Reasons for deformed cucumbers
Generally, pollination in cucumber will be facilitated by insects, especially honey bees. When there is a lack of insects in the garden, especially in protected farms, like ours, no or incomplete pollination will occur. In the case of no pollination, you will not get any fruit at all. In the case of incomplete pollination, however, enough pollens do not reach the stigma of the female flower. In this case, the part of the fruit that gets enough pollen gets developed fully, whereas the part that does not get a good number of pollens fails to grow to its full potential. Often this part is the blossom end. The incomplete pollination leads to the deformed cucumber.
High temperatures can impact pollination adversely in multiple ways. During warm weather, the pest activity decreases. The reduced activity can lead to a lesser number of pollens getting transferred to the stigma. Even if a sufficient number of pollens do get transferred, many of those may be sterile. The reason for this is because the sterility of pollens decreases with an increase in temperature. Apart from this, due to high heat, the stigma receptivity of the flower reduces; anthers may die too, thus leading to improper pollination and causing deformed fruits in the plants.
Cucumber needs a lot of nutrition during the vegetative stage. However, once the plant matures, the nutritional requirements change. At this stage, the plant needs a relatively lesser amount of Nitrogen. If the nutrient solution is not adjusted appropriately, it may also lead to misshapen fruits.
Irregular Water Suppply
Cucumber needs a lot of water. During the warm season, this requirement increases further. In case the farmer does not provide a sufficient amount of water to the plants, the plant may come under water stress and form deformed fruits.
Lastly, there are a couple of more things that one should take care of if doing hand pollination.
- One should take care to ensure that stigma does not get damaged during pollination.
- Also, one has to be aware and informed regarding the perfect time for pollination. The stigma receptivity varies for different time crop combinations. For cucumbers, the best time to pollinate is usually between 6:00 AM and 8:00 AM.
Taking care of the above-listed aspects, the grower can increase her chances of getting proper shaped good cucumber fruit.