Ask a Question forum: Growing cucumbers

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Name: Cathy
Gulfport, MS (Zone 8b)
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Cathyaudioelements
Feb 11, 2016 1:46 PM CST
I've planted several varieties of cucumbers the last few years, trying to get a good yield, both in quality and quantity. The last season was the very worst. I planted some "pickling" cukes, and one other kind. They grew up beautifully, but cucumbers came out like tennis balls. Ugliest things I've ever seen. I just bought some organic straight eights seed, and am hoping for some advice that'll head me in the right direction. I'm planting in raised beds with a mix of topsoil, potting soil and homemade compost. I'm in Gulfport, MS, North of I-10, out in the county. Thanks!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 11, 2016 2:16 PM CST
Hi, Cathy and Welcome! One of my favorite cucumbers is an heirloom variety called "Lemon" and they sure do come out looking a bit like tennis balls. But they're really delicious, and very prolific too. Reason they named them Lemon is because if you let them get mature, they turn bright yellow. But you should really eat them before they turn yellow so they are tender and sweet and never ever bitter.

Straight Eight is a good production cuke, but can be very bitter. The bitterness is a random thing with only some varieties, so better to avoid types that do this, in my experience.
Elaine

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 11, 2016 2:17 PM CST
You probably accidentally got Lemon Cucumbers. They are tennis ball size and yellow. I grew them a couple of years ago, but wasn't crazy about the flavor.

Ha! Cross posted with Elaine. Sounds like I should have tried eating mine a bit sooner.
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[Last edited by woofie - Feb 11, 2016 2:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 11, 2016 2:28 PM CST
You should pick lemon cukes when they are the size of a small lemon. They will still be green in color but tender and yummy. My favorite kind.

I think what your soil is missing is manure. I use steer manure because is cost about a $1 a bag and its mild. Mix 1/3 to 1/2 steer manure and the rest your soil. Get it completely wet before planting your cucumbers or you will burn their roots. Toss some time release fertizler in there too.

Daisy
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Feb 11, 2016 2:29 PM CST

Plants Admin

I agree with the others, you probably had the variety "Lemon'. It's actually quite a nice cucumber...you should have tried them.


Straight Eight's are a variety I grow often, along with several of the 'Marketmore' varieties out there and they are fantastic cukes. Grow them like you grew the others and provide them with a trellis to grow upwards onto (not totally necessary, but is a huge space saver and it allows the cukes to hang straight down as they grow so they don't end up curling.)


and welcome to ATP Cathy!
[Last edited by robertduval14 - Feb 11, 2016 2:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 11, 2016 2:33 PM CST
Just a thought. Sometimes cucumbers that are not well-pollinated can form unusual shapes. Attract pollinators to your garden to insure success.
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 11, 2016 8:10 PM CST
If you aren't averse to growing a hybrid, I can HIGHLY recommend a variety called "Summer Dance." I grow these on a trellis and they are long, straight (slicing-type) cukes, sweet and mild, with small seeds and thin skin. Honestly, I just can't say enough good about these things!

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Summer Dance')

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Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Feb 11, 2016 8:17 PM CST

Plants Admin

Weedwhacker said:If you aren't averse to growing a hybrid, I can HIGHLY recommend a variety called "Summer Dance." I grow these on a trellis and they are long, straight (slicing-type) cukes, sweet and mild, with small seeds and thin skin. Honestly, I just can't say enough good about these things!

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus 'Summer Dance')



Wow...those get fairly long. They remind me in look to many 'burpless' varieties. May give them a try myself if I run across seed for them.

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