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How do cucumbers work? Newbie question

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Selleri, May 3, 2021.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    I stupidly started my Piccolo di Parigi too early but so far so good- the plants look healthy and are now flowering. They are on kitchen windowsill and will hopefully be ok until they get out to their final 50cm container. Google tells me they dislike root disturbance so I don't want to pot them on now unless necessary.

    Do I have to do anything with the flowers? Remove the male ones, hand pollinate or something else?

    I honestly don't know how cucumbers work so have no idea if the female flowers will produce fruit without any pollination. :redface: Thanks for advise!

    I presume the two top pics are of female flowers and the third a male.

    femalecucu.jpgfemalecucu2.jpgmalecucu.jpg

    Merci! [​IMG]
     
  2. pete

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

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    Trying to work out if it needs pollinating to form fruit.
    It appears to be a common French variety, probably grown outside as they put it in the category of a gerkin.

    So I'm thinking it does need pollinating so you should leave the male flowers on the plant.
    You may need to hand pollinate if it is indoors.
     
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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      Cucumbers do not work! They just hang around all day and stay up all night thinking of new ways to die.

      Allthough I have grown mainly outdoor cucumbers, but also indoor ones for over 30 years, I've bought those seeds from Premier for the first time this year as our daughter wants to pickle 'her own' (mine actually) gherkins. They are not described as F1 or 'all female' so I assumed they'd require pollinators, or giving them a bit of manual help, although my polytunnels have mesh ventilation (13 x 13mm) that will permit their ingress/egress, although I keep short handled fine mesh nets handy incase they require a bit of help getting back out.

      My Piccolo di Parigi seeds, together with my other cucurbits/squashes will be sown over the next few days.
       
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        Last edited: May 3, 2021
      • Selleri

        Selleri Koala

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        I think I know him :th scifD36:

        Thanks, so I will get poking about with a small paintbrush and see what happens. For the sake of experiment I will leave half of the Ladies unpoked :biggrin:

        Most exiting! Sadly, I don't actually like cucumbers but surely home grown ones will be a delight... :)
         
      • pete

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

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        Well, might be a delight to grow, but you still wont like them.

        I did something similar about 3 yrs ago, I grew a gherkin in the hope of making a few pickled ones.
        I had hundreds of the B****y things, and in the end just left them on there, ended up like yellow balloons :biggrin:
         
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        • noisette47

          noisette47 Total Gardener

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          Shame on the lot of you! :roflol: Home-grown gherkins are lovely if they're picked small enough, and regularly enough!
          I'm a bit puzzled, though, about leaving the male flowers on. If you do that with cucumbers, you end up with inedible, bitter fruit! So why not gherkins? I spend a lot of time in the polytunnel on alert for male flowers. They rarely get the chance to open, let alone pollinate anything! :th scifD36::paladin:
           
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          • pete

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

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            Its always been the way, as far as I know, that ridge type cues need to be pollinated, whereas the tender greenhouse types dont.
            I put gherkins in the ridge type category, so I suggest they need to be pollinated.
            In a poly tunnel I'd go for F1 all female types.
             
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            • noisette47

              noisette47 Total Gardener

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              I thought I had, last year, @pete. But one variety of supposedly all-female cuc never stopped producing male flowers, so in the end, hoiked them all out. Wasn't there some sort of scare about bitter cucurbitaceae last year?
               
            • pete

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

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              I think there was something about poisonous courgettes, didn't think it was cues.
               
            • JWK

              JWK Gardener

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              • joolz68

                joolz68 Total Gardener

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                Ive always used Premier Seeds they are great :dbgrtmb: @Scrungee
                 
              • Selleri

                Selleri Koala

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                Thanks, I'm totally confused and intrigued, which is a very natural state for me to be. :heehee:

                Once again my lifetime motto "If you ignore it long enough, it'll just go away" proves right. After doing nothing with the flowers, I'm seeming to notice that the fruitlets behind the female flowers are swelling ever so slightly, and the male flowers seem to be dying.

                I'm in for a win here ;)
                 
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                • noisette47

                  noisette47 Total Gardener

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                  You'll know when you taste the first fruit :biggrin:
                   
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