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Vegetables
Exotic Novelty Cucumbers

Featured Recipes: Gardening Tips:
String Theory for Cucumbers
If you have plenty of space in your garden it’s fine to let cucumbers sprawl on the ground. But in today’s small, often shaded yards, gardeners must make the most of every sunny foot of row. That’s where trellising comes in. A cucumber support need not be an elaborate structure. A simple but sturdy frame will do fine, with strings dangling from an overhead bar. Tie the bottom end of each string to a cuke plant in a loose knot, then wind the vine around the string as it grows. Train to one stem, by pruning out all side shoots up to 3’, then letting one fruit form at each leaf node. When the vine reaches the top, train it over the bar, then allow two stems to come down. You’ll get a huge harvest from just one row. Use string that is at least 2-ply, so it won’t break. If it’s untreated, you can put all the vines on the compost pile at summer’s end, strings and all.



Warmth-loving Cucumbers may be grown as transplants, sown indoors 2 weeks before the last frost date, or direct-sown well after all threat of frost has passed and when the soil has warmed up to 50°F. Harvest with a sharp blade regularly to promote abundant production before seed cavities swell when small and thin-skinned. Cucumbers’ vines creep stealthily, take care to avoid garden traffic jams. It is successfully trellised vertically thanks to prolific spiraling tendrils. Some varieties are parthenocarpic and seedless, meaning pollination is unnecessary, while most have seeds and require pollination for flower and fruit development. About 90% water, Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, and yield antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. We love Renny Darling’s Cucumber and Chive Soup with Lemon and Dill and our Asian-inspired Refreshing Cucumber Salad. It’s fun to slice off the ends and hollow them out as little cups for cold Cucumber soup.

Average seed life: 3 years

     
#2105 Silor Mini Cucumbers:60-65 days
Perfect for the garden or greenhouse, this adorable little cuke is a parthenocarp, self-pollinator~a real breeding breakthrough. Silor Mini yields oodles of dark emerald-green, thin, smooth-skinned beauties that grow to 4 ½” to 5” long. Silor need not be peeled and has tasty, firm and crunchy flesh that is never bitter and is burpless. One good little cuke. (F1.)

Packet of 10 Seeds / $5.75

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#2130 Lemon Cucumbers: 60-70 days
This petite creature resembles a lemon with flattened ends and whitish-yellow skin; children love them! A novel heirloom, Lemon is worth waiting for: once it gets going, stand back! Yellow-green vines keep branching, producing 40 to 50 crispy fruits. Pick at about 2” long, before the skins darken. Check periodically for clever escapees hiding under pale foliage. Lemon tastes faintly citrus: enjoy it fresh, or quickly sautéed, drizzled with crème fraîche or serve cool, garnished with chives. Or munch right off the vine for a burst of summer flavor. (OP.)

Packet of 35 Seeds / $3.05

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#2150 White Wonder Cucumbers: 35-60 days
You’ll wonder why you never grew these! White Wonder is an heirloom variety growing vigorously even in very hot weather, producing lots of oval, ivory-skinned cukes. The crisp, tender flesh, mild flavor and unique color makes White Wonder a treat at picnics and great for unusual, fancy pickles. Pick White Wonder at 7” long for salads or in the Lebanese style: slice two small White Wonders paper thin. Add 1 cup yogurt, a pinch of salt and chopped mint leaves to taste. Chill for one hour but serve at room temperature. (OP.)

Packet of 35 Seeds / $3.25

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#2175 Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumbers: 60-70 days
Not a true cucumber but a distant relative, this mini Central American heirloom looks like a tiny watermelon with smooth green skin and grape-sized, dark green spots. Just picked, it crunches and tastes like a cuke with an already-pickled aftertaste. This prolific fruit drops off its delicate, small rambling vines once mature, making harvesting a snap. Terrific as a crudité or in salad. (OP)

Packet of 25 Seeds / $3.55

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#2190 Armenian Cucumber: 60-70 days
Also known as the Yard-Long Cucumber, Snake Cucumber, Snake Melon or Uri, it is really a melon, but it acts like a cucumber! Known as one of the best slicing “cucumbers”, this Armenian heirloom is rarely available for purchase so you’d best grow your own. Thin-skinned, slightly ribbed and matte chartreuse, its crisp, mild flesh has a light citric finish with a unique sweetness. It is really a delicacy to be savored among “cucumbers”. (OP)

Packet of 35 Seeds / $3.25

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