Question on cucmber placement in garden

Lynda_in_Ada(7a)February 3, 2014

I've spent some time this snowy day planning the layout of my gardens. Do I need to isolate slicing cucumbers from the picklers? Wasn't sure if they will cross-polinate and cause the slicers to be bitter. Also, how far should I plant sh corn from se corn to prevent cross-polination? Really wanting to start my tomato and pepper seed, but going to wait another week or two.


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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Well its my understanding of plant hybridization that cross pollinating only effects the seeds and subsequent seedlings. I could be wrong but unless you plan to save the seeds I wouldnt worry. I could be wrong though. I have planted picklers and slicers on the same trellis and never noticed anything strange happen. Corn Im not so sure of because I have only ever done one type at a time.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Mike is right and it is only an issue if you are saving seeds. I haven't found pickling cucumbers to be bitter, and many people plant ONLY pickling cucumbers and use them for slicers also, but you can't do it the other way because slicers tend to make soft pickles. I plant both but don't worry about them crossing because I don't save seed from them.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:57PM
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Thanks Mike and soonergrandmom for your help! The slicers and picklers will go in the same row. I'm not seed saving either so the crossing is not an issue.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I've never heard of cross-pollination between slicing and pickling cukes causing bitterness, and I grow mine side by side in the years when I grow both slicers and picklers. Generally, I only grow pickling types nowadays and use them as both picklers and slicers, or I grow Armenian cucumbers (which actually are melons, not cucumbers) to use as slicers.

The bitterness in bitter cucumbers comes from compounds found in the skin (and often in the leaves as well), so sometimes all you have to do is peel the skin off a bitter cucumber in order to improve its flavor. It also is worth noting that the same compounds that cause the bitterness also attract cucumber beetles, so if you choose a variety that has been bred to be free of those bitter compounds, you should have less of a problem with cucumber beetles.

Also, one of the main reasons cucumbers can develop a bitter flavor in the summer is drought-stress, so you can reduce the likelihood of having cucumbers with bitter flavor if you keep the soil evenly-moist and don't let it dry out.

With corn, the amount of isolation distance required will vary depending on your purpose.

If you are a home gardener growing a home-sized plot, you likely can get away with anywhere between 25-50' of isolation between the supersweet types and the non-supersweets. Or, you can isolate by time---planting varieties whos days-to-maturity are at least 10-14 days from one another, and 21 days would be even better.

If you are gardening on a larger scale and want to plant a whole acre (or more) of corn, you need an isolation distance of 100' between the super sweets and the non-super sweets.

If you are growing for scientific or research purposes, you need 500-700'.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 5:47PM
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