Q: I am growing a cucumber that is supposed to be 10″ long when ripe. I watch them daily to make sure to pick them before they start turning yellow. Unfortunately, they never “greened up”.
I applied fertilizer about 4 weeks ago when I saw the first cucumber. I apply water from a drip system once a week if we do not get any rain.
Do I just need to pick the cucumbers earlier and not expect them to get green like in the grocery store or is there something I am doing to prevent them from greening up?
A: In my experience, cucumbers that turn yellow before maturity are not getting full pollination. The process of elongating and increasing diameter of the fruit is triggered by hormones released by seeds as they grow. If the immature seed are not pollinated, hormones are lacking, leading to irregular growth and color.
To promote good pollination, plant lots of flowers near your cucumbers when the seeds go in the ground next year.