How do you pollinate cucumbers???
The tenants in our apartment building started a small urban garden this year -- a raised bed built in the back of the parking lot. Although I've seen bees, wasps, butterflies,and other insects buzzing around, I haven't been counting on them for pollination since the first zucchini I thought was growing shriveled up and died. I go out every morning to look for female flowers on the squash plants and manually bring them some pollen from the abundant male flowers. This is working on the zucchini, sunburst squash, and sugar pumpkins.
Now our lemon cucumbers have started to flower, and I'm stumped! The difference between the male and female flowers is obvious on the outside, but not when I look inside! If there is any pollen in those males, it's so fine I can't see it with the naked eye.
I have a few other varieties of cucumber going that won't need pollinating: Orient Express, Suyo Long, Palace King, Diva, and Little Leaf. We've already begun getting fruit from the Orient Express without having to fret over it. The Lemon Cucumber, I understand, *does* need to be pollinated.
But where's the dang pollen???
For the first few female flowers, I just peeled a male flower down to the base of it and then rubbed that into the female and hoped I was accomplishing something. Only one has started to swell. There's gotta be a better way to do this. Help!