Hawkeye59
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Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

This is my second year growing cucumbers in 5 gallon containers.

Last year I noted that the Sweet success cucumbers plants would flower and I would see the little cucumber behind the flower and they wouldn’t develop but just die off until later in plants growth. But even then after a few cucumbers making it to maturity I still saw some flowers and cucumbers behind them dying off.

This year I am seeing the same thing. When I picked up the seedlings from the plant nursery this time I asked the “experts” why this occurs and I was told it was a pollination issue. Well I'm not the brightest person in the world but I did read that sweet success cucumbers self pollinate. And the guy told me I need to help with the pollination with the q tip trick. Well with the plant not having male flowers where do I get pollen? If the answer is other female flowers I have to wonder why if self pollinating they wouldn’t already have pollen in all flowers

Last year i got 21 cucumbers from 6 plants grown 3 to a bucket.
Last edited by Hawkeye59 on Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

You are right. Although the symptoms sound like what happens in other plants when not pollinated, Sweet Success hybrid is gynoecious - all female. So it is not even self-pollinating, it doesn't require pollination. So you can't do any hand pollinating. It doesn't have perfect flowers, with female and male parts, it has all female flowers that produce seedless cucumbers without any pollen involved.

So in your case, your issue would be more like blossom drop, when plants drop the blossoms without setting fruit. In the case of your cukes, the embryo fruit is already there, so it gets dropped too. Blossom drop is usually a stress reaction, where the plant drops the flowers to focus on survival, because fruiting is a big drain on the system. So you need to figure out what is stressing your plants. It could be under watering, over watering, too cold, too hot, heavy rains or winds, nutrient lack, etc.
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Hawkeye59
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

Well I have figured out that mid April planting stresses them and somewhat stunts leaf growth. Read somewhere today that steady 60's temps are recommended and it was getting into low 50's. As for contents of soil its a 4 to 1 mixture of miracle grow potting soil and Moo-nure compost with manure.

Next year I will add perlite and peat moss that I just read should be additives.

As for watering I was watering every day or every other day until I Would see cucumber growth begin then everyday. Assuming that water exiting out the bottom holes in the containers would prevent them from being over watered draining what soil didn't retain.

I also add General Hydroponics Flora Blend-Vegan Compost Tea Fertilizer to the water.

Also thought i would mention they came as groups of three seedlings together in each seedling container.

The "expert" at the nursery told me leaving all three to grow together is fine he wouldn't pinch off the weak ones. A friend told me I should and I just now read that I should as they go along and leave just one per container.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

April is very likely to cold for planting cucumbers even in VA. Cukes, like their relatives squash and melons, are very much warm weather crops, that shouldn't be planted until soil temperature is above 70.

Your miracle gro potting soil contains peat moss and perlite, in fact it is mostly peat moss and perlite, with some synthetic fertilizer added, so I don't think you have to worry about that.

Miracle gro potting soil has miracle gro fertilizer in it, which is high in Nitrogen. Adding the manure which is mainly a N supplement makes it even more so. You shouldn't need to add anything to your MG potting soil at first. After the first few weeks, as the fertilizer in the MG potting soil starts getting used up/ flushed out, you can start fertilizing with something more balanced, compost, compost tea, Tomato-Tone (which is designed to support fruiting and doesn't only work for tomatoes), etc.
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applestar
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

I'm a bit lost. Gynoecious cucumbers when bought to grow from seeds come with male flowering plant seeds. Better packaged ones (IMHO as a small backyard gardener) come with a small internal envelope that contains the male plant seeds, while the more farm/field targeted seed packets jut come with the male plant seeds (which you can't tell just by looking) mixed in, and the idea is that you will sow the entire packet of seeds.

So when you buy SEEDLINGS, is the male seedling is one of the three in the container (which I think is highly unlikely because usually the number of male flowering plant seeds are a faction of the female flowering plant seeds per packet). So is there a male flowering/standard plant of another variety among them? If that's the case, it should have been emphasized that you will need ALL seedlings. But then how will you know which one is the all female flowering plant? :?

Is the assumption that you will also grow one or more plants of a separate, standard male AND female flowering cucumber variety?

BTW and FYI -- "parthenocarpic" is the kind that don't need to be pollinated and they result in seedless fruits.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

My bad! I haven't grown these, just read about them and it sounds like I got mixed up between parthenocarpic ones and gynoecious one. Listen to applestar on that one! :)

Given that, it sounds like we could be back to pollination issues as part of the problem.
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applestar
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

Well, based on just a quick search, I'm seeing Sweet Success described as gynoecious AND parthenocarpic (a varity can be both) by some, gynoecious and SEEDLESS (which suggests parthenocarpic -- but without using that particular word), as well as no specific mention at all... Or how about "its gynoecious vines are disease resistant" :| .... No wonder it's so confusing. :lol:

I think someone mentioned that Parthenocarpic varieties can be pollinated by insects, but the resulting fruit is not as good for some reason that I can't remember. In general though, I believe parthenocarpic trait was developed for greenhouse growing to overcome the no pollinating insect quandary. Maybe they are not as adapted to growing outside?
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Hawkeye59
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Re: Sweet Successs Cucumber growth question

I have not seen a male flower in the two years I have been growing them so I don't know where the pollen is coming from that allows some to mature. I do have tomato plants growing in the same area but I'm sure they aren't providing what is needed for cucumber pollination.

Thanks for the help.

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