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I have beautiful cucumber vines that are loaded with bloom, but no cucumbers…

Bob Asked

I have beautiful cucumber vines that are loaded with bloom, but no cucumbers. I also very pretty bean vines with no bloom. What advice do you have to help them bloom?

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The Gardener’s Answer

The answer may be as simple as age. How old are your vegetables? If you started them from seed and got off to a late start, it may be that the cucumber has formed the male flowers and not the female yet and the beans just haven’t started flowering at all.

In the case of the cucumbers, it could also be a pollination issue. Have you noticed any bees on the flowers? If the cucumber has male and female flowers that are not being pollinated, you would not get any fruit. Male and female flowers can be differentiated by the lack of fruit on the male flower. If this is the case, you can pollinate by transferring pollen from the male flower to the female flower using a small paintbrush.

So back to your beans…if they are old enough to flower and are growing in full sun (at least 6 hours), it is likely a nutrient issue. Have you fertilized your beans? If so, and they were given too much nitrogen, this will cause lush vegetative growth, but prevent blooms from forming. On the other extreme, if you have not added compost or other nutrients this season, the beans may need some to flower. You can have your soil tested through your county Cooperative Extension Service.

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