Burpless cucumber heirloom

deanriowa(4b)July 23, 2007

I was wondering are there any heirloom burpless cucumbers? I was thinking maybe a Japanese cucumber maybe.

Also, what are some long 12" or long heirloom cucumbers?



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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Dean, I see your heirloom search continues, and I can help you with this one.

The most popular Asian burpless variety is probably "Suyo (or Suhyo) Long". I grew it several years back, and found it to be highly productive. The fruits are over a foot long, slender, and tasty. It should be trellised for the straightest cukes. Many companies carry it, including Evergreen Y. H. and Baker Creek.

"Kyoto Yard Long" is another, carried by Kitazawa Seed. I haven't grown it yet - it's on my list for a future trial.

I try to grow one Asian cucumber each year for seed. This year, I am growing "Yamato Extra Long", a variety with extremely long, slim fruits. It has shown itself to be a strong climber, so the long fruits will be kept off the ground (which should keep them straight). The vines are just beginning to set cukes now; I'll post a report here on GW later this season, at which time seed should be available. I first observed it on Seeds Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm last year, where it was yielding prolifically.

A variety of interest that I have grown in the past was "WI 5207". It was developed in Wisconsin, apparently from at least some Asian parentage. The cukes are thick like conventional slicers, but are about 12" long, nearly spineless, and very straight. They are very slow to set seed, and some will be seedless (see below). The flavor is bitter-free, unusual, & very pleasant. Thus far, it is my favorite long cucumber.

Aside from its taste & appearance, two things make WI 5207 noteworthy. The first is that it is highly disease-resistant, to a long list including: scab, CMV, angular leaf spot, FW, DM, PM, and anthracnose. In my trials, it was also highly resistant to cucumber beetles. The person from whom I obtained seed carries another line which he claims is also bacterial wilt resistant, but I have not yet tried it.

"WI 5207" is also an open-pollinated parthenocarpic variety - something truly rare in cucumbers (most parthenocarpic varieties are hybrids which will not breed true). It will set fruit with or without pollination... if grown under cover or without bees, the cukes will be seedless. However, if pollinated, some will be seeded. Fortunate, if you intend to save seeds. ;-) I offer seed for this variety on my Exchange Page - contact me via my Member Page if you might be interested.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 5:30PM
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Definitely let me know, how the "Yamato Extra Long" does. I live about 80 miles from Seeds Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm, so that might be a good one for me to grow, if it was doing well there.

Aren't some of the Asian long cucumbers hybrids?

This year I am doing a Burpee Burpless, Pointsett 76, Space Master, and Armenian Yard Long. I have got some cucumbers already from the burpless and the Space Master. The Pointsett and Armenian are a little behind, because of my neighborhood squirrels.



    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:16AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Aren't some of the Asian long cucumbers hybrids?"

Yes, many of the long or burpless Asian cucumber seeds now sold commercially are hybrids. The two Asian seed companies I mentioned above carry many hybrids - but to their credit, they continue to sell a few OP varieties as well. Unfortunately, their selection of OP seeds seems to be diminishing as the years go by. I wish someone would start an organic Asian seed company in the U.S.; I think the time is ripe.

You live only 80 miles from Heritage Farm??? If I lived that close, I would visit them more than I do now - at least twice a year. When I go in late August or early September, I am able to observe their tomatoes, peppers, beans, and cucurbits... but I would like to see their Spring crop as well, especially their peas.

The Armenian "cucumber" is one of the best for flavor & crispness... and it is a good climber. But keep in mind that it is not a real cucumber, but an elongated melon (Cucumis melo) grown for its immature fruits.

The seed packet illustrations for Armenian cukes are often misleading... even this year, I saw two different packets showing a long, spiny cucumber on the front. Armenians are _not_ spiny, but fuzzy. The first year that I grew them, the illustration fooled me - and an heirloom melon that I was growing the same year for seed was hopelessly contaminated, and the seed had to be destroyed.

I'll be posting more about the "Yamato Long"; it is setting large numbers of cukes now. The young cukes are incredibly long & slender - even with the blossoms open, some are already 3" long!! They are nearly smooth, with very few spines. One of them is large enough to harvest, so I will sample the flavor, and report the results here before this thread gets lost in the shuffle. I'll try to post a photo soon as well.

This is primarily a seed crop for me, so I can only eat a few. :-( Unless, of course, they bear heavily... so I'll be giving them a lot of TLC!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 5:02PM
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jwr6404(8B Wa)

I just ordered seed for the Umanami Oriental Cucumber from Full Circle Seeds in BC,Canada. It's alledgely Burpless and is 2-3 ft long,1.5-3 inches in diameter. The prices are reasonable. You might want to check out their website.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 4:30PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Well, this is a photo of the "Yamato Long".

It climbs well & bears heavily, but it is not bitter-free. Used young, it tastes just like most cukes.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:11PM
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Zeedman the "Yamato Long" look nice.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:38PM
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Zeedman, how did your "Yamato Long" turnout last year?

This year I decided to try your suggestions Zeedman, thus I have Suhyo cucumbers growing that I purchased from Fedco seeds. I also took your advice and have them growing on a trellis system.

I am also trying some Korean cucumbers I received from jwr6404. Thanks Jim!

I have heard a lot of good things about Poona Khera, so I have a couple of those going as well. I have some National Pickling growing to attempt to make homemade Garlic Dill Kosher pickles, and I planted some Lemon cucumbers as a novelty. My Mexican Sour Gherkins never came up though. My whole garden is behind by a month this year anyway, because of the rains, so I hope I get some good cucumbers before the September frost.

How is everyones heirloom cucumbers doing? Any recommendations for next year?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:50PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Dean, after a great start, the "Yamato's" were disappointing. There was a great initial set of cukes, as shown in the photo above... but after that, the plants did little more. There was a brief second surge in early Autumn, but overall, I was not happy with the yield.

The flavor was acid, but good. The good news is, they were nearly seedless, with good green color throughout. The bad news is, they were nearly seedless - so I was able to save only a little seed. :-(

This year, I'm going back to "WI 5207", which is still my favorite for flavor & yield. No time for seed probably, due to my late start... but I should get plenty of cukes.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:32PM
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