Crop update: Soil, heat and pollination issues

From Rutgers’ Plant and Pest Advisory publication regarding cucurbit (cucumber,squash, etc.) pollination problems.  This blurb speaks to some of our funny looking cucumbers and watermelon as well as some unmarketable produce thanks to a hot dry month.

Signs of incomplete pollination in cucurbits included bottlenecked fruit or fruit with a pinched end, crooked or lopsided fruit, fruit small in size or nub-like; and fruits with prominent lobes or that are triangular in shape.  Causes of incomplete pollination may be inadequate pollen transfer by pollinating insects; inadequate pollen sources (pollenizers); or hot, dry weather that reduces pollen viability or that desiccates flower parts druing pollination.  Research has shown that a minimum of 1,000 grains of pollen are required to be distributed over the three lobes of the stigma of the female flower distributed over the three lobes of the stigma of the female flower of the watermelon to produce a uniformly shaped fruit.

 Heat stress in combination with a potassium deficiency can cause tomatoes to ripen irregularly.  “Yellow shoulders” may result in fruit that only ever partially ripen while the tops of the tomatoes remain hard.  Some heirloom varieties maintain green shoulders even when ready for harvest when cultural factors are not and issue as well.  Remove the unripened part of the tomato and enjoy the rest!

We’ve noticed some of our yukon gold potatoes have “hollow heart”.  Basically this is an air pocket in the cavity of the tuber.  Most of the time it is nothing more than that and you can use the potato per usual.  This occurs during rapid growth after a chilling period.  We had a late freeze this year followed by an unseasonably warm spring.


2 thoughts on “Crop update: Soil, heat and pollination issues

  1. Joesph Boshell says:

    Potassium is very important for the regulation of blood pressure. I always regulate my potassium intake at optimum levels. “,.;’

    Most recent posting produced by our webpage

  2. Daniel Pesnate says:

    Would like to use the photo of the deformed cucumbers on a manual for educational purposes. The photo per se will not be used for commercial purposes. If you respond to the email I can provide more information
    Sincerely, Daniel Pesante, Ph.D.
    Universisty of Puerto Rico

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