fat, seedy cucumbers

adunateAugust 14, 2007

The past couple years we've had such bad luck with cucumbers. They grow fat and seedy without growing long. At first we thought it was the variety and were sure to change to something else. However, this year it's the same thing.

Is it weather or soil related? It was real dry earlier through June-July. Now we're getting lots of rain. I always considered our soil pretty good and we fertilize with manure every winter.

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Sorry, I don't know for sure why your cucumbers are like that. We grow the same variety every year, "Diva", which is very thin-skinned and we always try to pick them when they are small so they aren't as seedy and to keep the plants prolific. How short are they? Perhaps it's some kind of fungus that overwintered in the soil?

I did a search trying to find an answer for you but came up pretty empty. I did see a picture of a short, fat, cucumber with the tip slightly curled labeled "nitrogen deficiency". Are the tips of your cucumbers curled? Maybe this could be it. Plus I just found this:

"If the leaves on your cucumber plants are pale and turning yellow, especially the lower leaves, the soil may be lacking in nitrogen. Also check for stunted growth and undersized leaves. Fruits may be pointed at the blossom end. To quickly solve this problem, spray your plants with dilute fish emulsion or another liquid fertilizer."

I'm poking around while I type this because we've had a few cucumbers do this before and I'm curious. However, we have had many perfectly normal cucumbers so maybe it's just one or two vines for us. There was also something on another site that mentioned over-saturated soil losing nitrogen. It gets washed down below the root zone or something like that.

Here's another possibility from
Q. What causes my cucumbers to often be misshapen and gourdy-looking?

A. Probably poor pollination. Improper pollination caused by lack of insects or pollen killed by hot temperatures can cause misshapen fruit. Moisture stress during development can also misshape fruit. Pollination did occur or the fruit would not be present.

Hope some of this helps! When the broccoli in our garden went to seed, I held off on cutting the flowers because they seemed to be attracting so many honeybees and butterflies. So pollination isn't a problem in my garden. Do you have any other plants with flowers to attract the insects over near the cucumbers? I'd try that and the nitrogen idea. Not too much nitrogen however, too much can cause other problems.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 12:28AM
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