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Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

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Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/25/2010, 2:23 pm

I don't know if other people are familiar with this, but over the summer, they promoted snack cucumbers here in the Netherlands. These cucumbers are dwarf sized (10-15 cm long) and edible straight away when you pluck them from the plant (the skin of the cucumber is thinner, so they say). I was wondering if there is somebody who can tell me how tall this plant is going to be. To call it snack cucumber, suggest that this might be a smaller plant then the regular cucumber, but I am not sure of it. I tried to find some information on the internet, but I only found the size of the cucumbers and not the plant itself. I found a few variaties of the snack cucumbers, those are: Alamir F1, Passandra F1 and Picolino. Maybe this says more than snack cucumber to you. But if there is anyone who knows a cucumber spiecies, that is not growing too tall, I would like to know about it.

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  jenjehle on 8/26/2010, 4:46 pm

The cucumber you're describing sounds like the little cuks that I grow. But here in the U.S. they're referred to as "pickling" or "salad" cucumber. They are 4-6 inches long and pretty skinny (not round and fat like a large sized cucumber).

Park Seed has one called a "Muncher" that we've grown, it's great! Thinner skin and sweeter than usual. We love these; perfect snack if you ask me!
http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/store/TextSearch?storeId=10101&SearchUnion=Y&CustSearchText=muncher

Sorry if this isn't what you're asking about. But if this is what kind of what you're referring to, here is a picture of my plants last year:



The cuks are the tallest plants right in the middle:


Then to answer your question... NO, the plants for the smaller cucumbers are not smaller than regular large sized cucumbers. They grew tall & crazy! And boy, did they produce!

And here is what they look like after picking them (the ones my daughter didn't eat right off the vine anyway...) I believe this one was a Burpee pickling cuk:


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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  miinva on 8/26/2010, 10:45 pm

Zephyros, if you grow some I'd love to hear the results Smile

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Retired Member 1 on 8/27/2010, 12:47 pm

I don't know about snacking cukes, but just about any cuke, whether slicers or pickling will grow to 6' or more. But they do OK on shorter trellises as they just bend over at the top and continue down. All my cukes were growing on 5' trellis and did well, especially since I helped them find a path when they topped the trellis.

There are some bush cuke plants, and if your plants are dwarf (not just the fruit), then they might well grow only to 3'. But the seed package should state that.

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  pattipan on 8/27/2010, 4:30 pm

I found a USA source for the Picolini F1 cucumber seed here:
http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-seeds-picolino-f1-hybrid-cucumber.html

It doesn't say how big the vines get, but my guess would be that they would be fine in a SFG since they can be grown in a greenhouse as well as outdoors.

I grew Eureka hybrid cukes this year. I chose them because you can pick them small or let them grow bigger. So far I've made 10 jars of tiny French cornichons style pickles. For the recipe I use, you only need 2 cups of 2" cukes. I'm letting them get a little bigger now and I'll turn those into kosher dills or sweet relish. They are very disease resistant plants too!

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/28/2010, 5:24 am

I can't find cuke in my dictionairy, but I understand from the discription of the english dictionary online that this is an informal word for cucumber is that right? It looks like we are talking about the same cucumber anyway. It's rather difficult if you are talking to other people about a plant and you don't know the proper name of the thing and they don't give you the proper botinanical name of the varatie. This afternoon I am going to the city, so I will pass the garden center, and go and ask over there. I mean, if they don't know it, they shouln't promote the whole thing. And so the quest begins.... Very Happy

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Megan on 8/28/2010, 8:47 am

Cuke is short for cucumber, yes. (I use zuke for zucchini, too, but that may not be standard.) Smile

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/28/2010, 11:05 am

So, I went to the garden center and asked. I can't say it is a sufficient answer.The woman thought the plant wouldn't be as tall as a 'regular' cucumber, and grow as wide as one. But the question is now, what do you define as not so tall and not so wide? To bad it's not the season to grow them anymore, so I could 've read the tag that goes with the plant. She told me that the fruits start growing at the bottom and when it grows up, the fruit is growing higher aswell. So when I want more fruit, I have to let it grow higher and provide it with enough support. She thought a bamboo stick or something similar should be enough. Is that true? What says Mel about the amount of cucumber plants you can put in a square? (somebody borrowed my book. I try to convert the person to SFG ) Cool

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Megan on 8/28/2010, 11:10 am

Cucumber is a vining crop usually. I don't know anything about dwarf or bush varieties, I can only tell you what mine did this year. The plant came out of the ground, and as it grew, it produced a vine. The vine has flowers on it... mostly male at first, but then female also. It likes to trail or climb. It will start to set fruit on the vine it has already, but the vine will continue to grow, too, and put out more flowers/fruit on the newly grown vine. Mine would have needed more help than a bamboo stick, but they were a full vining crop and not a smaller variety. Does that make sense?

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/28/2010, 11:22 am

Yes, it does make sense. pff, I wished they told a bit more about the plant, when they used it on the telly. They only said: it produces nice little cucumbers, that you can eat straight away. And you see a small cucumberplant they just put into the ground. But of course, it never stays like that. The lady from the shop also said it would produce a vine. I've got no idea if it is a new bush type cucumber (if they excist). I found on a website a cucumber called spacemaster (dutch websiteunforuntate) says that it uses 1/3 less of the space compared to a normal cucumber. But I don't think their sowing instructions on the website are right. It said that the sowing distance is 1 meter. But it also says 1 meter for their normal cucumbers Shocked According to me, 1/3 less is approximally 60 cm. I always thought I could do at least maths, but aparently according to the website not.

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Megan on 8/28/2010, 11:50 am

I think I have heard of bush cukes. However, I don't know their growing habits... that is, how they grow, the pattern of their growth. I don't know if they both need the same space to spread their basic greens and then the bigger ones keep trailing the vines even larger. One meter would not be big enough for the cukes I grew, BUT, they also spread and intermingled with other plants, and it all worked out in the end. If you are unable to find better information, I say, just try it! Worst thing happens is they don't grow at all, or are a bit overcrowded. It does not have to be perfect. Smile (I keep telling myself this!)

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  pattipan on 8/28/2010, 11:57 am

I did a little more searching to find information about the Picolino F1. Found this in a downloadable Adobe Acrobat file at www.vitalisorganic.com:

Picolino F1
This widely adaptable mini cucumber variety is a must where a smaller sized, high-quality fruit is needed. The 4.5 in. (12cm.) fruits are extremely uniform. With 3-4 fruits per node, the plants are early to produce shiny dark green fruits that are nicely ribbed. Throughout the season, Picolino maintains its high quality and production level. Plants are compact, vigorous and well balanced.



It states that the plants are compact, so I think they would be well suited for a SFG.

All that said, any cucumber would work in a SFG if you train it up on a trellis. Probably what is most important is choosing a type of cucumber that is suitable for your growing season and one that is of the type you want to grow. The type being whether you want a snack cucumber, slicing cucumber or a pickling cucumber.

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  jenjehle on 8/28/2010, 12:54 pm

I tried growing the bush type piclkling cucumbers. They didn't do well. The cuks were too heavy for the vines so they drooped onto the dirt. Therefore didn't get a lot of sun b/c they were under other plants. Not to mention, since they were so close to the ground they got diseases easier b/c they weren't able to stay as dry as they could have growing upward on the trellis.

Just my experience...
Jenny

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/28/2010, 1:40 pm

I understand I can try Megan. But since it is not my garden in which I am going to grow it in, I don't want to take up much space. (I am a student, who is sick and tired of tinned veggies, renting a room in a house with a really nice couple, and they let me use some garden space. I don't want to take over the garden. And so I am trying to put a lot in a tiny place (long live SFG). I don't want any plants that are getting to big, because it means that I can't put something else there). That is why I am trying to figure out how big this plant is going to be.

Thanks for the information about the picolino, pattipan. Most of the information that I've found was the same as what you said, but it didn't state that it was a compact plant.

I think, maybe it is a good idea to send the program that promoted the snack cucumber an email to ask (if I can figure out), or else I can try where they sell those seeds. If someone got some suggestions, please let me know

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Megan on 8/28/2010, 4:41 pm

I understand. You are being very considerate and that is a great thing!

My two cucumber vines, while they lived (sob!) took up two squares and climbed a cage 4 feet tall, and then promptly laughed at the cage and took off to grow on/over whatever else they could grab. One of them eventually got to be about 12 feet long (it climbed my amaranth, topped one 7 foot trellis and was nearly to another trellis), and I don't know what it would have done if it'd lived longer. This is the first year I've grown cukes as an adult -- I grew up on a farm, but that was a long time ago! -- and I don't know growth habits of the bush cukes.

A few things from my experience and from what I've been reading:

Bush plants may not vine but they may end up bigger than you think from that innocent word "bush". Also, I may be wrong here, but I think bush plants tend to come ripe all at once. That is great for canning, but not so great if you are not going to can veggies and want to eat just a few at a time.

You might want to consider space vs. what you are willing to pay for and what you really want to eat. For example, I grew corn this year and it was a complete bust. I may try again next year out of sheer stubbornness, but even if I succeed it will only be a few ears, for a lot of square feet. I already know I want to give more space to foods I can't find fresh and/or are really expensive around here, such as tomatillos.

Have you considered sharing garden plans with the people you are renting from? Maybe they would welcome some fresh cucumbers and not mind a few vines if you trellised them in a corner of the garden.

Just a few thoughts. Smile Best wishes!

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  chocolatepop on 8/29/2010, 1:31 am

I planted these
http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/PD/5600/

and i'll try to get pictures of what is left. the plants seem somewhat smaller, but that could be because of disease, but i can tell you the few i go are delish.

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Re: Snack cucumber/ dwarf cucumber

Post  Zephyros on 8/31/2010, 2:56 pm

Thank you for the information. We all ready share some plants. Well, extually the herbs, figs and grapes (and are theirs). My landlady told me that if I am going to grow strawberries, all the strawberries will be ripe over the weekend, and a mysterious bird would eat them all Very Happy (I am not there over the weekend)

I met a friend the other day (hadn't seen her for a while). I know she likes to grow veggies too, so I asked here if she had tried one of these snack cucumbers. And she did! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Hers wasn't taller than knees hight if I understand it properly. If it is true, it would be perfect for a SFG, and not exactly the same thing as a salad cucumber. She would try and see if she still got the tag from the plant to tell me more about it. My landlady is curious about it too, so, it looks like I am going to do an experiment next season. Anyone that wants to stay posted when my friend tells me what is written on the plant-tag (if she still got it, she wasn't sure) and when I grow one next year (they start selling them as a little plant in ~april I think)?

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