suhyo hybrid vs heirloom

plantslayer(8)October 17, 2009

I've grown a hybrid suhyo or similar long oriental cucumber for the past few years, and they have been really nice. Even though the plants are not too happy in my climate, if I get just a two or three of these monsters per week it is enough for personal consumption and sharing with others. This year, however, my plants were hurt pretty bad by powdery mildew late in the season, although they still gave us enough cucumbers to eat.

Anyway, I saw that it is possible to buy both the hybrid and non-hybrid versions of suhyo cucumber online. Is there any advantage to the heirloom version such as taste? I'd like to try out the heirloom, but given how bad mildew is here I think I might need to stick with hybrid versions to make sure I get a harvest.

Also, someone gave my wife some nice pickling-sized cucmbers that have a silvery tint towards the end of the fruit; they were very crisp. I want to grow these- was this probably one of the Korean hybrid varieties sold by evergreen? Has anyone grown those before?

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In general, the priority reasons to grow an heirloom is for flavor, because many people on principle will only grow heirlooms, and to save seed.

While there may be a handful of exceptions, any time you hybridize an heirloom for for one or more traits, what you lose is flavor. You will not be able to save seed from the hybridized variety and expect to grow more suhyo cucumbers.

Heirlooms are not weak plants - after all, they did last 50 years or more in order to become an heirloom. They tend to be seeds that were transported from their native location to an entirely different climate and expected to grow just as well.

If you haven't tried the heirloom, why not 2 or 3 plants to compare?

As for the last question, it might be better to post it in a new thread.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 6:53AM
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