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Cucumber Flowering

Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 162
I now have my cucumbers in the greenhouse.  However they have a number of flowers on each of them although still small. Should I just leave these and let them grow or should I cut them off in case they will prevent the plant from growing??


  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,944
    Can depend on the variety you are growing.  If, as is quite likely, these first flowers are male, they will wither away and shouldn't prevent your cukes from growing. 
    Female flowers are easy to ID - you may need to hand pollinate  if no suitable pollinators are about in the GH.  Again, it can depend on which variety you have, 
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 162
    The varieties are Beth Alpha and La Diva.  I have just looked at the packets and see La Diva is all female variety but not Beth Alpha.  Grew cucumbers last year for the first time and had specifically chosen all female ones.  Obv didn't read packets properly this year.  So do I remove the male flowers when they appear? and am I right in thinking its only the female flowers that have the cucumber growing behind them and nothing on the male flowers? I will try and take photos later. 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,297
    I only grow all-female varieties.
    I've been growing Mini-Munch for the last few years.
    At the mo my plant is in a 2L pot and about 8" I can already see about 8 little cucumbers on it.
    I don't remove them.
    It'll be going into its 22L pot in about a week to continue growing in my greenhouse.
    They are extremely prolific.

    I've not grow Beth-Alpha os can't advise on that one, but you're correct - the female flowers have a tiny fruit behind the flower, the males don't.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 162
    Thanks for comments. Here are some photos. They look very crowded so should I just leave alone? 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,944
    I haven't grown La Diva but I have grown Beth alpha ( last year and this ) and I certainly didn't bother removing male flowers. 
    Given adequate support and space, they should give you a good harvest.  I did actually have a couple outside last year as well - shorter growth but they produced OK ( SW UK ). 
    Enjoy your harvest :)
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,843
    I like Philippa have had Beth Alpha for two years. I find the plant is self regulating as to how many cues grow at one time, so no need to remove any. As for pollination mine in the greenhouse needed no help. I would point out that the wooden pole you have will not take the height/weight of this plant @Kitty52 , as they easily reach 8/10 feet. Pete8 gave me the great idea of using clematis netting,  with the large holes it's easy to thread the plant through, and it's robust enough to take the weight. 

    This is last year at the beginning,  the plant ended up covering the entire end of the greenhouse. Outside they still reach up to 6 foot, and will slide down a pole and snap.
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 162
    Thanks Purplerallim  what a great idea. Is that attached to the inside of your greenhouse?  I managed last year as I constructed more ‘bits’ as they grew although it didn’t look pretty but what you have is def much better. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,843
    edited 25 May

    As you can see I have hung the netting from one side to the other over the metal roof support. Used greenhouse clips and wire to create a gap for the cues to be threaded through and then layed across when at roof level. Makes great use of the space.
    As you can see @Kitty52 it does need a bit of maintenance due to the weight it takes.😆
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 162
    That looks great. My project for next year!  Easier than me constructing  cane work  across the roof as they grew. Don’t think mine were as prolific as this though.  Last year was my first year of growing cucumbers. 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,843
    You do have to work out what your growing conditions are,  and trial a few varieties,  to see what works best in your garden. Pete8 gave me the idea, but I had been struggling along for a couple of years before that. I have tried 3/4 varieties of cues until this one @Kitty52 , so you keep going until you know what works for your garden and taste.
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