At the CG garden when we grew cucumbers for the first time we did not get any fruit due to pest infestations and lack of pollination! On our second, we are happy to share that the results were sweet! Most of the cucumber fruits were very tasty, but we noticed some funny-shaped cucumbers also!
Differently shaped cucumbers?
Yes!! We noticed some cucumbers that actually looked different. Some fruits were curled and some were bulged at the end, giving them a resemblance of some other vegetable!! Like brinjal perhaps?
When we searched for the reasons for these funny-shaped cucumbers, we came to know about some facts which if taken care of ensure that cucumbers are properly shaped! The funny-shaped is in-fact, a physiological disorder in cucumbers. This is called crooked neck/deformation in cucumber (=misshaped fruits).
Reasons for deformed fruits:
Generally, pollination in cucumber will be facilitated by insects especially honey bees.
When there is a lack of insects in the garden; no pollination will occur. And this leads to no fruit set or misshaped fruits leading to the development of only a part of the fruit.
To enhance pollination it is ideal to keep a beehive or one needs to ensure that the proper manual/hand pollination. In the case of hand pollination, care needs to be taken and pollination has to be done without damaging the stigma. Also, one has to be aware and informed regarding the perfect pollination time, anther dehiscence (=anther opening time) and stigma receptivity.
Pollination time in cucumber usually between 6.00 AM to 8.00 AM
After this time stigma receptivity reduces, so there will be no effective pollination
Usually, hot temperatures produce more male flowers and less female flowers in cucumber plants leading to less yield.
Apart from this, due to high-temperature stigma receptivity of the flower reduces, anthers may die. Thus leading to improper pollination and causing deformed fruits in the plants.
- High supply of Nitrogen fertilizers or improper nutrition (high/low):
In the reproductive growth stage, not much nutrition is required as matured plants require less feeding! But one must follow proper feed charts for proper nutrient supply.
- Irregular water supply
Moisture stress also leads to misshapen fruits. One should provide a regular water supply for your plants.
By taking care of above-listed points one can enable plants to get proper shaped good cucumber fruits!!
Sushma completed her B. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Hiriyur and M. Sc. from College of Horticulture, Bengaluru. She is an avid gardener with expertise across soil based and soilless gardening techniques using substrates.