Rachel H Kay Blog

Year Three Expanding Cucumber Variations

This year is our third year growing vegetables. We now have three garden beds, a melon patch, three lettuce beds made out of old laundry baskets, and various plants in large plant pots. This year is also our most expanded year in vegetable variations. What I mean by that is instead of just growing cucumbers this year for example, we're growing four different kinds of cucumbers. This includes lemon cucumbers, boston pickling cucumbers, space master cucumbers, cucamelons, and your basic cucumber. All sprouted from seed, indoors, which I began in February this year. I already had the basic cucumber seeds, but the other seeds I got from Seedsnow.com. They were having a sale at the time, so I got a bunch of different vegetable and herb seeds, probably about 20 different seed packs, for around $35.00, which is a great bargain compared to buying already sprouted plants. You should definitely check them out. They have a huge selection of heirloom seeds, and you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot either.

Each variety of cucumbers has a different look, taste, and use. I don't need to explain the need to grow a basic cucumber, but have you ever grown a lemon cucumber?

Lemon Cucumbers

These cucumbers are round and yellow, and grow to the size of a tennis ball. They don't have a lemon taste, just the color, but the skin is thin and tender, and tastes milder than a regular cucumber. The sweet taste of a lemon cucumber makes them perfect for salads and pickling.

Boston Pickling Cucumbers

The Boston pickling cucumber looks more like the traditional cucumber, but they are shorter, and can be harvested when they reach 3 to 7 inches, depending on your pickling needs. You can use them in any pickling recipe and make sweet pickles or dills because the flesh of these cucumbers is very receptive to pickling spices. I bought these seeds specifically for pickling, and just a few weeks after I transplanted them to the garden they began to flower, so I fertilized them, and shortly after they began to flower female flowers. I now have at least 4 or 5 cucumbers growing.

SpaceMaster Cucumber

The spacemaster cucumber, while similar in look and taste to the traditional cucumber, has one huge difference. This cucumber variety can be grown in containers, which is why they are called spacemasters. They have short vines, and grow to be very compact, while producing tons of delicious green cucumbers. I have my space masters growing in two 15 inch diameter pots, which are about 14 inches tall. With all the rain we have been getting they are doing well. I already have five cucumbers fertilized and growing in one of my pots.

Cucamelon Cucumber

The cucamelon cucumber is something new I heard about through seedsnow.com. I saw them advertised as a new addition for 2017 and had to try them. They are a mini Mexican gherkin. They don't get any bigger than a grape, and look like a baby watermelon. They are also known as a mouse melon, or Mexican miniature watermelon. But these are cucumbers, they just look like watermelons. The cool thing about these little guys is that they are both drought and pest resistant. Since they grow tiny cucumbers their flowers are small as well, about four millimeters in diameter. But just like their cucumber relatives they grow both male and female flowers.

They are slow starting when establishing themselves. I transplanted my little guys into a large plant pot in May and their shoots are just now beginning to grow up their trellis. I also only see one flower on one plant so far, but I know in time they will grow much taller and begin to grow more flowers. From what I've read about them they can grow up to ten feet tall under the proper conditions. I have them in a large pot, with a wooden trellis over them that I got at Lowe's last year. I also read that they are perfect for salads, so I'm really looking forward to trying them.

So what do you think about these different variations? Have you tried growing any of these cucumbers? If not, give them a try. One exciting part about gardening is variety. You aren't limited to how many variations you can grow, its completely up to you.

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About Me

Hi there. I'm Rachel Kay, a Web Developer, Illustrator, & Designer, whose hobby is to be creative and artistic, while freelancing as a Web Developer building creative, modern websites.