Monday, July 27, 2009

Male vs. Female

I finally have some male flowers on my cucumbers- yippee! So you know what that means- cucumbers! For those who don't know much about cucumbers, they require pollination (at least this type does). Therefore, you must have both male and female flowers. I have mostly female, but I have recently seen 2-3 male flowers show up. So as long as you've got both genders and insects or bees to do the pollinating, you're in business. Of course you want to have mostly females, since males can pollinate more than one female, and the more female flowers you have, the more potential cucumbers you have! Now I've got cukes almost big enough to eat on the vines! Yay! Soon I'll be trying to give them away as I've done with my sugar snap peas and am now starting to approach with my haricot verts.

Here is a drawing of what male vs. female cucumber flowers look like. Note the teeny tiny undeveloped cucumber-shaped stem that the female flower has. This is what eventually turns into the part you eat. So now you know a little more about cucumbers. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I have four cuke plants... one is a Japanese something-or-other and is doing fine. Next to it is an Armenian Slicing cuke whose leaves are not as dark green as they should be, but who looks otherwise healthy -- except that it seems to have only male flowers and therefore no fruit prospects! Finally, there are two ordinary burpless ones, each of which gave one or two cukes last month and both of which are now aborting all other fruits. Gah! All get the same sun and water. Any ideas? How much do you water yours when they're established? I am in Davis, CA, so I know the needs will differ...