Monoecious vs. Gynoecious Cucumbers
There are many differences when it comes to monoecious and gynoecious cucumber varieties. Monoecious means there is more production of male flowers than female flowers. Open-pollinated or heirloom varieties like Marketmore or National Pickling cucumbers are monoecious in the vegetable garden. The male flowers will start to produce quickly and the female flowers will develop shortly after so pollen will be available when pollination is ready. While gynoecious cucumbers produce predominantly female flowers. Therefore they produce a lot of fruit in a shorter amount of time than monoecious cucumbers. The gynoecious cucumbers like the Stonewall or Calypso cucumbers are hybrid varieties that contain a strong disease resistance in the vegetable garden. To disguise the two different varieties the gynoecious has a tiny cucumber at the base of the flower and that’s where the female reproductive system is going to get pollinated. While the monoecious has no tiny cucumber at the base of the plant and has a flower where the pollen will fall to pollinate the female flower. Overall, monoecious and gynoecious cucumbers have a couple of differences, but both have great varieties of cucumbers to grow in the vegetable garden.
Most Productive Cucumbers
On this week’s episode, Travis explains the difference between monoecious and gynoecious cucumbers in the vegetable garden. In Travis’s garden, he has Stonewall cucumbers which are a slicer variety and are gynoecious which causes an increase in productivity. So you may be wondering how do the gynoecious cucumbers ever pollinate if there are not any male flowers. The answer is rather simple with every pack of gynoecious seeds, about one and every ten seeds is an open-pollinated variety that will provide the male flowers that the female flowers need for pollination. Along with early production, you can get maximum productive cucumbers by growing the gynoecious varieties in the vegetable garden. The advantage of growing gynoecious varieties is the amount of maximum production you are able to harvest in the vegetable garden.
Growing Cucumbers in the Garden
When planting cucumbers in the vegetable garden they do best when direct-seeded. There are two ways you can direct seed these cucumber varieties either by hand or with our walk-behind garden seeder. Our garden seeder comes with six adjustable plates that vary in seed size variations to fit a variety of vegetable seeds in the garden. The benefit of using our garden seeder is accurate planting without wasting seed by overplanting in the garden. We recommend planting cucumber seeds every 6 to 8 inches and thining to one seed per foot to provide plenty of growth in the vegetable garden. Since cucumbers are vining plants they grow best when a trellis system is available for them to climb on. When using a strong trellised system not only will it allow for greater production but it will also reduce disease pressures. Having cucumbers growing vertically instead of on the ground will reduce mildew diseases and other soil-borne diseases that trap excessive moisture in the vegetable garden. Another benefit of growing cucumbers on a trellis is the ability to improve production, easier harvest, and cleaner fruits. The best time to harvest is when cucumbers have reached an average size of 8 to 9 inches. If left on the vine to grow longer the cucumbers will develop a bitter taste and ruin the fresh flavor profile. Cucumbers usually take around 60 days to mature in the vegetable garden and should be picked at least every other day. In order to have productive cucumbers growing in the vegetable garden try growing the gynoecious varieties in the future growing season.