Extend the life span of a cucumber plant

pennypond USDA 10 Sunset 21 CAMay 14, 2012

My vining cucumbers always seem to only live a few glorious weeks. When it produces there is always more than we need everyday, but a few weeks later the leaves would turn yellow and the production would stop. I only want one or two a day, but would like the picking last for a few months. Is there any way to spread out the production? Pinching? Pruning?

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Keep the fruits picked when they come on and are eating size, even if you have to give them away. The vine will stop producing if the cukes are allowed to sit and ripen. Be vigilent about cuke beetles, they spread a disease and cut the plant's life short. That should do it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 6:07PM
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calliope is right. From the plant's point of view it's lifespan is ended when it produces seeds. That is why gardeners deadhead flowers. If you keep a plant from producing seed it will keep on producing flowers to try to make seed. In your case it will make new flowers and new cucumbers. So pick those big ones and give them away or throw them in the compost and never let them start to turn yellow so the plant shuts down production

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:14PM
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pennypond USDA 10 Sunset 21 CA

Thank you both, so glad to learn the problems. This year I only have 3 plants so daily picking should be more manageable. And I'll make some yellow sticky traps.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:45PM
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You can stagger the plantings. About the time the first plants are starting to produce, start new ones. If/when the old ones succumb to disease, you send in the subs.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Good luck with the cucumber beetles. They are my nemesis when it comes to cucumbers and squashes. I grow my cukes and squashes under cover now until flowering to delay the inevitable demise by a few weeks. If you have a successful and organic method of controling these agents of satan, I have a sack of money waiting for you!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:46AM
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