- 1 What are Cucumbers?
- 2 Best Soil for Cucumbers
- 3 Best Growing Conditions for Cucumbers
- 4 Watering Cucumbers
- 5 How to Pollinate Cucumber Plants
- 6 When Do You Pick a Cucumber?
- 7 The Top 7 Cucumber Varieties to Grow in 2022
- 7.1 1. “Straight Eight” Cucumber Seeds
- 7.2 2. Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds
- 7.3 3. National Pickling Cucumber Seeds
- 7.4 4. Boston Pickling Cucumber Seeds
- 7.5 5. Persian Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds
- 7.6 6. Cucumber Seeds for Planting Outdoors 5 Variety Pack
- 7.7 7. Straight Eight Cucumber Seeds NON-GMO
- 8 Fun Facts about Cucumber Varieties!
- 9 Conclusion
- 10 FAQs
Cucumbers are one of the easiest plants to grow that you can also consume! These beautiful cucumber vines can reach heights of over one hundred feet, depending on the variety of the plant. Cucumbers also enjoy the sun, but cannot be exposed to the sun directly in weather over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Typically, cucumbers are crunchy, sweet, and hydrating. However, some varieties are smaller, savorier, and softer. Cucumbers are also a great starter plant for beginners. They can be grown in the ground, in containers, and even in flower beds. If you are looking for cucumber seeds to grow from then look no further! The top 7 Cucumber varieties to sow in 2022 are listed down below.
What are Cucumbers?
Before jumping right into the top 7 cucumber varieties that are the best to grow in 2022, you need to have a basic understanding of what cucumbers are. There is a frequent argument between the gardening community over if these plants are vegetables or fruits. Surprisingly, they are neither!
Cucumbers actually belong to the gourd family. Gourds are edible fruit from plants that have an outer exterior that protects the seeds on the inside. However, not all fruits with hard exteriors are gourds. For example, some Gourds include cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and squashes.
There are two uses for Cucumbers. You can use Cucumbers as a sweet fruit or vegetable by slicing them into pieces and adding them into recipes. You can also pickle cucumbers in a relish recipe with vinegar and seasoning. Not all cucumber varieties, however, are good to use as pickles.
Best Soil for Cucumbers
Although cucumbers are easy to grow, you should use soil that is filled with nutrients and loose enough to allow the roots to grow and breathe. Cucumbers need soil that is between a pH level of 6.0 to 6.8. The soil also needs to drain well. If it doesn’t, your cucumber’s roots can rot and it will slowly kill your plant.
If you choose to grow cucumbers in the ground, you also need to check the soil underneath your feet. Most of the time, the soil in a person’s backyard or front yard is not fertile. After years of growing grass, the grass depletes the soils or organisms, nutrients, and minerals necessary for growth. Not only should the soil be fertile, but it needs to be somewhat sandy. You should not choose a soil with mulch or bark as a majority of the soil needs to be breathable for the roots of your cucumber plant.
Best Growing Conditions for Cucumbers
The best growing condition for cucumbers is in full sun! Cucumbers need adequate lighting, and while you can use grow lights inside, the sun provides a stronger form of energy and food for these Viney plants. Cucumbers don’t only need the sun, but they also need over five hours of exposure to it each day.
If you live in USDA zones 4-12, you have a good chance at growing cucumbers! Seeds germinate between 70 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is any hotter or colder, the seedlings won’t emerge out of stress. Not only should you plant your cucumber seeds in a warm area with sunlight, but you also need to give your cucumber plant something to climb on.
Many varieties of Cucumber plants require a trellis or some type of support system. Since cucumbers are vines that climb, they need extra space. It is possible to grow cucumbers horizontally, but to save space, expert gardeners recommend growing them horizontally. Extra support is needed, however, as cucumbers fruit and weigh down the vine.
How do you water cucumbers? These happy and warm, loving plants need to be watered a minimum of each day when under high temperatures surpassing 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The cucumber plant’s fruit needs a minimum of one inch of water each week. This is because the fruit is mainly made of water.
If you don’t water cucumber plants enough, they will not produce fruit or die from the sudden heat exposure. A good general rule of thumb is to only water your plants when you stick your thumb in the soil and can feel it drying. If you are overwintering your cucumbers, you should water your plants less as the cold air slows down the drying process.
How to Pollinate Cucumber Plants
Cucumber plants flower when producing fruit. These plants typically self pollinate, but you can help the flowers produce fruit faster by brushing a male cucumber flower and a female cucumber flower. Female cucumber flowers are larger, and at the base, have what appears to be a small underdeveloped cucumber. This cucumber will rot or fall off if it is not pollinated in the correct amount of time.
Male flowers do not have the same base though, and are instead simply yellow flowers on a vine. You can encourage pollination by shaking the flowers and plants gently. However, you must be careful when doing so, as you can accidentally shake the flowers off, hurting the chances of producing fruit.
If you do not feel comfortable pollinating cucumber flowers by lightly shaking them, you can also use a paintbrush to ‘tickle’ the inside of both flowers. This stimulates the pollen. In a few days, if the process has worked, then the cucumber will begin growing.
Cucumber flowers have successfully pollinated when the underdeveloped cucumber’s vine grows longer. If the vine does not grow and the small ‘cucumber’ on the female flower stays the same length, it is not successful. This happens! If you want more production over time, I recommend snipping the flowers back until the cucumber plants grow taller than two feet tall. Premature flowers can produce fruit, but you will only have a small number of them at a time.
When Do You Pick a Cucumber?
Cucumbers are easy plants to grow! They seldom need extra care or fertilizer. However, it is tricky finding out exactly when to pick these fruits. As the flowers fall off, a cucumber grows longer. The longer and plumper it gets, the readier it is to harvest.
The best trick to knowing when to pick a cucumber is to harvest them when you notice that they are long and firm. However, the exact time length depends on the variety—an average time to pick cucumbers, though, is between 50 to 70 days. If you wait too long, they become bitter and mushy. During months of high production, you may find yourself harvesting one to two cucumbers every day, as they ripen quickly. Unlike many other plants such as tomatoes and peppers, you cannot ripen cucumbers off of the vine.
The Top 7 Cucumber Varieties to Grow in 2022
If you are looking for the most delicious new and upcoming cucumber varieties to grow in the next year, listed below are seven of the best seed varieties! Each of these cucumber seeds is unique and have their own special traits, including taste, size, and growing conditions.
1. “Straight Eight” Cucumber Seeds
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If you are a beginner gardener who wants to learn more about cucumber seeds and how to grow them, then these are a great choice for you. Not only are the seeds high quality, but the package comes with specific instructions that yield results. The easy-to-read and follow instructions are on each packet. They are also very affordable! If you are wondering, which variety of cucumber is best? The best and highest yielding cucumber variety is the National Pickling Heirloom Cucumber.
2. Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds
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What is the difference between Persian cucumbers and regular cucumbers? Persian cucumbers have thin skins that are typically sweet. The thicker that the skins are, the more bitter and savory they become. Not only are Persian cucumbers coated with a thin green skin, but they are also shorter and skinnier than a regular cucumber variety. Persian cucumbers grow between 6-8 inches long. If they grow too long, then they become bitter and almost inedible.
All cucumber varieties have their own instructions. For Beit Alpha Heirloom cucumbers, they should be growing in-ground or in containers with the maximum amount of space. They do not do well when contained in small containers less than 1 gallon in size.
3. National Pickling Cucumber Seeds
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“Straight Eight” Heirloom Cucumber Seeds are one of the unique cucumber varieties on this list! This is a really big deal! When cucumber seeds germinate quickly, they are hard to kill unless placed in stressful situations.
Not only is this cucumber variety unique because of its high germination rate, but it is also a variety that grows ‘straight.’ This smooth cucumber producing plant not only grows straight, it is best picked and consumed when it reaches a staggering 8 inches in height.
What is the sweetest type of cucumber? This one right here! “Straight Eight” cucumbers only take 60 days to mature, and are naturally sweet. While you can pickle this variety in glass jars with vinegar and seasoning, they are best eaten raw and in their ‘original’ cucumber form. If you want a cucumber variety that continuously produces and withstands diseases well, you should look into the “Straight Eight” Heirloom Cucumber Seeds.
4. Boston Pickling Cucumber Seeds
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Have you seen the jars of pickles that are thick but not longer than an average jar? It is likely that the manufacturers used a variety like the Boston Pickling Cucumber.
If you are not the biggest fan of pickles and enjoy cucumbers in their raw stage though, you can still grow these beauties! This affordable seed packet also gives gardeners over 100 seeds to start from. The reviews are excellent and rave about the variety’s high germination rate, so this great investment can be used for years to come!
If you are unsure about growing Boston Pickling Cucumber Seeds and not using the 100 seeds before they expire, don’t be afraid! These seeds have a long shelf life and are shipped fresh. You can either save the seeds or use large gallon-sized containers to grow more than one in a container. This can save you space and yield you more production!
5. Persian Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds
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This plant provides cucumbers that grow to a surprising size of 9 inches long! These cucumbers are known to grow until they are a foot long, but they can become bitter if not picked before they over ripen.
The Persian Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds are an excellent choice for seasoned gardeners interested in a new challenge! Although it is not impossible for beginners to try and succeed with these seeds, they can prove themselves to be difficult. Cucumber seeds don’t always require care, but the spacing for Persian Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds is specific. If you don’t follow the instructions labeled specifically on the packet of these cucumber seeds, you can stress your plant out and decrease the chances of yielding fruit.
6. Cucumber Seeds for Planting Outdoors 5 Variety Pack
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If you have both the space and time to try various varieties of cucumber, then you should invest in the Variety Pack containing Armenian, Boston Pickling, Lemon, Spacemaster, and Straight Eight seeds. For those who want a challenge and are ready for surprises, this variety pack comes with a mixed set of seeds that all produce well.
The variety pack is affordable and nearly always available for sale. The germination rate for the variety pack is high. The seeds are also unique because not only are they all different, but some are bush types, while others are vining plants. It is important to understand, though, that this variety pack needs a large space to grow properly.
The good thing about this variety pack is that they yield great results! No matter what you are looking for, you are bound to find something you love! For example, the Boston Pickling variety is deliciously made for pickling! However, the lemon variety is sweet and perfect for slicing and dicing. They’re great for all Asian cuisines and salads!
7. Straight Eight Cucumber Seeds NON-GMO
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What are the hybrid varieties of cucumber? There are many to choose from, but the main cucumber variety known for its hybrid properties is the Straight Eight cucumber variety. Hybrid cucumber varieties are cucumbers that you pollinate with other pure cucumbers. They are typically disease-resistant. What makes these cucumbers so unique is that it is actually very difficult to create hybrid cucumbers! Not all varieties can pollinate each other.
This particular seed packet contains Straight Eight Cucumber seeds that carry approximately 210 seeds. That is a lot of seeds! They are best when you plant them outside and have a higher germination rate in weather above 70 degrees Fahrenheit in full sun.
Fun Facts about Cucumber Varieties!
- Cucumbers are part of the Gourd family.
- Cucumbers carry multiple vitamins that help you protect yourself from illnesses and viruses.
- Have you ever wondered why cucumbers are used on people’s faces in spas? This is because cucumbers are hydrating and have a cooling effect that can actually cool the blood in your body. This is actually where the term ‘cool as a cucumber’ comes from!
- Do you need natural stress relief? Cucumbers can provide relief against stress, anxiety, and nervousness. You can do this by boiling cucumbers in water and breathing in the steam and scent produced from boiling the cucumbers.
- All pickles come from cucumbers. There are no cucumber varieties that can’t be made into pickles. Pickles are made through a process called ‘pickling’, which typically uses vinegar and added seasonings.
All in all, cucumbers are delicious and hydrating fruit that is actually a part of the gourd family. They can grow in bushes or along with vines. Typically though, cucumber plants grow and yield cucumbers from flowers in vines. Cucumber plants need specific conditions to grow and thrive in.
The first thing you should do when growing cucumbers is to look for soil that is fertile and also well-draining. Once that step is complete, plant the variety of your choosing! If you have a sweet tooth and want longer cucumbers, choose a variety that grows a minimum of 8 inches long. The shorter the cucumbers, the more bitter they are.
You need to water cucumber plants at least one inch each week, but you should still add more water during the hot summer months. Cucumber plants also need direct sunlight. While this is a lot of information, don’t be afraid to try something new! Just remember, these plants do better in zones 4-12, as they need moderately warm weather.
Which variety of cucumber is best?
This is a tough question! There are over hundreds of different cucumber varieties to choose from. However, out of this list, the best variety of cucumber is the National Pickling Heirloom Cucumber. Although this is true, if you are not a fan of pickles and want a sweeter cucumber variety, you can choose another one that is sweeter.
What is the sweetest type of cucumber?
For those with a sweet tooth who would rather eat cucumbers raw and not pickled, they can choose to eat the “Straight Eight” Heirloom Cucumber. This choice is one of many great cucumber varieties that you can sow and grow in 2022.
What is the best cucumber to eat raw?
If you are looking to eat a cucumber raw, you should try the Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber. These heirloom cucumbers are sweet and have a thin coat that can be consumed.
What is the difference between Persian cucumbers and regular cucumbers?
Persian cucumbers are cucumbers with thin skin that grow long but not thick! Regular cucumbers, instead, have thicker and longer skin.
Why should we not eat cucumbers at night?
Cucumbers are filled with vitamins and nutrients! However, you should not eat cucumbers at night. Cucumbers have a lot of cucurbitacins, which causes indigestion. If you have a sensitive stomach or suffer from conditions like Acid Reflux, which are regularly triggered at night, you should not consume cucumbers until the morning. At night, our stomachs struggle to digest food because they are on a clock.