Greenhouse Cucumbers

Introduction and Methods

We planted five different varieties of cucumbers for our CSU CSA (Colorado State University Community Supported Agriculture) in the greenhouse. They were sown on May 3, 2005 into peat pots, and transplanted into three gallon pots with Sunshine organic mix on June 3, 2005. There were ten pots per variety with two plants in each pot.

Note: all photos on this web page are from the old www.tinkersgardens.com and www.edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

The cucumber plants were fertilized weekly with fish emulsion fertilizers. They were trellised with twine and plastic tomato clips. The lower leaves were clipped and the lateral vines were pinched. The vines were trellised up five feet and then at a ninety degree angle onto the twine.

There were some problems with pests. Mites were found, but they were controlled by exisiting predatory mites in the greenhouse. White fly was also present and were controlled by Encarsia formosa, a parasitoid of whitefly. Powdery mildew appeared and was treated with a compost tea application.

The cucumbers were given to the CSU CSA members on a weekly basis, but the plants were removed at the end of October due to the slowing down of production and the need for space for other projects.

Variety Information

  • Socrates: This is a high quality cucumber for colder conditions. It is a new dark green, thin-skinned, tender, sweet cucumber. This plant produces 7-8 inch fruits, all-female on parthenocarpic (fruits can set without pollination) plants. They are suitable for use in greenhouses and thrive in temperatures ranging from 50-82 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Tyria: This is a seedless cultivar. It is a long, Dutch greenhouse-type for indoor or outdoor production. The plants produce an averaged 14 inch, lightly ribbed, dark green fruit. Delicious and not bitter. They are all-female and the fruit can set without pollination. Trellising makes the fruit straight.
  • Diva: This plant produces seedless, bitter-free fruit with a smooth, thin, no-peel skin. Harvested small (about the size of a pickle) it is extra flavorful. The plants produce all-female flowers and the fruit can set without pollination. Diva plants are resistant to both mildews and scab. The foliage is nonbitter, and is therefore not as attractive to cucumber beetles. This variety can be grown for open field production, under row covers, or in high tunnels.
  • Tasty Jade: This plant produces early, slender Japanese cucumbers. The fruits are 11-12 inches long, thin-skinned and glossy and have crisp, fresh flavor. The plants produce all-female flowers and the fruit can set without pollination. They are suitable for field, greenhouse, or high tunnel production. Trellising makes straight fruit.
  • Suyo Long: This “burpless” long-fruited variety is from China. The plants produce a ribbed fruit which can grow up to 15 inches long. It grows well in hot weather and sets fruit early. This fruit is bitter-free and they should be trellised to produce straight fruit

Results

Please note that these harvest data results are for 2005 and are based on 20 plants for each variety.

Observations

Although the variety Suyo Long produced the largest cucumbers, it produced the lowest count. Socrates by far, produced the most cucumbers per plant. Tyria started out as a very slow producer, but in September, it started to speed up in production and had the highest yields in October. Socrates and Tasty Jade were the steadiest producers, setting more fruits earlier than the others and producing more than the other varieties. Diva was the lowest producer over all, with a higher count than Suyo Long, but lower overall weight yield. Suyo Long produced the largest cucumbers and Socrates the smallest.

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