Should I be pinching the early flower buds on my parthenocarpic gherkins?
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.
More Q&As from our experts
- How do I determine if my hydroponic nutrient solution is the right concentration for my plants?
- How do I use phosphite products in my garden?
- The leaves of my cannabis plants are turning yellow. Is this normal?
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.
- Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf
- Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf | Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)
- Upcoming Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf | Wednesday, February 19 at 1PM (ET)
- Take our grower survey for a chance to win a $500 Visa giftcard!
- Free Webinar | Grow Smarter: Technology Advances in Agriculture | November 28, 2018 @ 10:00 AM PST