CityGreens Hydroponics

Find out what causes a deformed cucumber

17.01.19 09:37 AM Comment(s) By CityGreens

At the CG garden, when we grew cucumbers for the first time, we did not get any fruit due to pest infestations and lack of pollination. On our second attempt, we are happy to share that the results were sweet. Most of the cucumber fruits were very tasty, but we did notice some funny-shaped cucumbers also.

We noticed some cucumbers that looked different. We had a few curled cucumbers and a few with a bulge towards the far end. When we investigated the reasons for these funny-shaped cucumbers, we realized that we were not doing the pollination in the right way. To know how to do hand pollination, refer to this blog. In our case, the reason was improper pollination. In your case, it may be something else too. Read on to find out the main reasons that lead to the formation of misshapen cucumbers. 

Reasons for deformed cucumbers

Improper Pollination

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. 

Hot Weather

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.

Excessive Nitrogen

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. 


Happy Growing!

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