Seeing a cucumber develop into its full shape is one of the most satisfying feelings for a gardener. Your vegetable is starting to grow, and you can see your efforts bearing fruit.
However, some cucumbers from the batch may turn out lopsided or fat from one end and skinny on the other. You may be left wondering – Why are my cucumbers fat at one end?
There could be several reasons for a cucumber to develop as lopsided. They will still taste fine and edible, but the deformed shape can leave you frustrated about why your cucumber is not straight and even.
So, here are all the answers to your confusion. Keep reading, and you will soon have your answer to why are cucumbers fat at one end.
Possible Reasons of Why Are Your Cucumbers Fat at One End
Among various reasons for the deformed shape of the cucumber, improper pollination and lack of moisture are the standout reasons. However, there are some others too. A cucumber has precise temperature, pH, soil, and weather needs for optimum growth and perfect shape.
If you want your batch of these green, healthy veggies to grow in proper shape, you need to know what causes the deformation in the first place. Read on and find out all the possible reasons for your question- Why are my cucumbers fat at one end?
#1: Not Enough Pollen Grains
If the cucumbers have grown out of the flowers, some pollination must have taken place, or there would be no vegetables. However, a deformed cucumber sometimes shows that the pollen carried to the female flowers might not have been enough.
A cucumber plant has self-pollination properties, which means there are male and female flowers. The male flowers produce pollen grains transferred via pollinators like bees and butterflies to the female flowers.
The female carries on the process of fertilization once the pollen grains land. And soon enough, the cucumbers burst out from the fruit that female flowers fertilize.
In some cases, the number of pollens that reach the female flower is not enough, leading to the development of a fat cucumber on one side and normal on the other.
The flowers that don’t get enough pollen to become twisted and die or produce de-shaped vegetables. This can happen for several reasons, such as the lack of bees and butterflies in your garden.
A common sign of not having enough pollen grains is that the cucumber will be fat near the stem and thin from the upper side. The end that looks fine received the proper amount of pollen, and the deformed one did not receive enough pollen.
You need to attract pollinators to your garden. Plant enough nectar-filled and bright flowers and plants in the garden. Sunflowers and lupine are great in attracting bumblebees. You can also keep bird feeders with food to attract different pollinating birds.
If there are few birds and insects to help the plant self-pollinate, you will have to pollinate by hand. Use a brush to collect pollen from the male flower and carefully sprinkle them on the female flower. You will have to do the hand-pollination process several times a week for it to work.
#2: Improper Amount of Water
Overwatering and underwatering is common problem during plant growth. If you are growing the cucumbers for the first time, you may be a little too careful and overwater the plants.
Excess water also happens if there is no proper drainage system or the soil is clayey and does not drain well. Overwatering can cause root rot and other plant diseases, leading to the deformed shape of the cucumber.
Underwatering happens if you don’t water the plants enough. In hot temperatures, the plant needs more water. If the water requirements are not fulfilled, the plant won’t send the moisture from the roots to the rest of the parts, and the cucumber will grow fat from one side. Underwatering may also happen if the soil is sandy and does not retain enough water.
One inch of water every week is recommended for optimal growth of the cucumbers. Check by sticking your finger in the soil, up to 2 inches deep. If the soil is wet, don’t water. If it is dry, you can water it then.
The ideal time to water is in the morning and make sure to water near the roots and not on the leaves, or else a fungal disease could attack the plant.
#3: Excessively Hot Temperatures
Hot temperature can also be one of the reasons to your question- why are my cucumbers fat at one end? Too much heat can damage the plant in several ways. If there is scorching heat outside, it can leave the pollen grains sterile and unable to function.
So, when the pollen is transferred to the female part, some pollen is dead. This leads to improper pollination and the development of a crooked cucumber.
In excess heat, the water also dries up quickly. Cucumbers need lots of water in the setting and fruiting stage to develop healthy cucumbers. If the heat dries up the plants too quickly, your cucumbers may end up with a lack of moisture and deformed.
The simple solution is to water the plant more often in summers and hot weather. Keep a regular check on the plant during the fruiting and setting stage to see if the soil is dry. If it is dry, water thoroughly.
Adding a chemical fertilizer should not be your first choice. A nitrogen-based fertilizer can mess up the composition of the soil if not added in the proper amount.
Make sure the soil is nutrient-rich already, and you won’t need to add chemicals. If you feel like the soil does not have proper nutrition, add in organic matter like compost once every few weeks.
More than the needed fertilizer can cause the cucumber to be flat on one side. So, make sure to research different fertilizers and which one is the best for cucumbers if you need to add it.
Being aware of the root causes is very important before you can begin to solve the issues. So, now that you have your answer to your query- why are my cucumbers fat at one end? Go ahead and check for all the listed possibilities and see if you are providing the right number of prerequisites.
Share your best tips for growing a healthy cucumber with your fellow gardeners.