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(Cucumis sativus) Cucumbers originated in India or western Asia, and have been known to gardeners for at least 3,000 years. Their diverse forms and flavors are now appreciated and utilized in local cuisines around the world. Warm growers, they are best sown in place after the last frost of spring. Very rich soil, well-drained yet moist, suits them best. Full sun exposure is usually preferred, except that in hot-summer areas, the plants might benefit from some midafternoon shade. The vines run to about 5 feet in length. Or, to save space, grow them on a trellis.
Ancash Market Cucumber
Exclusive listing with Baker Creek! Collected in Chacas, Peru by the late pepper historian Jean Andrews. This landrace traces its ancestry to cucumbers brought from Spain in the 1500s. It's also known as Pepino Criollo Chacasino or Ancashino. It has been carefully selected for its resistance to pests and mildew. Grown in the cool climate of the high Andes, this cucumber is especially suited to cooler parts of the US and will remain productive all season if grown on trellises. The cucumbers are best when harvested 6 inches long.
Aonaga Jibai Cucumber
Exceptionally sweet, tender, and above all--tough. Aonaga Jibai is one of our finds from a recent seed saving expedition to Japan. Known in the southern islands of Japan, the seeds have been preserved over generations by an old family in Beppu City on Kyushu Island. The long, slender 8-inch fruit is bitter free and super sweet with inconspicuous seeds, making it a perfect marketing cucumber with flavor that stands out from the rest! From the 1939 seed catalog of Tanaka & Co. “Hardiness and prolific bearing character are meritorious features of Japanese varieties of cucumber. They withstand drought, moisture and attack of fungoid disease to a remarkable degree.”
Armenian Yard-Long Cucumber
(Cucumis melo) Light-green, mild-tasting, deeply ribbed fruit. The elongated fruit yields uniform, easily digestible, fluted slices. They are apt to twist and coil growing on the ground, but develop nice and straight when hanging from a trellis. Fruit reaches over 24 inches long, but best harvested at about 15 inches. The classic Armenian “cucumber” which is actually a melon genetically.
Beit Alpha Cucumber
A delicious, very sweet cucumber that is usually picked small and does not need peeling, as the skin is very tender. This variety is very popular in the Mediterranean, having been developed in Israel at a kibbutz farm. Now becoming popular with Americans because of the fruit’s fine flavor and high yields. It is also burpless and have great shelf life.
Chicago Pickling Cucumber
55 days. Originally bred for the markets of the Chicago area. Released in 1888, this has been the go-to pickling cuke for generations of home gardeners and canners, and we are so pleased to offer it! The thin skins take up pickling solutions readily. Black-spined fruit can be allowed to reach 7” without sacrificing quality, but is often harvested much smaller. Amazingly prolific, and disease resistant, too.
Crystal Apple Cucumber
Small 3” oval fruit is a bright, creamy white, about the size of a small apple; sweet, mild and very tender. This variety has become almost extinct in America after being introduced here from Australia around 1930 from Arthur Yates and Co., but this type of cucumber is likely to have originated in China. The small fruit is so tender you can eat it, skin and all.
60 days. Here’s a gorgeous all-purpose slicing/pickling type. The plants are of bush habit, usually running no more than 18” or so, making them superior for small gardens, containers, or anywhere space is tight. Fruit holds well on the plants, avoiding the need for constant picking. Plants are also tolerant to downy mildew, which is so often a problem in humid-summer climates. The bumpy, brightly striped exterior is particularly attractive as well. A superb new Polish variety!
Beautiful cream-colored fruit is about the size and shape of a large egg! Mild, bitter free and sweet tasting, this little cucumber sets massive yields in our gardens. So fun to grow, and very unique looking; great for children and all who like delicious cucumbers. We were sent this heirloom favorite by Reinhard Kraft, a German seed collector, but this heirloom originated in Croatia.
Early Fortune Cucumber
55 days. (Also called Special Dark Green) A super dependable garden cucumber, sweet and almost never bitter. Slicing-type fruit grows 7 to 8 inches long, 2 inches in diameter. Originally selected out of Davis Perfect (now believed extinct) by George Starr in Royal Oak, Michigan in 1906. Upon its release it was described as “the earliest and best white spine cucumber ever offered.”
This rare Bhutanese cucumber thrives in cool northern climates, but also stands up to intense heat and humidity. It was collected in 1981 at a farmstore in the Trongsa district village of Poengenang, roughly in the geographical center of Bhutan. When fruit is immature and green, it makes a great cucumber for raw eating or pickling. When mature, it resembles the more common Indian variety ‘Poona Kheera’, but is darker-skinned, much bigger (up to 20” long in our experience), but still quite tasty. The flesh of the mature fruit is reminiscent of melons (which are cousins of cucumbers, after all), and can be eaten raw, pickled, or turned into a delicious chutney. The flesh of the ripe fruit is traditionally cooked in Bhutan. For seed savers, it’s refreshing to find a cucumber that is still useful once seeds are fully ripe. Watching these giants develop on the vine is one of the joys of summer! A portion of each sale is donated to Dr. William Woys Weaver and Roughwood Seed Collection
Gele Tros or Large Dutch Yellow Cucumber
Hmong Red Cucumber
The fruit is white to pale green, turning golden-orange as it ripens. A very productive and tasty variety that stays mild even when large. This heirloom was collected from a Hmong immigrant. Millions of the Hmong tribe live on the borders of Thailand, China, Burma, Laos and Vietnam, and are a very ancient people.
Jibai Shimoshirazu Cucumber
Delectable variety from Japan. The sweetest cucumber we have tasted, a perfect snacking cucumber with no bitter flavor! Produces shorter, slightly thicker fruit than other Japanese varieties. Can be grown on the ground or on poles and is vigorous. Deep green fruit is about 7-8” long. Adapted to high temperature, humidity, and is disease and powdery mildew resistant.
Lemon Cuke Cucumber
60 days. The shape, size, and color of a lemon, but with super-sweet flavor! This cucumber was famously peddled by one snake oil salesman as a genuine cross between an orange and a green cucumber. The huckster claimed that he had plucked an orange blossom from his daughter’s bridal bouquet (orange blossoms were a popular bridal flower in those days) and used it to pollinate a cucumber plant! These “true lemon cucumber” seeds were sold at a bargain price of 1 dollar per seed! Indeed, the lemon cucumber is a pretty convincing fake, with round, lemon-yellow fruits and a swollen blossom end, just like a real lemon. Alas, the lemon cuke is a true cucumber, a result of naturally selecting for round, yellow fruit. The lemon cucumber originated in the late 19th century and was introduced to the U.S. in 1894. The tasty fruit is low in cucurbitacin, that naturally occuring cucumber chemical that accounts for a slighlty bitter taste. The flesh is citrusy and adds a real zip to salads! Fantastic for kids’ gardens. One of our all-time favorite garden crops!
Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumber
(Melothria scabra) 75 days. Incredible, small cucumber-like fruit is shaped like baby watermelons. They are good added to salads or can be pickled. They have a cucumber-like taste with a touch of lemon. The ornamental vines have tiny leaves and flowers and are perfect for the cottage garden. Very unique and fun for kids. Huge yields.
Miniature White Cucumber
50 days. White-skinned, black-spined little pickling cukes. Production is high and begins very early on. Almost-bush plants that seldom run over three feet make great container plants. Delicious for fresh use, as well. This strain has none of the bitterness that has unfortunately come to be associated with the white-fruited types.
55 days. From our Polish grower, who recommends ‘Monika’ for pickles. This one is parthenocarpic, which simply means it doesn’t need pollination to set fruit. This is great news to gardeners who find they lack local bee populations to pollinate regular cucumbers. It also means you can grow pickling cukes under glass. Makes a nice slicer as well.
60 days. Very tender, dual-purpose variety makes great pickles and is excellent for fresh eating right out of the garden! Nearly spineless fruit is 6 to 8 inches long, reaching a plump 3 inches wide. Produces abundantly on strong vigorous vines. Non-bitter, burpless variety can be eaten at any stage of growth. For pickling, harvest the fruit at 4 to 6 inches long.
Natsu Fushinari Cucumber
The exquisite flavor of an heirloom with the tough disease resistance synonymous with commercial types; this variety has been used in powdery mildew studies and has shown exceptional resistance, especially in high heat. In Japanese, fushi means node and nari means setting fruit. The aptly named Natsu Fushinari is a high yielder due to setting ability at every node. This Japanese variety can be grown on the ground or on poles and is an early maturing cucumber at 70 days. It has a deep green color, glossy skin, good uniformity, and fruit 8” long.