Are these cucumbers supposed to be this big?! The ones that are climbing are huge. The ones that are crawling on the bed are not as big. No cukes yet. What do they look like when they first show signs? Anyone have a picture
Here's another shot
They look GREAT! Nice and healthy and thriving. Your flowers are probably mostly male but soon the female flowers will come and you will be enjoying fresh cucumbers.
How do you distinguish between the two? How does that work? (I'm a beginner! ) thanks!
Here are my Parisian Pickling cucumber leaves. They're big, but not as big as squash leaves. Female flowers, by the way, have a tiny cucumber behind them which falls off if not pollinated.
Look closely. The male flowers usually start off first and behind the flower is nothing but a straight stem. The female flowers have a very mini, mini starting cucumber directly in back of the flowers. Bees come and carry the pollen from the male flowers to the female blooms and the flowers get pollinated. Then those cucumbers begin to grow.
Ohhh right yes I've seen those little guys! You can see one in this picture
Little gals, actually. :)
Right! So those aren't the cucumbers? Where will the cucumbers start growing from?
Those are the cucumbers. When they get pollinated they will grow larger but if they don't get pollinated they will shrivel and fall off.
Is it hard to actually pollinate? Is it rare or do they tend to do it pretty often? What's the best way to prepare them for success?
If you have bees in your garden then the bees will do the pollinating for you but if you don't have bees then you might need to pollinate them yourself. Hand pollinating is super easy. Just do a quick search of 'how to hand pollinate cucumbers' on google or better yet, on youtube to learn how. I think it's easier to watch someone do it than it is to read someone's directions.
I have never had a problem. Bumble bees or honey bees or other insects all pollinate.
Just saw this guy this morning! I guess whatever is pollinating is doing a great job! How do you know when it's time to harvest? Is there a certain way you must pick these off?
Depends on what kind of cukes they are and what you plan to do with them.
Generally, they're best when picked young and dark green, before they get seedy and tough-skinned. Cut the stem, don't pull the fruit off the stem. That leaves a wound that can let in rot.
Keep checking the plants regularly. Cukes grow really fast. If you let any of the fruits mature and go yellow, the plant might think it's done its job and shut down.
so the picture i just posted im assuming that one is not ready to be picked? When you say young and seedy how do i know just by looking at it?
When to harvest : You can harvest them any time that fruit is over 5" long. Pickling one will not be much longer than that anyway. Basically, smaller ones are tender and tastier. But You want to get a good mileage by letting it grow bigger, but not to the point that the seeds inside start hardening and the rind getting tough and brownish. So you can experiment different sizes and find out which one tastes better.