My parthenocarpic gherkins are now producing lots of buds and flowers, both in the greenhouse and outside. A friend recommended that I pinch back the buds and flowers to stimulate cucumber development. I’m pinching a lot of flowers! Do I pinch back the buds and flowers and, if so, for how long? Is there anything else I should do to produce maximum yields?
Pinching or cutting off early flower buds promotes vigorous root and vegetative growth. Removing the early flowers will redirect the plant’s energy to focus on shoot and leaf development and the establishment of a strong root system, instead of flower and fruit production.
In nature, the goal for flowering plants is to flower and produce seeds as quickly as possible. By allowing a plant to grow bigger and develop an extensive root system before it flowers, the plant will be able to develop larger, more uniform fruit. A bigger, mature plant and root system will be able to take in larger amounts of water and elemental nutrients, leading to bigger, better yields.
However, removing the early flower buds does not necessarily lead to an overall increase in flower formation. The number of flowers that form in a cluster on crops like tomatoes, peppers and your parthenocarpic gherkins is ultimately determined by the genetics of the variety. But removing early flowers is a viable way to encourage your plants to produce larger, better cucumbers.
Written by Kyle Ladenburger | Director of Regulatory Affairs for Age Old Organics & ENP Turf, Freelance Garden Writer
More Q&As from our experts
- Why did my little cucumber buds yellow and die?
- Cucumber flavor more resembles water than cucumber. Any suggestions?
- How can I get my cucumbers and squash to fruit faster in a greenhouse?
Do Your Plants Need Pinching or Pruning?
Cultivating Hydroponic Cucumbers
Achieving Shear Growth: Pruning to Maximize Fruit Size
Don't Miss the Latest News From Maximum Yield!
Stay on top of new content from MaximumYield.com. Join our email newsletter and get the latest grow tips in your inbox every week.