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ralph31558

cucumbers

ralph31558
13 years ago

What causes cucumbers to curl up. I'm growing the sweet success, and the passed couple of years they have been curling up on me instead of growing straight.Can any one tell me?

Comments (32)

  • leira
    13 years ago

    Incomplete pollination can cause cukes to be shaped funny (because they well on the side where they've been properly pollinated, but don't on the side where they weren't).

    Uneven watering is never good, either.

  • ribbit32004
    13 years ago

    My cucumbers in my garden are not curling, but the ones in my containers are. They're really rather funny looking. I posted pictures below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Corner Yard

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  • tedln
    13 years ago

    Hey Ralph, what leira said sounds reasonable. You are growing my all time favorite variety. That is until I could no longer find seed. They were always, plentiful, large, straight, sweet, and disease resistant for me. I started growing the Burpee sweet burpless hybrid this year. They seem to me to be sweet success under a different name. I have had a few bent ones growing on a trellis, but ninty percent are straight and large and sweet. I just give the bents ones to my labrador. He says they taste the same bent or straight.

    Ted

  • homegardener2009
    13 years ago

    Sweet Success is supposed to be an all female hybrid, so lack of pollination shouldn't be a problem. I'm growing it myself this year for the first time. Unfortunately, I don't know what would cause that problem.

  • cassieinmass
    13 years ago

    Ribbit how do you manage to garden and still have your nails look good!?!?!?! Mine are brown and I constantly have to scrub under them to even look half way acceptable and not like a 2 year old who hasnt washed her hands LOL!!!! -CASS

  • jimster
    13 years ago

    Ted, you have a smart dog. Pay attention to what he tells you.

    Jim

  • blufloyd
    13 years ago

    Going seed shopping tonight. Wednesday the 17th traditional planting day in family. Was searching for variety so thanks.

  • tedln
    13 years ago

    homegardener, You are right about the sweet success being all female. I think they call it gyanaceous. When they package the seed for sale, they always include a few seeds from a different variety which will have some male blooms. Without the male blooms, sweet success would not bear fruit. That means if you buy the seed in small packets, make sure you plant the whole packet.

    When I could no longer find the sweet success seed many years ago, I started trying many varieties looking for one similar to sweet success. I finally found the Burpee sweet burpless hybrid on the rack at Home Depot this year. It claims to have "almost all female blooms". That means it can grow and produce well without another variety planted close.

    Jimster,

    I always listen to my dog. It makes my wife mad when she asks me a question and I say "let me check with Charlie".

    Ted

  • jessicavanderhoff
    13 years ago

    Laughing at Cassie's followup. I read something recently about how most people can't recognize a picture of the back of their hand and remember thinking I bet I could recognize mine- I spend so much time digging potting soil out from under my nails.

  • homegardener2009
    13 years ago

    Ted, thanks for the heads-up. Gee... they advertise it as not needing to be pollinated. Fortunately I have some pickling and Straight Eights planted nearby. I have been resisting the temptation to hand pollinate the Sweet Success for fear that it might cause problematic growth. But now I guess I can just go ahead and pollinate all I want. ;)

  • jude31
    13 years ago

    First off, my DH is the gardener, not me. Our cucumbers are full of blooms which promptly fall off, but no cukes. We had the same problem, early on last year. Staight eights and some kind of burpless both. Anyone else having that problem. They have been blooming long enough that we should have had lots of cukes by now. Very frustrating!

    jude

  • shebear
    13 years ago

    Sweet Success - Breeder and vendor: Petoseed. Characteristics: gynoecious hybrid slicer, white spined, fruit very long, straight, rounded at blossom end, medium green, smooth 12-14 x 2.25" size, 54 day maturity, parthenocarpic, market and home garden, AAS winner. Resistance: scab, cucumber mosaic virus. Adaptation: greenhouse.

    This came from NCSU so I'm thinking it's correct. It doesn't need pollination according to them.

    Maybe the weird shape happens when it does get pollinated.???

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    Jude, yes I have the same problem. I am in central NC and seems I should have had lots of cukes by now. I have lots of flowers but only a few babies, some with blossoms still attached. Below is a picture of one which is about 1 1/2 long. Don't understand why these aren't much further along by now....ditto for my squash. I think with the squash I have pollination issues which may also be the case for the cukes, but I have many more blossoms on the cukes so don't think that's its problem. I bought mine as a seedling and it just said "burpless cucumber" so don't know variety.
    {{gwi:69813}}

  • jude31
    13 years ago

    ditnc.....I just checked with DH and he bought seedlings for the straight 8's as well as the burpless (no other identifying name) and 2 itty bitty cukes, which may be gone tomorrow are both on the straight 8's. Did you have this problem last year, we did. Looking at your picture do you think the cuke is going to curl....it appears to be headed in that direction. Arghhhhh! Also did you plant any other variety?
    jude

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    hey jude (no pun intended!) - I didn't plant any veggies last year...I am doing veggies for the first time this year. I have a second cuke plant, but got it late and put it in a container so it's behind the one in the pic. It's the exact same, Burpee Burpless Hybrid. Can't tell if the cuke is going to curl. I will be surprised it if continues to even grow in length period! Hopeful though!!!

  • walaa
    13 years ago

    dont know about the curling thing, but just curious about volunteers??? I have planted no cucs this year, and am already eating cucs, volunteering from last year!! They came up in the garden, and in the flower part where I threw a bunch of huge yellowing cucs I left on the vine too long. They have gone crazy, and are already bigger than last years cucs ever got. We had horrible freezes, snow, and my garden was plowed and tilled in april, and still, I have volunteer watermelons, cucs, and tomatoes . I have volunteer marigolds all over, with lots of flowers, I read somehwere that volunteer annuals wont flower well, I beg to differ:) The melons are tiny, and I doubt will do much, but I think its just crazy that all these things are coming back at all!

  • tedln
    13 years ago

    shebear,

    You may well be right. NCSU may be right. I had done some research on Sweet Success and found a number of sites that advised to plant the whole pack in order to get fertilization of the Sweet Success flowers.

    Last year, I planted four varieties of cucumber which included Burpee Early Pride. Early Pride was the only variety I was happy with. Determined to only plant it this year. I didn't know Sweet Success was available again. I searched the racks for Early Pride in late winter, but couldn't find it. I bought Burpee Sweet Burpless Hybrid and waited for warm weather to plant it. Couple of weeks later, I found some Early Pride. While I was doing some research on Early Pride, I found out that it is also gynoecious. Researched the Sweet Burpless Hybrid and found that it is not gynoecious, but advertised as "almost all female blooms". I decided to plant both just to make sure the Early Pride would get pollinated. Both were planted in the same raised bed, under exact same conditions. The Burpee Sweet Burpless Hybrid germinated and started growing two weeks earlier than the Burpee Early Pride. Both varieties have grown almost to the top of the trellis now. SBH produced fruit two weeks before EP. Both are heavy bearing, large, and sweet.

    I found one large Early Pride this morning that was bent in the middle into an L shape. Right in the middle of the bend, I found a small scar that looked like an insect bite. It was probably bit when it was a baby.

    Just my observations.

    Ted

  • ribbit32004
    13 years ago

    HA! Cassieinmass, I just got back here and saw your post.

    Gloves, my friend. Well fitting gloves. :)

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    Ted, you said: Researched the Sweet Burpless Hybrid and found that it is not gynoecious, but advertised as "almost all female blooms".

    Does that mean my Burpee burpless hyrdbrid are lacking in males to pollinate them? Sorry, some of the words you mention are foreign to me and I am running out the door with no time to google those words. Thanks.

  • tedln
    13 years ago

    ditnc,

    No, my reading leads me to believe the sweet burless hybrid is "almost" all female blooms. To me, that means it should have some male blooms for polination. All I am sure of is the Early Pride (all female) and the Sweet Burpless Hybrid (almost all female) are producing like crazy. If you see the photo of my cucumber trellis in one of my photos on this forum, you will see plants on the left which seem to be growing slower than the plants on the right. That situation exists on both sides of the trellis because the Early Pride germinated and started producing two weeks later than the SBH. They both are doing well now.

    Ted

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    Thanks Ted. My cukes and squash are just not cooperating, maybe I have a lack of bees. I will just let nature take its course and if I get any, ya-hoo! I'm just jealous of those who have such prolific yields. Lucky you!

  • ausbirch
    13 years ago

    Ralph,
    If Sweet Success is a gynoecious variety then maybe the distorted fruits are ones that *have* been pollinated. This link
    http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/GREENHOUSE/hydroponics/cucumber.html
    mentions that fertilisation can cause misshapen fruit to be misshapen, but lower down mentions that curvature can be caused by somethign interfering with the growth of the fruit at a very early stage, like a stem in the way or by insect feeding at an early stage.

  • tedln
    13 years ago

    ditnc,

    You may have no natural pollinators. It's rare, but possible. When I planted my garden, my squash and cukes were planted on the same day. My squash germinated, grew, and started blooming three weeks before my cukes. I started watching the squash because I kept dropping baby squash. I finally realized I was not seeing any pollinators. I started hand pollinating and pretty soon, I saw a single honeybee. The next day, he brought his friends. Now they are everywhere. Seems that once one finds the source of the pollen, he goes back and tells his friends. Yours will start.

    Ted

  • tedln
    13 years ago

    ditnc,

    Your not using any pesticides on your plants are you. If you use Sevin (carboryl under other brand names)it devastates bees. The residue sticks around for awhile and will kill the first pollinator that arrives. He then can't return to the hive and tell his buddies about the pollen source he found.

    Ted

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    LOL at "he tells his friends"!!!

    I would gladly hand pollinate if I could get male and female blossoms within the same day. Someone at another forum suggested that I gather some pollen and "save" it for when the females appear!

    I think I am "watching the pot" and if I keep doing so, the water ain't gonna boil, you know? I think I'll divert my interests for a week or so (oh no, the withdrawl!!!) and see what happens....

    Thanks for your encouragement!!! :-)

  • susaneden
    13 years ago

    lol--she does tell her friends--with a little flower dance. Sixth grade biology :D

  • ditnc
    13 years ago

    Your not using any pesticides on your plants are you. If you use Sevin (carboryl under other brand names)it devastates bees. The residue sticks around for awhile and will kill the first pollinator that arrives. He then can't return to the hive and tell his buddies about the pollen source he found.

    No, definitely not using pesticides except bt which I don't think qualifies as a pesticide. I am told it's safe for everything but worm/larva. Slug bait is the only other thing I am using (also wildlife friendly).

    Susan, that's right! They DO tell their friends!

  • jlpassm
    13 years ago

    Why do the cucumbers turn brown and fall off when they are very small? The vines look healthy with plenty of blooms. The blooms turn into cucumbers which turn brown and fall off when they are very small. The same vine has produced some nice cucumbers, but most form then turn brown and fall off.

    Is this a pollination problem?

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • angela12345
    13 years ago

    Is the flower blooming and then after that the cuke turns brown and falls off ? That is a pollination problem.
    Do you have enough bees or other insects around to pollinate your cucumbers ? If not, you may need to pollinate by hand.

    More info in the following 3 FAQ's from the vegetable garden forum frequently asked questions section ...
    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/cornucop/
    - - How Do I Pollinate My Plants by Hand?
    - - Squash/cucumber/melon flower: male vs. female
    - - My squash/cukes/melons are not fruiting!

    These websites have some pictures of male vs. female flowers ...
    Cucumber - http://gardeningwithwilson.com/2008/02/23/pollinating-cucumber-flowers/
    Pumpkin - http://gardeningwithwilson.com/2008/04/22/pollinating-pumpkin-flowers/
    Watermelon - http://gardeningwithwilson.com/2008/09/24/wonder-wha-watermelon-flowers-look-like/
    Cantaloupe (Muskmelon) - http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/muskmel4.htm
    One type of Winter Squash - http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/sshow.asp?ssid=2&slddtl=1
    Yellow Squash (male on left, female on right) - {{gwi:69811}}
    Zucchini Squash - http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu/hot_topic_five.shtml

  • jlpassm
    13 years ago

    Thanks angela, yes the flower blooms and falls off and then the cucumber turns brown and falls off. The cucumbers are in various sizes from the thickness of a pencil lead with the fruit 1/2 inch long, all the way up to the thickness of a pencil with the fruit 2 - 3 inches long ( as you can see in the photograph if you click on the link).

    I looked for the male flowers so see if I can assist in pollination and I can't find any male flowers at all on the vine. Do these male flowers continue to bloom throughout the season. The vines otherwise look quite healthy.

    Anything else I can do?

  • angela12345
    13 years ago

    Wow, I can't believe you don't have any males !! On my vine, every day I have approximately 25-50 new male blooms and only 1-2 females. I have heard some varieties of veggies will have male plants and female plants in one seed packet. You would not be able to plant just one seed, because you would not be getting some of both. But I don't know if they make any cucumber varieties like that.

    I wonder if cucumbers could be pollinated by any other male veggie flowers in your garden ? Maybe the male watermelon or squash flower or something ? Hopefully somebody else will chime in that knows.

    This is my first year gardening, so I do not know if the male flowers bloom throughout the season, but I would assume that they would. They have for me *so far*.

  • jeff1984
    12 years ago

    My cucumbers have plenty of flowers but still no cukes .They are taking over my garden and my fence.Can anyone help me