Facebook Q&A Session 26th July 2013


Thompson & Morgan Facebook Q&A Session 26th July 2013 - Your horticultural questions answered.

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Name: Rachel Denham

Question: Can you tell me why my baby cucumbers go yellow and shrivel up when there are others growing away without any problems. This happens most years when I grow them in my greenhouse. Open to suggestions. Am I doing something wrong?

Answer: Hi Rachel, it sounds like your cucumbers haven’t been pollinated - shrivelling and turning yellow before they start to swell. If this is what is happening then you probably have an outdoor cucumber which produces both male and female flowers (such as 'Burpless Tasty Green') and requires pollinating. In a greenhouse there is often low insect activity so you may need to pollinate by hand to improve the fruit set. Alternatively you could grow an all-female greenhouse cucumber such as 'Tiffany' which doesn’t need pollinating to set fruit. Take care when growing all-female varieties; if their flowers become pollinated by a male flower the fruits will be bitter. Outdoor and greenhouse varieties are best grown well apart. Our article on 'How to grow cucumbers' has lots more information which you may find useful. I hope this helps.

Name: Robert Horn

Question: Can someone please tell me what is doing this to my Fuchsia?

Answer: Hi Robert, this looks like it could be scorch, which can be caused by strong winds or excessively high light levels coupled with a dry atmosphere. It can also be caused by over-fertilisation, where the salts interfere with the uptake of water at the roots, causing leaf spots and damage to the leaf margins. Dryness at the roots exacerbates the problem as dehydrated leaves are more susceptible to scorching. You could try holding off on the fertiliser for a few weeks and allow any fertiliser salts to be washed away naturally with your normal watering regime. Make sure the soil isn’t allowed to dry out, but also ensure the roots aren’t sitting in wet compost either. From the photo it also looks like an insect has had a nibble at a few leaves and there looks to be some distortion, which could suggest a sap-sucking insect such as aphids. It might be worth checking the underside of the leaves and controlling any insect pests you find. I hope this helps Robert, let us know if you need any further assistance.

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