Sunday, 24 July 2016

Cucumbers: good news and bad

My "Cucumber experience" has been a bit mixed this year. One of my plants got flattened (and killed) by heavy rain; one never got going at all, and now two more have just spontaneously died. It's amazing how quickly a Cucumber plant can die! One day it looks fine, and the next it's a limp shrivelled wreck. I conducted a "post mortem" on the two recent casualties and I found that their roots had been completely eaten away, but by what I know not. In the container there is now just one Cucumber plant remaining, and to be honest it doesn't look strong. The Cucamelons, on the other hand, look fine and are growing enthusiastically.

Pot with 1 x "Passandra" Cucumber (yellow leaves!) and 2 x Cucamelons

The remaining Cucumber plant has so far produced only one fruit, though it does have another one forming - seen here:


Fortunately, I have two more cucumber plants elsewhere. One of them is that unknown variety that has grown from a seed that nearly got sent to a friend [Read the story HERE.]. You can see it in the middle of this group of pots.

I honestly have no idea what type it is - it's probably not even an outdoor type - but we'll soon see.

The last line of defence is the spare "Diva" plant that I couldn't bear to throw away, the one squeezed in near my Philadelphus tree. It's actually looking pretty good and is now about 4 feet tall and happily climbing its bamboo wigwam:

The spare "Diva"

It has its first flower too, so maybe it will soon produce its first fruit.

The loss of  Cucumber plants like these can be particularly galling because they are expensive plants to raise. A packet of seeds costs about £3 or £4, and typically contains only 5 seeds if it's an F1 variety. I'm lucky in that I have not lost out financially because my seeds were very kindly supplied FOC by Marshalls - but it's still annoying to lose plants that you have nurtured, before they have a chance to deliver a crop.


  1. Maybe it was a bit cold for them outside. The Mini Munch in our greenhouse is doing well and producing well.

    Could it be vine weevil?

  2. Wow, those are expensive seeds! I'm not surprised your cukes are struggling, the cold wet weather has got to be challenging for them. My cucamelons took a while to start producing, but now that they've started I'm having a hard time keeping up.

  3. Cucumbers mystify me. Last year was a terrible year for nearly everything except cucumbers. They produced about 15 pounds per vine. This year is a great year for everything except the cucumbers, which produce a cuke now and again. The Diva looks like it will do something. It's a very vigorous cuke, but seems to do best in very hot weather.

  4. We normally cant keep up with our cucumbers, however this year for the first time ever we decided to use a grow bag, never again, we have had just five cues from two plants and the plants are not looking at all healthy.

  5. We eat a lot of cucumbers Mark. They are beautiful from the supermarket and are 50 pence each.
    Sorry to be an old cynic, in the past I also have enjoyed the challenge of difficult vegetables. Now I just bother with the easy ones like tomatoes and french beans and plenty of brassicas.
    Getting old!


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