Cucumbers are a common plant in your garden during the summer. They will grow easily and can quickly be harvested after six weeks under the right conditions. However, sometimes they don’t end up growing the way you want.
There are many explanations for this. Light, water, heat, nutrients, and problems with pollination and pests are the factors that affect their growth. Even without any external influences on cucumbers, different varieties will grow to different sizes and shapes.
In this post, we will learn the answer to “Why are my cucumbers round?” We’ll also give you ways to improve your results.
6 Main Reasons Why Your Cucumbers Are Round
Do you sometimes come across cucumbers with the wrong shape and wonder why they don’t turn out the way you expected? Here are the 6 main reasons why cucumbers are round:
Different types of cucumbers will produce fruits of different sizes and shapes. The one with slices about 8 inches long by 2 inches in diameter is exactly the kind of long, thin cucumber you often find at the grocery store.
In addition, there are also dwarf and fat cucumbers that are usually only about 5-6 inches in length. Of course, there are round cucumbers too, so if you’re wondering why your cucumbers are round, it’s because of this.
Cucumbers need a lot of water to grow well. A lack of water can affect the yield and size of cucumbers when it’s time to harvest. In addition, when plants lack water, you will see them begin to wilt in the sun.
It would help if you watered your plants 1 to 2 times per week to provide them with enough water. Besides, you must check the soil regularly; if it is dry, you need to water the plant more.
Lack of Nutrients
Cucumbers are plants that need to be fed a lot as they grow. The lack of nutrients will cause the cucumber to become short, stout, or round.
If your garden has enough nutrients, you can first use less or no fertilizer. However, if the soil is not fertile, you will need to add compost and organic mulch a few weeks before planting to provide the plants with the nutrients they need.
If the cucumbers show yellowing or abnormal growth, you need to feed them with an appropriate fertilizer. This plant needs to be provided with enough phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to grow, so you should choose a fertilizer with an NPK value like 5-5-10.
The habitat of cucumbers is also an important factor determining their growth. This plant thrives on well-drained, well-drained soil. If the plant is deprived of light and the temperature is below 50°F, it will not grow as it should.
In addition, temperatures above 95°F will not be suitable for the plant. If the temperature is too high, the fruit size, quality, and yield will be reduced due to poor pollination.
Pollination is the main problem that causes the underdeveloped or distorted shape of the cucumber. If the flowers are not fully pollinated, the cucumber will become stunted or only partially developed.
Cucumber cultivars have male and female flowers on the same plant, but they need pollinators to transfer pollen. Therefore, it is possible that due to the lack of pollinators in the home garden, such as butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, the pollination process will not be effective.
Therefore, you should attract more pollinators to your garden by planting plants rich in pollen and nectar in your cucumber garden.
In addition, you should also consider the use of pesticides because they will often kill bees and other pollinating insects. Instead, you can use more eco-friendly and manual ways to avoid pests like shielding, handpicking, and setting traps.
Diseases & Pests
Infested plants will produce small and deformed cucumbers. The viruses that cause this are the cucumber mosaic virus and aster yellows. They can be transmitted from plant to plant by harmful insects such as beetles and aphids.
It is almost impossible for your tree to recover from these diseases, so prevention is the best method to deal with them.
You can catch these insects on your own from vines if they are not too numerous. Alternatively, you can try applying horticultural soap or neem oil to repel them.
Useful Tips For Better Growing Cucumbers
For your cucumber garden to produce quality cucumbers, you can refer to the following helpful cucumber growing tips:
- Cucumbers can be started with seeds indoors three to four weeks before placing them in the ground;
- Seedlings or seeds should only be transplanted directly into the ground when the soil is above 70°F;
- Sow the seeds at least 36 inches apart;
- Put the leash a foot apart if there is a truss;
- Do not pack them in tight places with hard soil because cucumbers prefer looseness;
- Choose light and beautiful sandy soil;
- Add compost mixture to the top 2 inches of soil before planting;
- If it’s clay, you need to add compost or peat to make the soil better;
- After the new shoots appear, you should compost them in the soil so that the buds can grow more;
- Ensure that the area where you grow the cucumbers has good drainage so that the plants don’t rot if the water stays too long.
Also, don’t forget that you need to choose the right type of cucumber. Otherwise, the cucumber will end up in the wrong shape either way.
The Bottom Line
By now, you have probably answered the question, “Why are my cucumbers round?” As we mentioned above, many factors affect the shape and yield of cucumbers. However, you can ultimately improve these by following the instructions and tips shared in the post. Good luck!