Kathryn Fontenot, Singh, Raghuwinder, Strahan, Ronald E., Koske, Thomas J., Sexton, Mary, Brown, Sebe

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Cucumber is a warm-season vegetable that yields a high return for the space it occupies. It is not uncommon for one plant to yield 30-40 fruit over a three- to four-week period. The fruit is a favorite component in salads and a favorite in pickling. Other crops that are fun to pickle include okra, carrots and watermelon rind. Cucumbers, like other members of the cucurbit family, produce separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The female flower has the “immature cucumber” attached to its base. Pollen must be transferred from the male to the female flower to achieve fruit development. Attract pollinators to the garden by planting flowers in and around the garden space. Also, plant herbs, and allow them to flower.

The first flowers to develop early in the season are all male flowers; thus, no fruit sets on early flowering plants. About 7 to 10 days later, the female flowers also develop, and normal fruit set takes place. Plant breeders have developed “gynoecious” varieties that produce practically all female flowers. Each female flower is a potential fruit, and a more concentrated and earlier fruit set is obtained on gynoecious plants. Seed of a variety that produces both male and female flowers is mixed into the gynoecious seed pack by about 10 percent by the seed company. Doing so provides a source of pollen in the area. These seeds are usually color coded. Be sure to plant some of both varieties.

Gardeners in North Louisiana can plant cucumber seed or transplant from April to mid-May. A fall crop can be planted in early August. South Louisiana gardeners can plant seed from mid-March to mid-May. A fall crop is planted in late August in the south.

See pdf for more details.

7/3/2017 2:57:38 PM
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