My 2008 Cucumber Trials

mainegardenerSeptember 2, 2008

Every year, I have a trial garden with various edibles.

Though summer isn't over yet, it is pretty clear which cucumbers are winners and which are losers. So, if anyone is interested, here is my cucumber report. Someone might find it useful. Both the Lemon and the Cross Country are included as controls, since they always crop well for me, every year. I do not spray, fertilize, weed, or irrigate my trials. If they do well with neglect, then they should do even better with care in my garden. I got seeds for a few of the cultivars from a friend who also did a cucumber trial, with similar results.

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2008 Cucumber Trial

Location: Oxford County, Maine

Soil: clay and Sand, pH 4.5

Sun: Full Sun

Chinese Yellow (Baker Creek) - Fail. Every single plant died by July.

Diva (Johnny's) - Poor. Runted out in summer heat. Not vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Poor yield. 100% misshapen fruit.

H-19 Little Leaf (Vermont Bean) - Poor. Not vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Poor yield. 100% misshapen fruit.

Garden Sweet (Gardens Alive) - Barely Acceptable. Vines are vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Only 1 fruit per vine at a time. 75% misshapen fruit. Very poor flavor.

Sweet Success (Burpee) - Barely Acceptable. Not vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Only 1 fruit per vine at a time. 50% misshapen fruit.

Sweet Slice (Vermont Bean) - Acceptable. Vines are vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Only 1 fruit per vine at a time. 0% misshapen fruit.

Sikkim (Baker Creek) - Good. Vines are vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Multiple fruit per vine at a time at every other node. Good yield. 0% misshapen fruit. Very nice flavor, even when fully ripe.

Boothby's Blonde - Great. 20+ ft sprawling vines are definitely vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Great yield. 0% misshapen fruit. Excellent flavor, even when fully ripe.

Cross Country (Fedco) - Great. Vines are vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Lots of fruit per vine. Requires picking every 2 days. Excellent yield of variably sized fruit. 25% misshapen fruit. Good flavor. Starts to turn bitter when it starts to ripen. This one turns whitish when ripe.

Lemon (Fedco) - Excellent. Vines are vigorous enough to outrun slugs and bugs. Lots of fruit per vine. Requires picking every 2 days. For each fruit picked, it makes 2 new blossoms on the same node. Fruit is variable in size, even on the same node on the same plant, but is usually between 1-4 inches in dia. 5% misshapen fruit. Very nice flavor, even when fully ripe. Sometimes resembles Crystal Apple, but is difinitly not the same cultivar.

Note:

I always grow Lemon and Cross Country, and will be adding Boothby's Blonde and Sikkim to my garden next year. If the latter 2 do well next year, they may just become permanent. Boothby's Blonde appears that it may have the potential to outperform Lemon if fertilized, watered, and cared for...

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mainegardener

I forgot to put where the Boothby's Blonde seeds came from. They came from Pinetree Garden Seeds.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:23PM
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lotsa_rocks

I have always just lurked but had to post about these lovely cukes. Just tried the Boothby's Blonde for the first time this year. These cukes were delicious with a very tasty skin, even when picked sorta large they didn't get bitter. Production was very high, performed as well as my two standbys (National Pickling and Homemade Pickles). My only regret is that I didn't plant more of them. I also purchased my seed from Pinetree Garden Seeds. These are a keeper! I want to try the Lemon next year too. Who knew the yellow cuke could be so tasty?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:42PM
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kellyrie(z5 ME)

Thanks for this post- I have never been able to successfully grow cukes, I will try some of your successes this year!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 12:22PM
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downeastwaves

Thanks for the info on the cukes. I wonder how they would do over here in chilly Eastport. I got some Early Russians from Baker Creek and they did ok. Not great.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 5:07PM
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indy76km(5 - Rumford, ME)

Has anyone ever grown Boston Pickling? I just ordered the seeds from Victory seeds and was wondering what I should expect.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 2:00AM
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lotsa_rocks

I also ordered Boston Pickling seeds for the first time this year, from Pinetree Garden. Anyone with prior experience?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 8:12PM
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megmaine

Boothby's Blonde can also be had from Fedco this year. I ordered some for my first attempt growing cukes, and am glad I did. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 6:50PM
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