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Suggest Your Favorite: Cucumber(s)

 
gardener
Posts: 956
Location: Soutwest Ohio
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As a follow-up to my last post in this particular forum, I thought cucumber might be a nice one to focus on. I think cucumbers get overlooked a lot when people are making selections. While there are some oddities, many of them look very similar. It's really easy for new gardeners to just shrug and assume they are all the same. I myself was guilty of this for my first few years back. So then, without further ado, my choice and why. For me, I like one that works as both a slicer and a pickler, but if you have one of each, why not note both?

My Choice: White Wonder

The first year I grew this, I had a very limited space to work with. I potted it on the balcony of the master bedroom and worked with what I had. That year saw a lot of failures (I wasn't thinking about how the pots would cause problems for certain varieties I was trying) but the white wonder wasn't one of them. It trailed over the side of the building, leaving beautiful green leaves and stark white fruits that I could pick just by stepping out of my kitchen. Each other time I have grown it, it has grown well and produces wonderful cucumbers. The bright white makes them easy to harvest without missing any and the flavor is great as a slicer. The skins are thin and they aren't bitter at all in my experience. Even better, they work just as well for making pickles if picked at the right size and the unusual lack of color makes for a conversation any time you have people over for a meal they are a part of. I have considered doing a series of pickles the next time I grow them that creates a rainbow. The white skins would make it easy to make a series of pickles colored by tumeric, beets, etc. As a bonus it is an heirloom, which is something that always appeals to me.
 
pollinator
Posts: 165
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
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Lemon cucumbers are my favorite. I love their slightly tart flavor and juiciness, along with the fact they don't get the bitterness some cucumbers do. I like that they are a good size that I can just eat a whole one as a snack without having to store leftover bits. They've also been crazy productive despite my somewhat lazy gardening habits. And they're so pretty! The yellow color makes them easy to find and harvest. They might not be the best for pickling, but I haven't tried it myself. I just eat them fresh and end up sharing what I can't eat with others cause there's so many of them.
 
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I keep trying new varieties, and I keep gravitating back to the same one. Dragon's Egg.

It can be eaten at any stage, even when it's so ripe it might as well be a muskmelon. It never turns bitter at all. The little white fruits are easy to find, and it doesn't get as spiny as some cucumbers do.
 
pollinator
Posts: 219
Location: Missouri. USA. Zone 6b
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I grew Aonaga jibai cucumber (baker creek) for the first time last year. I preferred it to my other variaties like straight eight.  The Jibai cucumbers were prolific and very sweet with small seed cavities. I used them young for salads and stir fries and older ones for soup.
 
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Location: Far Northern California Coast, Far South Pacific Northwest
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I've only had success with two types of cucumbers, most likely from neglect to water, Lemon and Armenian white. My favorite of the two was the Lemon, they delicious and prolific. I like the small ones for slicers, medium for snacks and my hens go crazy for the mature ones. They produce for such a long time and almost never fail.
 
Melonie Corder
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I keep trying new varieties, and I keep gravitating back to the same one. Dragon's Egg.



I'm intrigued, it's going on my list. If you ever want to trade seeds...
 
gardener
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Location: N. California
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I haven't had a lot of luck when it comes to cucumbers.  Then I found the Japanese cucumber.  It produced like crazy, and had a great taste.  We don't care for pickles, so I don't know if it can be used for that.  I'm glad you started this post, now I'm going to try something new. Thanks
 
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Location: MD, USA. zone 7
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I like the smaller ones.

The old boston pickler has a subtle floral flavor I really like raw or in dill pickles.
Dar makes for a good all around cuke, it is very neutral flavored. It didn't clash with any of my odder vinegar pickling flavor experiments.
I've tried growing a couple of the round lemon cukes. They were alright raw, good in stir-fries, but not a winner for pickling. I found them a lot harder to pick before the seeds got big than the others, especially later in the season. Not being green, they are a lot easier to spot on the plant.

I'm hoping to try a new variety or two this year if I can get seeds.
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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My favorite are Muncher. They work well for a slicer or pickling. They have always been productive for me. One year I was so inundated that I harvested a lot at the cornichon size for pickling as well.
 
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Suyo Long cucumbers from Baker Creek. They are great for fresh eating and pickling!
 
pollinator
Posts: 395
Location: Chicago
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Does anyone have a favorite that is either resistant to cucumber wilt or else produces early enough to get a good crop before late-summer?  

Cucumbers are a favorite in my family, but I have come to accept cucumber beetles as an intractable inevitable pest in my garden. I work full-time and just cannot fuss over the plants to keep them beetle-free.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Melonie Corder wrote:

Ellendra Nauriel wrote:I keep trying new varieties, and I keep gravitating back to the same one. Dragon's Egg.



I'm intrigued, it's going on my list. If you ever want to trade seeds...



I don't have a lot of seeds to spare for that one right now, but I plan on saving a lot this year. I'll let you know.
 
Ellendra Nauriel
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Mk Neal wrote:Does anyone have a favorite that is either resistant to cucumber wilt or else produces early enough to get a good crop before late-summer?  

Cucumbers are a favorite in my family, but I have come to accept cucumber beetles as an intractable inevitable pest in my garden. I work full-time and just cannot fuss over the plants to keep them beetle-free.



Have you tried interplanting them with marigolds? I know it works for cabbage beetles, but I don't know if they repel cucumber beetles as well. I plan on testing them against squash bugs, corn earworms, and potato beetles this year.
 
Melonie Corder
Posts: 57
Location: Far Northern California Coast, Far South Pacific Northwest
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Ellendra Nauriel wrote:

Mk Neal wrote:Does anyone have a favorite that is either resistant to cucumber wilt or else produces early enough to get a good crop before late-summer?  

Cucumbers are a favorite in my family, but I have come to accept cucumber beetles as an intractable inevitable pest in my garden. I work full-time and just cannot fuss over the plants to keep them beetle-free.



Have you tried interplanting them with marigolds? I know it works for cabbage beetles, but I don't know if they repel cucumber beetles as well. I plan on testing them against squash bugs, corn earworms, and potato beetles this year.



Calendula definitely will attract cucumber beetles.  I just walk around and knock them into a bowl of soapy water.
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