Diva cucumber failure

ltiltonAugust 4, 2011

I may not grow these again. Diva is parthenogenic - isn't supposed to need male flowers or bees to pollinate. My vines are healthy without visible signs yet of bacterial wilt from the beetles, but I get no cucumbers. Plenty of embryonic cucs develop, but almost every one turns brown and aborts well before the flower is ready to develop. First we had a too-cold spring, then a heat wave, but I'm finished taking excuses for these things. It won't be long before the vines start to die off and end the season.

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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

I bought Diva seed from Johnny's four years ago. All the vines I have grown from that seed have had male and female flowers and had to be pollinated to get any cucumbers. I grow them in my greenhouse which is covered with window screen material in the summer, and I have to hand pollinate them.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 3:30PM
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According to Johnny's:

"Plants are gynoecious (all-female) and parthenocarpic (grow fruits without pollination)."

I wonder if you got the wrong seeds. otoh, the few cucs I manage to get this year seem to have seeds, but since I harvest them young I don't know if they are "empty" seeds.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:19PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was the weather -- too cold and/or too hot. Such temps abort fruit development.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 4:47PM
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The weather has certainly been crappy, but this is ridiculous! Even the melons were setting -some- fruit while the cukes kept aborting.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 5:56PM
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i've grown divas for years now and have had success getting fruit both indoors and out... they don't like it super hot out though...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 7:52PM
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It's 10 degrees cooler, so I'll see if the little cuclets abort or grow now.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:26PM
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branik(USDA 5b/6 SS 35/41 AHS 5/6)

The ones I have been growing have seeds in them, but I have not tried to grow any of them out. They definitely will not grow fruit without pollination no matter what the weather. Link is to a photo of the 'guts' from cucumbers I froze a couple years ago. You can see the seeds in them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diva Cucumbers

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:53PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

As has been said, weather plays a big role in cuke success. Here are my Sweet Success on the left, and Diva on the right:

They have been quite prolific:


    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:10AM
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1 live in Maine less than 50 miles away from Johnny's, and I have never had much luck with Diva. I have tried growing it 3 times before I finally gave up trying.

Three cucumbers that I always have good luck with is Lemon (aka True Lemon), Cross Country, and Sikkim.

All three are good salad and pickle cucumbers, though the Cross Country will get bitter if you let them ripen fully.

The Sikkim will keep on the shelf for a month after picking, or 3 to 4 months if refrigerated.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 12:48AM
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I grew Diva this year and had good success with them. The cukes at the beginning of the year were seedless (actually tiny undeveloped seeds), but later in the year they had seeds. I believe someone else in my neighborhood must be growing cucumbers, and the bees are cross pollinating mine. I read Diva will have seeds if cross pollinated with pollen from a seeded variety. Most of the cukes were non-bitter, but some were.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I've grown and liked Diva since it was first offered by Johnny's, but I grow specifically for seed now so have not grown it in several years. This year I grew Japanese Climbing with outstandingly good results. When I have grown Diva, I've noted that it likes an even supply of water. Are you having problems with erratic rainfall?


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 2:04AM
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We've had a wet year overall, and I water during the occasional dry spell, so it's not LACK of moisture.

I'm seeing a few flowers start now, but the vines are already suffering from bacterial wilt. One thing I'm sure of - Diva isn't so free of bitterness that it doesn't attract cucumber beetles. My great plan to grow them under cover was an utter failure - despite it being stapled to the ground, the beetles got under the cover with ease and went right to work.

I have another, backup hill of Diva just getting to bearing age - maybe I'll get some cucs in September.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:16AM
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The first year I grew Diva, they were seedless and excellent. Production was a bit lower than I expected but overall they were a great success. This year they are producing fairly well but all have seeds and some are bitter. The skin is thicker and tougher than before, too.

I didn't think cross pollination from someone else's garden would cause these problems this year. Maybe the seeds, but not the difference in skin and tenderness. Am I wrong? Or is there more than one variety that's being sold as Diva? Cross pollination at the fields producing the seeds we buy?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 7:46AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

Wow - I was on the verge of getting these, but they seem to be a different kettle of cukes than the Johnny's literature would suggest....

Those with seeds/bitter - are you growing outside?

Any reports form those growing indoors/undercover with no pollination activity?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 10:57AM
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t-bird, the few cucs that I did get were proper Divas. My attempt to grow them undercover failed, in that the beetles infiltrated.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 11:42AM
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Mine are outside.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 9:40PM
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lwn432- do cucumber beetles leave the sikkim cucumbers alone?

I grew Divas under rowcover last year since my yard is infested with beetles. The rowcover worked to hold off the beetles for awhile, but eventually they found a way in. Some cukes did grow under the cover, but yield wasn't that great. I am not sure if they truly didn't need pollination or some bugs got in the same way the beetles eventually did.

All in all I wasn't that impressed. This year I tried Cool Breeze, but didn't bother with a cover. I got 4 very spiny cukes, then a gopher came and ravaged the vines. Sigh.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:20PM
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My Diva cucumbers wont even sprout this year. I am disappointed. Replanted seeds several times and the few that came up were quickly eaten by bugs. I am going to try sprouting in Jiffy Pellets but am completely out of Diva seed. I'm going to go with some spare seed from a variety called Iznik. See how that goes. I like garden cukes esp. with garden tomatoes. Argh! I thought gardening was supposed to be relaxing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:10PM
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I'm trying Little Leaf this year, supposed to be resistant to bacterial wilt. LL is a picking cuke, I think, but a cuke is a cuke when it's the only alternative.

I did get one leftover Diva seed to sprout and put it out there with the LLs, just in case I manage to get rid of the beetles.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 12:48PM
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I'm having the same problem. Lots of aborted cukes. Uncovered, outside, long healthy vine full of flowers.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:26AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

welp - I'm am trying them. I have them in a pot in the mudroom, but I think it is too hot in there for them. We are having heat wave type weather at the moment.

The cukes i've gotten have been good. But so far tasty jade (also not needing pollinization) have been more prolific.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:58PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

I have grown Diva and Little Leaf, but the cucumber that has blown me away this year is Vertina. It is a small pickling cucumber, but it's production is amazing. I just keep picking and picking. I planted half Little leaf, Half Vertina. I lost half of the Vertina to spider mites, but they still are producing more than the Little Leaf. I know that Little leaf's are like diesel engines, they take awhile to warm up and they the really start putting out cucumbers.

Give Vertina a try.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Okay, things are making a little more sense now. I planted Diva and salt and pepper cukes along the same trellis. I had harvested over 16lbs. of the salt and pepper and not a single diva. Since salt and pepper is white there is no way I am mistaking one for the other. I do not know if the diva germinated or not or if they are just not producing cukes. I think it may be the first since I do not see vines w/o cukes nor do I see aborted cukes on vines.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:42PM
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So far, the single Diva I planted amongst the Little Leafs is outgowing them. Male flowers are opening now, so I'll be seeing what happens soon.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:31PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

picked 2 divas off my mud room potted plant this am!

Have gotten more since I added some fertilizer and watching moisture level more closely than before.

Nothing from tasty jade since last post.

To be clear - only 1 plant of each, planted into the pots in march, kept under lights until the mudroom was warm enough.

Only get sun till about noon - and with only the 2 plants - getting about 3-4 cukes/week.

I want 3-4 cukes/day!

These were just experiments though - and waiting on the outdoor cukes....regular, straight eight, marketmore, etc.

next time - 2 of each indoors!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:55AM
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