Growing and Caring for Cucumbers, Varieties of Cucumbers, Trouble Shooting Cucumbers
Cucumbers can be planted directly from seed, or from transplanted seedlings. Place cucumber transplant or Seeds outside only after the danger of frost has passed in your region. In USDA zone 4 and further north , you’ll need to use short-season varieties and utilize cold frames. I generally start my cucumber seeds indoors, in peat pots several weeks before moving them outdoors. This practice leaves time for a second planting for fall harvest in mid- to late summer.
Gardeners Guide to Companion Planting with Cucumbers. Companion Planting is the placement of various crops in close physical proximity to one another so as to symbiotically compliment each others health, vigor, growth and the flavor of their produce. It also naturally involves separating plants whose development is antagonistic to each other.
Hydroponic Cucumbers – Growing Cucumbers Hydroponically. Nutrients, Light, Varieties, Trouble Shooting cucumbers grown in a hydroponic environment. The basic requirements of cucumber plants can be met without natural sunlight or soil using tried and true Hydroponics methods. Plants are supported in an inert medium and nutrition is provided by mineral elements that are water-soluble.
Designer Cucumbers Heart shaped and star shaped cucumbers are common everyday garden varieties of cucumbers grown in a different way. They are a great novelty and are excellent for catering and attractive salads. Kids love them.
Trouble Shooting Cucumber Problems
Cucumber Plant Diseases Common diseases that afflict cucumber plants treatment and prevention.
Cucumber Insect Problems – Cucumber Beetles, Leaf-Hoppers, Leaf-Miners, Squash Bugs, White-Flies, Nematodes, Aphids and bugs that feed on cucumbers.
Bacterial Wilt of cucumbers is spread by Cucumber Beetles. The bacteria survives in the digestive system of the striped cucumber beetle, even when the beetle is hibernating over winter.
Blossom End Rot is caused by a calcium deficiency. Calcium Deficiency in garden plants can also cause yellowing, pale and curling leaves, and stunted growth. Nightshades such as tomatoes, eggplant and pepper as well as cucumbers and melons are more prone to blossom end rot than other crops.
Cucumber Mosaic Virus actually effects over 1200 plant species including cucumbers and related squash, melons and curcubits, tomatoes, Peppers and night shade family plants and nearly all commonly grown vegetable and ornamental garden plants.It has the widest host range of any known plant virus.
Why Cucumbers Turn White If you planted standard green cucumbers and they turn white instead you have a problem. There are several reasons cucumbers will turn white, the worst case scenario involves powdery mildew – a fungal disease.
Why Cucumbers Fall Off the Vine The only way we want our cucumbers to come off the vine is when we harvest them. Cucumbers that are falling off the vine prematurely signal an issue. Generally cucumbers that drop have few seeds. When seeds fail to form within the seed pod aka the cucumber, nature has evolved to dictate that the plant abort the cucumber[s] in question.
Why Cucumbers Crack Open One of the most common reasons a cucumber will crack and split open on the vine is over watering and / or heavy rain. When cucumbers get too much water the inside will grow at a more accelerated rate than the outside skin can keep up with. The skin then splits.
Reasons For Hollow Cucumbers Cucumbers can develop with a hollow heart for several reasons. 1. Nutrient Deficiency, 2. Irregular Watering, 3. Poor Pollination. All of these are environmental factors that can cause a substandard crop, hollow heart cucumbers.
Cucumber Varieties. Cucumbers commonly come in pickling, slicing and burpless varieties. There are also some specialty classifications such as Armenian, English, Persian and Lemon cucumbers as well as some oddities that you wouldn’t routinely think of as being a cucumber.
Advantages of all Female Cucumbers – Vining crops such as cucumbers are naturally Monoecious , meaning they have both male and female flowers both of which are essential for reproduction. Gynoecious cucumbers do not occur naturally but are hybrids which produce predominantly female flowers. Gynoecious varieties generally outproduce standard varieties when a monoecious variety is present.
All Female Seedless Cucumbers Parthenocarpic, translated from the Latin basically means seedless or the fruit set without seed. Parthenocarpic cucumbers will produce produce seedless cucumbers if grown isolated from other varieties. Once they have been pollinated by another cucumber, the resulting fruit is generally undesirable both in taste and form.
Armenian Cucumber is a long and slender vegetable, technically a fruit, that tastes like a cucumber, on the inside it looks like a cucumber, but is botanically classified as a muskmelon.
Lemon Cucumber These little yellow cucumber balls are not very attractive, and they actually produce a fuzzy beard and bristles. Excellent for eating fresh, they are tender, crisper and sweeter than standard varieties and can be eaten just like a fruit They are also good for salads and pickling.
Mandurian Round Cucumber is roundish to a tad oval. Its skin is marked with patches or spots of varying green and white shades and is slightly fuzzy, almost like peach fuzz. When ready for consumption they are about the size of a tennis ball, although they will get much larger, the taste and quality degrades and the skin hardens. They are at their peak of perfection when they are approximately 2 – 2.5 inches in circumference.
Marketmore 76. There’s a thin line between what constitutes an heirloom and hybrid. Marketmore 76 is frequently described as a Non-Hybrid, in part because it has not really been around all that long. It was developed by a Dr. Henry Munger in 1976. That’s 30+ years – Close enough ?
Boston Pickling Cucumber is a time tested American Heirloom that dates back to the late 1800s. As early as 1883 Joseph Breck & Son, a popular seed company of in Boston wrote a review of this cultivar.
Bush Pickle Cucumber. The original Bush Pickle is an heirloom, but there are also hybrid variations with similar characteristics and qualities.
Calypso Pickling Cucumber – Calypso is a compact hybrid pickling cucumber. It was bred for commercial agricultural use, but has become very popular among home growers as well. It is a very productive plant that outproduces most other pickle varieties.
Northern Pickling Cucumber As the name implies these are a favorite of many Northern Gardeners as they are well adapted to shorter seasons and cooler climates. They bear medium green fruits fairly early.
Moringa Cucumber In Mother Russia they call it a Pickling Vegetable – here we call it a Pickling Cucumber. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and a cucumber by any other name is still a pickle. The cucumber in question is a hybrid also known as Cucumber Moringa which actually has it roots somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. It found its way to the Ukraine and has since spread to Western Europe and the Americas.
Crystal Apple Cucumbers are Australian heirlooms. They found there way to America in the early 1900s. They are creamy pale yellow to light green oval cukes, about 3 inches in length. The skin and flesh of this cucumber is tender and thin and can be easily eaten without peeling. They have a creamier and mildly sweeter taste than standard cucumbers.
Olympian Slicing Cucumber Olympian is a high yielding slicing cucumber that is similar to marketmore varieties such as Marketmore 76 Cucumbers. It was introduced in 1985 by Hollar Seed Company of Colorado, primarily for commercial use, but has gained popularity amongst Home gardeners.
Red Hmong Cucumber Red Hmong is an Asian Heirloom cucumber that can be grown in all but the coldest regions of North America. Red Hmong or Hmong Red cucumbers originated in southeast Asia among the Hmong people of Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Laos. The cucumbers are initially a pale green and morph to a golden orange as they mature. They rarely attain the full deep red color that is shown in some images.
Richmond Green Cucumber An Austrailian Heirloom, is a mini cuke. Smaller than a bread box bigger than a lemon, but only by a wee bit bigger. The white flesh has a refreshing mild cucumber taste, slightly sweet and very juicy with a hint of citrus.
Salt and Pepper Cucumber Salt and Pepper cucumbers are pale yellow to white with dark black spines giving the cucumber a ‘salt and pepper’ appearance. The skin darkens to a deeper yellow as it matures. The meat of this cuke is greenish yellow and has a low seed to flesh ratio. They are crisp and taste just like cucumbers – ya think.
Sikkim Cucumber resemble cantaloupes. They have a webbed skin similar to cantaloupe that is an orange-red color, a tad darker than cantaloupe. It doesn’t taste anything like cantaloupe however, it tastes like a cucumber but slightly sweeter. The foliage is about twice the size of normal cucumbers, as are the flowers.
Spacemaster Cucumber There are two cucumbers commonly known as spacemaster. There’s just plain old Spacemaster, an heirloom, and then there is spacemaster 80 – not a true heirloom. Spacemaster and spacemaster 80 have similar attributes, space master 80 was bred for, among other things – more disease resistance.
Straight Eight Cucumber is an American Heirloom and one of the most prolific producers of quality cukes ever. This variety is commonly found in Supermarkets and is prized for its flavor, and uniform deep green color. It is a straight and hefty cucumber reaching about 8 inches long, frequently more.
Sumter Cucumber was bred from the Polaris cucumber for additional disease resistance. It is an ideal pickler and like most pickling cucumbers is also suitable as a fresh cucumber for slicing and snacking.
Suyo Long Cucumber A Chinese Heirloom, suyo long cucumbers are sooo long. They reach up to a foot and a half in length. Suyo Long cucumbers are generally slightly ribbed. They are considered “burpless”. Burpless cucumber varieties are usually sweeter, easily digestible and thinner skinned.
English Telegraph Cucumber alias Rollinson’s Telegraph alias Telegraph cucumber is an English Heirloom dating back to the 1800s. It’s a big one – the fruits average 12 – 18 inches long. The flesh is crisp and rarely bitter, a mild tasting cucumber with a thin skin and low seed count. Vines yield above average when properly maintained.
White Wonder Cucumber is a very crisp heirloom cucumber that can be traced back as far as the 1890s. It is white, sometimes an off white creamy yellow. The fruits average about 2″ wide by 6 to 8″ long . Works well fresh, in salads or for Pickling.
Cucumis Canoxii Ornamental Cucumbers are extremely bitter and most certainly not edible. It is cultivated, but its use is limited to its ornamental value in much the same fashion as Gourds.