JoyousFaith08
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Location: Appalachian Mountains - Hardiness Zone 6a/6b & Sunset Zone 36, 2,375 ft. elevation

Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

Hello everyone. This is my first year gardening and I have a lot to learn! Would you please help me figure out my cucumber problem?

I used starter plants that I purchased from a nursery to start my cucumbers. They are labeled as "burpless hybrid." The leaves are green, the vines are growing and climbing, and flowers are everywhere. However, the cucumbers that have been produced so far don't look like any cucumber that I have ever seen before. The fruit is either curved or pointed and it had light yellow/white streaks instead of being dark green. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong or need to do differently?

Thank you for your help!
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jal_ut
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

No problem. You are doing great. Yes, cucumbers may come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, but the test is to slice it up and taste it. Taste like a cucumber? If so, you are good to go. Have fun.

Do you have any bees around? Perhaps the flowers are not getting pollinated?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gumbo2176
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and ayren't dark green

There's lots of varieties of cucumbers and they come in all shapes and sizes. If you want a cucumber you are familiar with, like the ones you find in supermarkets being dark green and straight, buy a packet of cucumber seeds named Marketmore. They produce long, straight, dark green cucumbers.

If you are into pickling and like to make your own bread and butter or dill pickles, get a packet of pickling cucumbers. They grow short and fairly fat by the time they should be picked, but will get a bit longer and much fatter if you let them on the vine too long. Pick them in the 3 inch range for the best results.

JoyousFaith08
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

Wow! Thanks for your quick responses. We (unfortunately) have a colony of carpenter bees that live in our house and (fortunately) it seems like there are always several of them working in my garden during the day.

I haven't tried tasting one yet. I did notice just now that I have one that looks darker and more uniform but shorter. I'll let you know how it goes.

gumbo2176
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

JoyousFaith08 wrote:Wow! Thanks for your quick responses. We (unfortunately) have a colony of carpenter bees that live in our house and (fortunately) it seems like there are always several of them working in my garden during the day.

I haven't tried tasting one yet. I did notice just now that I have one that looks darker and more uniform but shorter. I'll let you know how it goes.
If they are "working" in your garden, chances are they are working on your trellis material if it is made of wood. I have the occasional carpenter bee at my house and they love to bore their holes into wood and they are not picky. They will bore into treated wood as easily as they do untreated.

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applestar
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

Yes, I was going to say this one looks a leeetle bit past best harvesting size, which may also account for the lighter color. You will see when you cut into it whether the seeds are still soft and tender or have started developing hard shells.

You want to pick your cucumbers before bottom end becomes fatter than the top neck part, and the bottom end starts to pale in color. They are masters at hiding in the foliage though :wink:
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gumbo2176
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

One of my wife's former fellow co-workers has a daughter that complained about the taste of store bought cucumbers. Seems her grandfather always had a garden and would give her fresh cukes out of his garden and that in turn spoiled her. Unfortunately, her grandfather passed and the garden went away.

Long story short, my wife related that story to me and I knew where it was heading, so I gave her a bunch of home grown cucumbers to pass on to her co-worker. Her daughter was so thrilled to be eating (in her words) real cucumbers. As anyone that grows their own vegetables knows, the produce seems to be so much better than those commercially grown crops found in the produce section of the marketplaces.

JoyousFaith08
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Re: Cucumbers are shaped strangely and aren't dark green

Fortunately, I used trellis netting so the bees don't seem very interested in it, but I have watched them visit flowers. I was on vacation for a week and that cucumber was waiting for me when I got home. I was afraid that I had picked it too soon because of the color so it is good to know that I should pick the next ones sooner. We ate the one that was pictured and it tasted great. I grew up with a mama that gardened and I sure was in for a surprise when I had to start eating cafeteria veggies at college. I think I am wearing Mama thin with questions so I am glad to be able to ask them here.

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