Asian burpless, grows up to 15", sweet and crisp, good for fresh eating/pickling/cooking, spiny when young, become smooth and less ribbed when mature, curled at one end, trellis for straight fruit, widely adapted, heat tolerant
(Cucumis sativus) are a warm season
tender annual in the Cucurbitiacea
family, which includes melons, summer squash and winter squash, and gourds. Cucumbers
have a variety of shapes, sizes and uses:
Picklers are small and spiny and good for preservation
European slicers have a thin
skin which doesn’tstore as well but
is very tender and delicious
American slicers have a thicker skin which makes them sturdier and
good for shipping.
Specialty cucumbers in shapes ranging from little spheres to long
skinny curly types in gold and green.
Soil and Nutrient Requirements
prefer well drained fertile soil high in organic matter with neutral pH. Cucumbers
are heavy feeders. Sidedressing is recommended one week after blossoming and
again 3 weeks later, especially if there are signs of deficiency. Nitrogen
deficiencies cause yellowing, and bronze leaves are a sign of potassium
slicing cukes 12-24", for pickling cukes 8-12”, for greenhouse cukes
spacing: for slicing and greenhouse cukes 5-6’, for pickling cukes 3-6’.
When to Sow
can be direct seeded or transplanted one week after all danger of frost has
passed. Start transplants 3-4 weeks before planting date. Plants with one or
two true leaves transplant best. Optimal soil temperature for germination is
85°F. Soil temperatures below 50°F slow growth and impair water uptake by
roots. Cucumbers prefer an air temperature of at least 70°F during the day,
60°F at night. Plastic mulch and row covers are commonly used for field
cucumbers to increase soil and air temperature and ward off insects. Make
sure to remove row covers when plants begin to flower to ensure pollination.
Greenhouse cucumbers should
be kept pruned to one central leader and trellised with a wire that can
slide laterally to create space as vines grow. Greenhouse cucumbers are
parthenocarpic, able to produce fruit without pollination. Seedless
cucumbers are attained by excluding insects from the greenhouse. If
insects are present, they will pollinate flowers and fruits will produce
Cucumbers can be misshapen
from low fertility or poor pollination
Cucumbers require consistent moisture to develop good quality fruits. With
changing moisture levels, the fruits may be malformed. If they develop under
dry conditions they may be bitter.
plants begin to bear, it is important to harvest every day or two. Plants
carrying overripe fruit will slow production.
store well for up to 7-10 days at 50-55°F with 95% relative humidity and can
become injured at temperatures lower than 50°F. Thin skinned cucumbers are
best stored wrapped in plastic.
Striped or Spotted Cucumber
Beetles usually emerge from overwintering in debris at the edges of
fields in early June. Protect young plants with floating row covers.
Established plants can usually withstand a beetle infestation; it is the
spread of bacterial wiltby their
feeding that is of the most concern. Practice crop rotation and removal
of crop debris to discourage overwintering populations.
Squash Vine Borer- Monitor
plants in late June to early July. Adults are orange moths with black
spots that can be seen flying around in the daytime. They lay eggs at
the base of stems, which the larvae chew through, causing wilting.Larvae can be dug out and killed.
Destroying crop residues will help with next year’s population.
Aphids can be washed off
plants with a hard stream of water. They have several natural predators
that control populations including parasites (aphids appear grey or
bloated), lady beetle larvae and lacewings.
Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila) is spread
by cucumber beetles and will quickly kill young plants. Control of
cucumber beetles is critical in preventing spread of this disease.
Angular Leaf Spot, caused by
the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae
pv. lachrymans, can be responsible for decreased yields due to loss
of photosynthesis when leaves become ragged, but does not kill the plant
and does not necessarily affect fruit.
Gummy stem blight (Didymella bryoniae) is common on
greenhouse cucumbers and can be prevented by strict sanitation measures
to remove and destroy all plant residue, as well as measures to reduce
wetness on leaves.
Cucumber mosaic virus causes
leaves to become mottled and distorted and fruit stunted and misshapen.
Use of row cover (to exclude aphids, which can carry the disease) and
controlling weeds (also potential hosts) can be effective in preventing
CMV, as well as selecting varieties with disease resistance and/or
Scab – Avoid wetting foliage
and give plants plenty of space for circulation.
Cucumbers are also subject to
the fungal diseases of powdery mildew and downy mildew that affect all
cucurbit crops, for which the best prevention is the selection of
Insect pollinated. Cucumber varieties need to be isolated
by ¼ mile to ensure that cross pollination doesn't occur. Physical barriers
such as tree lines, buildings or woods may make shorter distances adequate.
Allow the cucumbers to remain on the vine and get swollen and yellow or brown
in color. Harvest and allow them to sit in a dry, cool place for 3-6 weeks
for after-ripening. This helps considerably with the maturing of the seed.
Remove the seeds and add about the same amount of water as you have seeds.
Allow to lightly ferment for 2-3 days in a warm place, stirring daily. Pour
off debris and flat seeds while leaving large and mature seeds to remain at
the bottom of the container. Dry seeds on a cloth or screen. If needed, use a
1/4"or 1/8" screen to help with cleaning. Cucumber seeds can remain
viable for up to 10 years under cool and dry storage conditions.
Copyright 2013 High Mowing Organic Seeds. All Rights Reserved.
76 Quarry Road :: Wolcott, VT 05680 :: phone: 802-472-6174 :: fax: 802-472-3201