Cucumbers not doing well, any advice?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Aldo, Jun 30, 2020 at 11:58 PM.

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  1. Aldo

    Aldo Super Gardener

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    I got some "spacemaster" seeds from a supermarket in California.
    They germinated well and are growing outdoor in one of my front beds.
    But they made lots of flowers and cucumber which do not seem to grow beyond 1 inch or so, they then yellow and wither.

    Shall I remove them all and let the plants concentrate on just a few?
    They are planted in a sunny but not so sheltered position (lots of wind) even thogh they are surrounded by many other plants now, which should act as a windbreaker.

    Also, the leaves have lots of white on them, even if I tried keeping the well watered and fed.

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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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      Hi Aldo. Basically my advice on affected leaves, remains the same. The leaves, foliage of any plant, acts in part as a protection for the main plant. So any bacterium, or fungal spores etc will first meet the leaves. Forget spraying with anti what ever sprays. Any infected leaf has HAD IT. so remove it. This save the plants energy. If the affected leaf or part remains in tact. The plant will exert itself to attempting to solve the situation. This will result in important and valuable nutrients being wasted, so that young developing baby, offspring will be starved. Once the friuts begin to appear. Please don't rush for the liquid feed etc. You might well kill the baby with kindness. Keep the surounding area a clear as possible. Give support when required and be careful with watering.
       
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      • Vince

        Vince Not so well known for it.

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        Aldo, do you live in a hard water area? have you watered the whole plant? the "white spots" on the leaves could be limescale.
        The plants themselves look hardy enough, perhaps too overcrowded, they like their freedom!

        You will almost always get some fruit that looks promising but fails.

        Cucs like a fairly humid environment which is why they are not the best of companion plants for tomatoes in a greenhouse, that said, I grow both in my greenhouse but have a bowl of water on the Cuc side.

        Water the soil, Don't overfeed and you'll get your rewards.
         
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        • pete

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

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          The white markings on the leaves look like mildew.
          You could try spraying with a diluted milk .

          It usually happens when the plants are stressed later in the season.

          I'm not sure on the variety you are growing but most out door types need to be pollinated so maybe the small ones wither because they haven't been pollinated .
          Or it could be just that the plant is aborting them because too many are already set, try cutting some of the ones have formed while still young but edible.
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            It looks like mildew to me too. Mildew doesn't affect yield just appearance of the leaves. Try pollinating as pete says.

            If it's any consolation my climbing courgettes (same family as cucumber) are doing the same thing, lots of small fruit that wither. I think maybe too early in the season to worry, they will get going in a week or two.
             
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            • Aldo

              Aldo Super Gardener

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              @Mike Allen Thanks for the advice Mike!
              Thing is, if I removed all the affected leaves it would be 90% of them, so perhaps the plants would not make it anyway..
              I could pull and replace the plants entirely, if it gets too bad I guess..
               
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              • Aldo

                Aldo Super Gardener

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                @Vince The water is indeed very hard here, but I never water the leaves, so probably it is mildew ?

                You are certainly right that the plants are crowded there.
                I wanted to try and see if I could fit a lot in that bed, because it took me quite a lot of work to prepare and I do nto have lots of space. Some plants seem to be doing well there, others less so, but it was expected.
                I have planted other cucumbers in less crowded spots, maybe they will do better..
                 
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                • Aldo

                  Aldo Super Gardener

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                  Thanks @pete !

                  The variety is called Spacemaster.
                  When I googled it, I could not find much in UK sites, but it seems popular in USA and AU too.
                  From reading around, I understood that single plants are not productive, so I have planted it in couples. But perhaps there are more varieties which go under that name.
                  On a site I read that they are kind of succession plants, in that they stop being productive after a while, so they need replacing. So I have planted other two 10 days ago and I will be planting a few more this week.
                  The two in that bed have been there 6 weeks or more now.
                  One grew 5 times faster than the other though, within two weeks it was a few feet tall, and covered in flowers and cucs, while the smaller brother was tiny still with no flowers.
                  So I attributed the whilting to lack of pollination.
                  But now they both have flowers, so I was hoping they would start fruiting properly..
                  Maybe I can pull most and hand pollinate the healthier looking ones, I guess I have nothing to loose.
                  Mike suggested removing the leaves affected by mildew, but there are so many, so perhaps I'll try the milk, it cannot hurt I guess..
                   
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                  • Aldo

                    Aldo Super Gardener

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                    Thanks John, I guess I'll wait then and try to hand pollinate some.
                    Weather is pretty bad though right now, and the forecast is not very good for the next two weeks, so I can only hope they will do fine despite the little sun they will get.
                     
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                    • Vince

                      Vince Not so well known for it.

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                      We learn through experience, nothing ventured nothing gained? Then we have GC members to help?
                       
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                      • Aldo

                        Aldo Super Gardener

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                        Very true!
                        But frankly I find cucumbers outdoor a bit challenging, I only managed some three years ago, by buying grafted plants, and it was the "great heat wave" summer.
                         
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                        • pete

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

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                          We dont tend to grow cues in succession over here, I just wonder if that is because they get much longer growing seasons than we do.:scratch:

                          Looking again I notice that the mildew seems to even be on the fruit in picture no1
                           
                        • pete

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

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                          I grew a gherkin plant a couple of years ago and I just left lots on the plant, it grew so many.
                          Not sure where you are @Aldo , but outdoor cues grow really well here.
                          But they do need an open position.
                           
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                          • Aldo

                            Aldo Super Gardener

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                            I am in South London, perhaps I am just not very good at growing them :D
                            By open you mean sheltered but with lots of space and sun?
                             
                          • Aldo

                            Aldo Super Gardener

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                            Yes, unfortunately it seems to affect the whole plant..

                            And yes, my auntie in California had tomatoes fruiting over Christmas in the garden..
                            I am not even sure if they have a "season", it seems like a long uninterrupted summer :D
                            Well, they wrote "Dreaming California" for a reason I guess..
                             
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