Cucumber


Nothing is more refreshing than a crunchy cool cucumber sandwich in the heat of summer! According to current research, the quiet humble cucumber is indeed one of the greatest vegetables to consume because of all that it contains. Let’s grow a few and find out for ourselves!

This section will remain online for educational purposes. Operating on a “Hobby” basis.

Occasionally we may have “extra” seed. These will be marked below. If nothing marked...then it is “N/A”.

  1. Armenian - (aka Yard Long, aka Striped Armenian, aka Painted Serpent, aka Striped Serpent) As you can see I have done hours of research on this one and I am still not 100% sure what is going on here. (If you have an idea…and know a whole lot more…enlighten me!) As far as I can gather this novel heirloom variety was intro. from Armenia to Italy in the 1400’s. It is now here in the N.A. continent that the descriptive info. has me confused. It appears there are 2 forms. #1)… is considerably thicker (about 3-4″ in diameter), sometimes growing straight, sometimes growing with a gentle curve. It’s outward appearance is a very soft light green, with higher ribs (making for very attractive slices…) running down its length. It is capable of growing to 36″ long or more. It is best used when it is 12″ to 18″ long. #2)… is quite slim (only about 1″ – 2″), capable of growing to about 24″ to 28″. Not able to keep it self straight even with trellising. Its outward appearance also has gentle ribbing (although less raised) AND it has defined dark green and light green stripes. Both have a light “fuzzy” covering on their skin…one more than the other. Both have crisp, tender, dense flesh with a mild pleasant flavor. Both are thin skinned, zero bitterness, with few seeds. It is suggested that these be grown trellised to have straighter fruits. Some gardeners indicate that these love hot weather BUT when I trialed them, I saw NO PROGRESS all summer long! I had written them off! Sooo! I paid no attention to them! Then, I just happened to wander by in mid Sept. and BINGO! There was a population explosion going on right behind my back! All around me the ground was littered with serpent-like light green melons, tons of them, from 10″ to 30″! What was I to say! They love cool weather! And it is suggested they be grown with less moisture than conventional cucumbers OR they will become too soggy in their middles! Futhermore…they should be grouped with my melons, as they are closer related to them, than to cucumbers! BUT I am leaving them here, because they are not sweet! So there! ?120 days? N.B.   
  2. Boothby Blond - a heirloom variety from Livemore, Maine, where the Boothby family has grown it for several generations. It sets medium-sized, cream colored fruits that are mild and sweet. Excellent producer of high yields that are 6″ to 8″ in length. 60 days
  3. Burpless (hyb) - a very heavy yielder of slender dark green fruits about 10″ long with crisp white flesh. Easy to digest. Sow in rich warm soil (above 20C) after all danger of frost is past. Can be trellised to save space. Pick fruits regularly to keep ‘em coming. 58-64 days
  4. Bush Pickle – Another “bush” vine type that takes up less room in the garden. Medium green slender fruits grow to 10-12 cm (4-5″) long. Very productive plants and a bonus is its short “start-up” season at 45 days.   
  5. Bushy - introduced to N.A. by the SSE in1992. Well-known variety originated in southern Russia. Perfect in Moscow, for its compact “bush” plants with 3 to 5ft. vines. Good production. Equally good fresh or for pickles. Very popular in Europe. 46-49 days
  6. Chinese Yellow - Beautiful yellow/orange cucumber from mainland China. Young fruit is green, 10″ long and crisp as an apple. Very mild and delicious, great as slicers or perfect for pickles. Just a few plants produced hundreds of fruits, the largest yielding variety trailed by one Seed Company. A rare heirloom. 60 days
  7. Cool Breeze - French Cornichon cucumber that is extremely early, vigorous, dark green and fairly smooth. It is very adaptable under a variety of growing conditions. NO male flowers, sets without them! Earlier and longer producer. Fruit is seedless! (Unless other varieties are grown nearby…) 4″ to 5″ long. 45 days.
  8. Crystal Apple - introduced from Australia by Arthur Yates & Co. in 1920’s or 1930’s. It is said to have originated in China. Almost extinct in the US. This variety (c/o BC Seeds) is the most tasty and tender cucumber on the planet! Small 3″ oval fruits are a bright creamy/white, about the size of an apple and very sweet. (B.C. Seeds is also saying…that they have seen them grown still in South Asia) Plants are shallow-rooters, so either water with warm water or mulch or cover fertile soil over the root system. Will wilt in the heat. (…as most will do…) Produced by McFayden of Wpg. in 1937. 50 days
  9. Delikatesse - a rare variety from Germany. Given to me by my friend Micky. Fruits are 10″ long and unique in that they are pale & dark green with tiny warts! Superb tasting and excellent for slicing or pickles. The plants also happen to be excellent producers. One of my favorites. 45-65 days
  10. Double Yield – a heirloom from 1924. An extremely prolific producing pickling cucumber. Heavy yields offer 5-6″ long semi-bumpy dark green fruits. Others say uniform & smooth. Unknown at this time if it is spineless. 60 days
  11. Dragon’s Egg – traveled from a German Seed collector to a seed company in the US. However is a heirloom originating from Croatia! Beautiful creamy white fruit are about the size and shape of a large blunt ended goose egg. These “chubby” fruits are mild, bitter-free and sweet tasting. Plants will set massive yields. So fun to grow, very unique & great for the “children” in all of us! 55-65 days
  12. Early Green Cluster - this variety was first mentioned in Dictionarium botanicum in 1728! One of the oldest cucumbers still in cultivation. The fruits are generally produced in clusters at the base of the plant. The plant, itself is very drought and disease resistant. An excellent pickler and small garden grower. 40-55days
  13. Early Russian (Green) - was originally offered by Hovey & Co. in 1854. PGS tells us that an 1875 catalog from Ewing Brothers of Montreal also has it available. They described it as: early, hardy & small. $0.20 per oz. or $0.05 per packet! Short season pickle. 40-55 days    Pkt…$2.50
  14. Edmonson – this family heirloom has been grown by the Clarice Family since 1913. A vigorous variety that sets heavy yields of cute 4-5″ cream to light green mini cucumbers that are so sweet & tender, you can chomp them straight from the vine! Excellent as slicers or picklers.Do not allow potted plants to become root-bound as this will set the plants back prematurely. 50 days
  15. English Telegraph – grow this one on a trellis for straighter fruits. Cucumbers have a uniform shape, deep dark green with a mild taste. Straight, slim, crisp and sweet 14” long excellent slicer. Avoid cool nights…..will result in blossom-end drop. Loves the heat and soil temperature minimum must be 18C (65F) 60 days
  16. Ephraim Hall – a man by this very name was a farmer and a soldier (as told by H.H. Seeds…) A very rare cucumber that has been in the same family since after the war of 1812. The fruits are white and about 8” long. The plants are very productive and disease-free. These are best eaten when small and make great additions to salads. 50-55 days
  17. Ernest Family White Burpless – This heirloom has been grown by Louisa Ernest and her descendants for 4 generations in Lucas, Texas. Blocky 6” white cucumbers with black spines. Never bitter, burpless and delicious. Very Rare. 45-55 days    Pkt…$2.50
  18. Hanging Basket – The perfect cucumber for small areas. Will produce loads of dark green slicer shaped fruit when grown in hanging baskets or patio containers. Tasty fruits are straight and near to 5”- 8” in length. 40-55days
  19. Homemade Pickles – Bushy plants are great for a small garden. Good disease resistance. Harvest from 1.5” to 6” for baby or regular pickles. Pick fruits regularly to keep the vines productive. Solid interior. 55-60 days
  20. Horace Boyette Burpless - According to B.C. seeds, Horace Boyette in the 1940’s developed this variety out of a cross of “Straight Eights”. Seems this one could do great in smaller gardens as the vines are shorter than most and quite fragile. An interesting variety for those suffering from too much gas when consuming cucumbers in general, as these are said to be mild-flavored and burpless. Fruits contain few seeds, are thin-skinned and at their best when harvested early at the 6′ stage.
  21. Japanese Climbing – the American seed house “Thorburn” introduced this variety from Japan in 1892. Tasty young light green fruits starting at 7” and maturing to 9” or 10” x 3” in diameter, when mature. Best variety for trellis, wire netting, brush or fences. Fine quality both for slicing or pickles. This heritage climber has vigorous growth with strong grasping tendrils and continues to bear all season. Produces better if plants are always picked clean! 58-65 days
  22. Japanese Long – I cannot say enough about these wonderful long green slim cucumbers! This past summer 2011, together with Northern Pickling, Muncher and Yellow Submarine, these were my favorite cucumber varieties. Fruits were about 12″ long, containing few seeds and remaining tender for a long time. One may not like the tons of soft spines along the length of each fruit, but they were tender, easy to digest, crisp and very tasty (and the spines wash off easy). Vines were quite short for this variety…great for smaller gardens and maybe some trellising. Another very popular and highly productive variety from Japan.
  23. Landis White - (aka White Landis) Heirloom from Pennsylvania. White fruits are longer and larger than most other white varieties. As they mature, they will turn yellow/white with age. (….or fully ripe…..) 45-55 days
  24. Lemon (true) – originated introduced 1894, from Australia. A most unique heirloom…bearing short, oval, light yellow (later aging to deep yellow/gold) fruits with tiny black spines. Flesh is always white, crisp and mild. The diameters range from 2” to 4” with some gentle sectional curve lines. Crunchy, meaty with tender edible burpless skin. Skin is not bitter. These are shallow-rooted plants, so need moisture (warm) attention or at least some mulching to conserve water. Vines are shorter than most other varieties in length. One of my heaviest producers! Just love this for a “straight from the garden” bite. 60 days
  25. Longfellow – According to S. S. Ex., this variety was introduced by Jerome B. Rice Seed Company of Cambridge, New York in 1927. By all accounts, these look a cross between a slicer and and English Long. The 12″ green/black fruits offer tapering at both ends and are 21/2″ to 3″ in diameter. A wonderful addition for market gardeners, as they are pure “eye candy” for the tummy…!  
  26. Long Green Improved - worth offering it here, as it has been around for as long as I can remember. Black-spined prolific variety with white, crisp flesh. Great one for growing to 10″ long if soil is fertile and moist. Mulch when soil has warmed up in late spring to give them a cooler root run for the hotter summers. Known for its Vit.C. content. Plants do best when planted near beans, peas, tomatoes, cabbage and lettuce. Popular with gardeners as a slicer for those cool summers salads. 60-70 days
  27. Lyaliuk – a rare Belarusian heirloom variety that HHS obtained from Andrey Baranovski of Belarus. Compact plants produce an abundance of small green pickling fruits at their base, early in the season. Great for large containers in full sun. 45 days
  28. Market More - fruits are glossy dark green, very uniform, about 10″ long and 2.5″ wide. Plants are quite disease resistant, vigorous and heavy producers. Fruits offer sweet, mild flavor. It is suggested that this variety be supported for easier picking due to its heavy yields. Pick frequently to encourage more to take their place! Excellent for cool climates. 58-72 days
  29. Mexican Sour Gherkins – (aka Melothria Scabra) Incredible small cucumber-like fruits shaped like a baby watermelon! Good raw added to salads or pickled. They have a cucumber-like taste mixed with a hint of lemon. Ornamental vines have tiny leaves and flowers….perfect for cottage gardens. Huge yields. Plants have 1-2 fruits per node and will fall off the vine when ripe. Kids will love to play with them, if not to want eating them! 50-55 days
  30. Mid East Prolific – a middle-eastern heirloom. This variety produces 6-8″, smooth thin-skinned, mild green fruits. Plants are prolific (as the name would have you believe…) and they are extremely early starters. These are considered to be one of the best tasting fruits around. Vines seem to be adaptable to many adverse weather conditions. Garden favorite. Great fresh or as picklers. 70-80 days
  31. Miniature White – the best yellowish white eating cucumber from SSE’s collection of 250 varieties. Sweet thin skin…no need to peel. Skin bears black spines. Vines rarely exceed 3 ft! Fruits are best eaten raw when they are under 3″ long, still having a mild & sweet flavor. Very popular white variety. Extremely productive! 50-55 days  
  32. Morden Early – introduced by the Morden research Station in Morden, MB in 1956. One of the eraliest varieties for pickling available. Plants offer these only on short vines. Having said this, they are perfect for small gardens and short northern seasons. 65 days
  33. Muncher (Burpless) – was developed to reduce indigestion in folks with this problem. Obtained from my friend Micky from Kansas. A duel-purpose variety, used as a slicer at 9″ and for pickles when much smaller. Fruits are cool, crisp, green with only a few white spines. Most average 5″-6″ long x 2″ wide. She says it has never become bitter or tough for her even when more mature. Great producer. 60 days
  34. National Pickling – (aka National Cucumber) Was introduced in 1929 by a cucumber association. This productive variety was first developed by the Michigan State Agricultural Experimentation Station. Medium green 6” fruits. Black spined, pickling cucumber, which produces a heavy yield. The fruits have a blunt (sq) end. First offered in Canada in 1937 by the McFayden Seed Company. 55 days
  35. Northern Pickling – ok…so this one completely impressed me this past summer 2012. Tons of short vines started “pooping” out these perfect little “picklers” like mad! (See photo on Flickr…) Quite similar in appearance to “Chicago Pickling“. Will be my personal favorite for a long time to come. Was the first to arrive in less than 55 days.
  36. Parada – a Russian variety, bred in the 1970’s and a favorite at the Heritage Farm trials. Fruits are 5″ long by 2″ wide. Very reliable and resistant to extremes of weather. Heavy set of uniform dark green fruits that seem to come, all at once…perfect for pickles. A good processing favorite. Very disease resistant. 50-60 days  
  37. Parisian Pickling – first listed by J.J.H. Gregory in 1892, but grown earlier in France. Was originally known as “Small Pickling” or “Gherkin Cucumber”. Was also known in Europe as “Improved Bourbome”. This variety was used for gherkins or cornichons in the manufacturing pickle industry years ago. When they are small …excellent for pickling. When older, great later for slicers. Rare…from 1870’s. 50-60 days for pickles 70-80 days for slicers
  38. Patio Pickle – a remarkable early semi-determinate variety, well suited to small gardens. Fruits are 4-5”, blocky with medium to dark green skin, on diseased resistant plants. Very compact. Grow 3 in one spot or no pollination. Fine for chilled or chunks. Keeps on kicking fruit out like mad! Keep it picked! This cucumber does not “poop out” easy. It can be a long-season producer, providing care is taken to feed it well. Several plants are necessary to ensure pollination. 45-53 days
  39. Poona Kheera – wonderful heirloom from Poona, India. Unusual skin! Harvest small when skin is white or wait till it matures to a russet brown. Flesh will be crisp and sweet at either stage. Stays fresh on the inside for a long time after being picked when refrigerated. Looks like a big chubby Russet potato! Huge production. 53 days
  40. Pot Luck (hyb). – dark green fruits are medium-sized. Plants produce early. An excellent dwarf vine variety for growing in containers or in a limited space. Place several plants together to ensure pollination. Keep vines picked for continuous production. Plant in rich, warm soil after all danger of frost is past. They like it very warm, but not hot. Fruits are 6-7” long growing on disease-resistant plants. 52 days
  41. Richmond Green Apple – A rare unique variety from Australia having been grown there since the 1950’s. Still grown there today tho harder to find in local groceries, outside of seed. Said to be slightly larger and longer than our “Lemon“. Eaten in much the same manner, skin and all. Skin has darker and lighter green areas blended with white. Flesh is very white and crisp. 55 days
  42. Russian Pickling – info. coming soon…
  43. Sayo Long – (aka Suyo Long) A heirloom from Northern China. A wonderful Asian variety that offers a different taste experience than most others. Ribbed shape makes pretty slicers. Spines wipe off easy. Heat tolerant. Long green fruits are mild, sweet & burpless. One of 2 suppliers’ favorite variety. Very productive vines. Late season “popper” likes it cool! 75-85 days
  44. Schlesische Landgurke – A German heirloom. This variety has large, semi-curved, longish plump, dark green skinned (semi-seedless) fruits with thick greenish white flesh. Skin is thin, smooth, soft and needs no peeling. Some stripes at its tip (blossom end) evident. Vines are vigorous bearing large leaves. Germans make large pickled gherkins without peeling them. (We make sunshine brined cuks from more mature cucumbers, that when finished will last in the fridge for several weeks…) To be picked early and often.   
  45. Snow’s Fancy Pickling – (aka Snow’s Pickling) According to those who know…Here was a variety that J. C. Snow of the famous Snow Pickle Farm in Rockford, Illinois selected from one of our today’s favorite picking varieties “Chicago Pickling”. The Vaughan Seed House of Chicago first offered in their listings around 1905. Fruits are about 5″ long by 1 1/2″ wide with moderately dark green thin skin. In its day, a very popular small fancy pickling variety. 50-60 days.
  46. Sumter – (aka Sumpter for the North) a medium-sized salad cucumber for the North or the South! Great disease resistance. Becoming rare. Grown in Kansas. (organic seed) 55-60 days
  47. Sushyk - according to H. H. Seeds, a number of people seemed to have a hand in the actual preservation of this interesting variety. Quote “…dev. by the late Klem Sushyk of Porcupine Plains, Saskatchewan in the 1950’s. Tanya obtained these seeds from Stan Zubrowski (of Saskatchewan as well…) , who obtained them from his neighbor Eva Deforest. She is said to have been growing them every year.” unquote. For me, they performed real well, coming in fairly early. The fruits are excellent for pickling (or slicers), of that desired form and quite productive. About 60 days
  48. Tasty Jade – (aka Asian Burpless, aka Japanese Cucumber) Early, slender, glossy, thin-skinned cucumber grown to 11-12” long and having a crisp fresh flavor. Vigorous, high yielding plants, can be grown outdoors on a trellis for straight green fruits. All females…pathenocarpic (fruits set without pollination). An excellent bitter-free salad cucumber. Very early @ 54 days.
  49. Telegraph Improved – A rare semi-seedless heirloom from England in 1897. Excellent, straight, smooth, dark green skinned var. that is perfect for indoor culture. Can grow to almost 20″ long. All the time remaining sweet, crisp, tender and mild. Plants are vigorous. ready in less than 60 days. Should be trellised.
  50. Uzbekski – another one from my friend Micky. Orig. from the Mideastern country of Uzbekistan. A traditional variety there and now threatened with extinction in its land of origin, after 1998. Short vined plants offer lots of big (6″ to 8″) chubby cucumbers that start out strangely…a nice solid light green. Later turning to a golden brown/tan with fine white webbing. Another variety capable of holding it freshness for at least a couple of weeks even when not refrigerated !I find its skin has a toughness about it…tho not effecting it crisp white flesh. Just peel it and use the flesh. 40-60 days
  51. West Indian Burr Gherkin – (aka Cucumis anguria var. anguria, aka Bur Gherkin) Related to cucumbers and watermelons, but will not cross with them! Plants sprawl like watermelons, producing dozens of spiny green seedy 1” to 2” diameter fruits…that look like wee watermelons! Fruits are described as “light yellow/pale green, covered with short fleshy spikes”. They must be picked immature (when the spines are soft) and pickled or used in salads. Brought to Brazil & the West Indies by Africans in the slave trade. Introduced to the US in 1793 from Jamaica. Were pickled or boiled by colonies in Jamaica. (do not confuse this variety with the wild cucumber…which is an obnoxious weed) Not a true cucumber. 65 days
  52. White Wonder – First offered in Canada in 1908 by the McKenzie Seed Co. of Brandon, Manitoba. The amazing part of this variety is that it remained white through out its entire growing season…..never changing! Fruits are usually 8” to 10” long, 2 ½” wide and very uniform. Flavor is pleasing, crisp and fresh. Fine in salads or sliced. Was impressed by its storage ability, feeling quite at home in my cool basement right up to early December! When I sliced one open…not much dehydration had occurred, tho I must say that there was some decline in the flavor! (What do you expect from a 90 year old living inside a 30 year old body!) 35-55 days
  53. Yamato Extra Long – Fascinating and fun. Extra long fruits grow to 24″! Delicious & unique…Japanese climber has green skin marked with pale yellow stripes. Flesh is crisp, white, sweet AND burpless. Vines do well, even in hot weather and humidity. Extra fine quality. Rare. 75 days
  54. Yellow Submarine – an open pollinated variety. In trials in the summer of 2011, this variety started out right from the beginning in 2 colors! Fruits were a medium green on one side and a lighter green on the other! THEN stand back! They would, within 3 days explode into giant monsters! Many of those that I discovered (too late…) were almost 15″ long and 4″ in diameter! Tons of them! (My chickens loved them…See photos in Flickr…Maybe it was the earthworm castings…having concentrated in that very low spot!?) This variety really shines as a sandwich pickle stacker or better, sliced fresh length-wise for a submarine sandwich. Young fruits are best when 8” long and 2 1/2” wide, with a very small seed cavity. Very large cuks are pathenocarpic, so you can grow them in a greenhouse without bees to pollinate them. Great disease tolerance. 57-63 days