The Birds and the Bees

Because of my aforementioned spider mite war, this is the first year I’ve really been able to grow some solid cucumber plants.   In watching their progress this summer, they had lots of yellow flowers that routinely turned into little baby cucumbers.  But after a week or so, before the babies really grew, they would shrivel up and die.   I had only two exceptions, which turned into giant cucumbers, and just didn’t understand the lack of growth.

So, as usual, I Googled.  And my old pal told me that it seemed that the female cucumber flowers were not actually getting pollinated.   They put their tiny baby out there, but then just couldn’t get a man!  The bees weren’t doing their job.  Maybe because I grew bush cucumbers, not vining cucumbers, and it was hard for the bees to get under the leaves?  Who knows.

The solution?  Manual pollination.  Wow.  When I headed up to the deck to do the deed, BK asked where I was going and I replied “to make some babies.”  He didn’t really know how to take that.  So there was I was last weekend with my paint brush…trying to get some pollen from the male flowers and paint it onto the lady flowers.  We’ll see if this works…the spider mites are in the midst of devastating the cucumber plant anyway…


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