Thursday, 14 September 2017

Playing the Diva

One of the varieties of cucumber which I have grown this year and last is called "Diva" (aka "La Diva"). I have had a few problems with it...

Last year the plant I grew produced mainly male flowers (remember, this is a variety often claimed to be all-female), and it only produced a few fruits late in the season. I queried this with the seed merchant (T and M), who replaced my pack of seeds with two new ones and urged me to have another try. I did. This year's performance has been even worse! I got one solitary fruit, early in August:

But now, when it's surely too late for any fruit to mature, the blessed plant has gone and set about six little fruits all at once!

They are all right at the top of the now very sorry-looking plant. Despite pinching-out it only produced one solitary sideshoot.

T and M told me that "all-female" cucumber plants are still prone to produce male flowers when they are stressed. I don't really think mine have been stressed. I have certainly given them plenty of water and feed, and they haven't had to cope with any extreme weather. I don't know about "Diva"; I think I'll change its name to "Snowflake"!

Maybe I have inadvertently discovered a cucumber variety ideally suited to cooler climates?

I won't be growing this variety again, and next year I will try something different. Do you have any recommendations? (For growing outdoors, of course.)


  1. Marketmore always does well for me on the allotment and I'm a good deal further north than yourself - I picked up a packet of 50 seeds from the well know German discount supermarket for 29p. I've tried various other outdoor cucs but with nowhere near the same success. As for La Diva I've grown one plant in my home greenhouse for the first time this year. It's performed pretty well and is still producing fruits - 2 earlier this week, 2 that will be ready in a day or so and another half dozen or so on their way. Early on, like yours, it only produced male flowers but then seemed to get itself organised and hasn't looked back. PS I'm going to the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show tomorrow mainly to have a look at the veg competitions. Hopefully it will be interesting!

  2. Have tried La Diva for last two years, but must say I'm too not really impressed - it certainly is a very late fruiting variety. So the good old Beit Alpha is still the best choice for me. Much more productive too.

    This year I tried a new variety called Adam. It's absolutely unbelievable how many female flowers it produces! One has to see to believe it! And it is very early too. The only problem for me was that all those little cucumbers were very hairy, and those hairs quite sharp. The taste was excellent though.

    PS. I'm not the same anonymous as the first one.

  3. Well Hello, Anon and Anon! Thank you for your comments. I'm glad it's not me that has had poor results with Diva. A friend who owns a nursery tells me that the photos I have published are definitely NOT Diva, so maybe T and M have (either accidentally or deliberately) supplied me the wrong thing?

    1. I hadn't really taken much notice of your photo till now but agree that doesn't look like my Divas, which have been smooth skinned. Anon1

    2. Sorry, have to be anonymous 2 once again! Actually, my Divas did look exactly like yours in the beginning! (Though maybe just a tiny little bit less spiny.) And it made me think too, that there has been some error with seeds! But they turned pretty much smooth when they were fully grown. So maybe there has been a major mess up with La Diva seeds (mine were from last year, but not from T&M; though they were from UK), or, they really look like that. Mine were quite pale green in colour (when full size), so that makes me think they still might be the right thing...

    3. Anon 1 again �� The major seed companies tend to get their seeds from the same source so there's a chance that you've both got the same (wrong) type of seed

  4. My Divas have been fruiting since early June, 8 fruits so far. They are definitely smooth skinned. I also have some male flowers despite the seeds being marketed as all female. I don’t think they are stressed either!

  5. I grew diva’s three years ago,about 45 plants trellised. Tons of fruits, dark skinned mostly, great tasting. Have not been able to duplicate that again! I think I’ve been getting a substitute verity.


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