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I have a trellis for them to climb and have much greenery and flowers. When I grew them another time I remember tying them up and not letting them have offshoots. Is that my problem, too much energy in offshoots? Also some say with this type pollination make the fruit bitter and males should be removed unless saving seed. I find conflicting answers to this. I would like some cucumbers, can anyone help?

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There are two types of cucumbers. The varieties grown indoors (with larger smooth skinned fruit) have self-pollinating female flowers, and the male flowers should be removed to prevent bitter tasting fruit. Outdoor varieties (smaller rougher skinned fruit) do require pollination from male and female flowers, but normally insects will do that without any help from you.

Female flowers have a tiny cucumber where the flower joins the stem of the plant. Male flowers do not.

You should pinch out the main stems of outdoor cucumbers when they have grown about 7 leaves, to produce more side shoots and a bigger crop.

If you have both male and female flowers but no fruit, you can try pollinating them by hand. Use a small paint brush to transfer pollen from the male to the female flowers. It's OK to transfer pollen between male and female flowers growing on the same plant.

Many plants start to produce flowers and fruit (as a survival strategy) in response to being stressed in some way. Maybe your plants growing with no pruning are not stressed enough to bother producing flowers.

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  • Thank you for your response. The telegraph is a smooth skinned greenhouse cucumber. I will prune back some of the crazy growth and remove male flowers. I did see a female this afternoon so maybe more will follow. Jul 9 at 5:34

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