to put them in unheated polytunnels.

              12 Days from sowing

              IMG_20210529_195031071_HDR.jpg
               
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              • Flat1

                Flat1 Gardener

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                In the right conditions seeds can survive for over 20 years. One of the longest scientific experiments has proven that that plants seeds can survive and germinate successfully after 142 years and counting

                Dont forget plants were here first. And will continue to be here after we destroy ourselves

                Just an ounce of plant secrets would make you very very intelligent when compared to todays postmodern "Scientists"

                study plants you wont regret it

                They are a product of the environment
                That is why they make seeds
                There is a reason that i cannot share yet but stay tuned i will release the theory here as well.

                Plants naturally do amazing stuff every day very very quietly
                Some plants have adapted to communicate with us letting us know what is bothering them, some communicate with specific insects and attract them specifically to deal with a certain specific pest
                You need to pay attention to understand what they are sayings

                If all plant capabilities are ever truly understood, the knowledge would change the way humans do everything.

                They use PhysicsChemistryBiololgy that science is unable to comprehend yet
                 
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                  Last edited: May 29, 2021
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