~ Seed for CUCUMBERS ~
We prefer real vegetables that actually taste of something - not like the supermarket varieties. So we offer really good, easy cucumbers. You can grow our varieties either inside or outdoors. But plants under cover will always fruit more heavily, and they do start cropping earlier in the season.
To clear up any confusion, these are real, non-hybrid cucumbers, and they're much easier and less fussy than the hybrids. You don't need to pick the male flowers off, and they don't go bitter if you grow several types. . .basically just plant them and let them get on with it. And of course if you wait long enough, you will get seeds in your cucumbers that you can grow next year!
Start the seed off somewhere warm in a small pot from late April (mid May if you're going to grow them on outside) and plant them out once they have 3 to 4 true leaves.
An excellent cucumber from the breeding program at the University of Wisconsin in the 1980's, this was recommended to us by cucumber expert Robert Bruns. It can either be used small for pickles or left to grow for use as a slicing cucumber.
The plants set many lightly striped dark green fruit , with tiny white spines that come off easily. We got an awful lot of cucumbers off this one!
Quick to set fruit, bitter-free, and Robert says it resists nearly all known cucumber diseases. (anthracnose, angular leaf spot, CMV, DM, PM, & scab!)
You can grow it indoors or out, and we think it'll be quite a few years before we find anything that can even come near it in terms of yield or reliability. We grow huge numbers outdoors here in Wales with no trouble at all.
Provide some support outdoors, under cover quite happy on the ground or can be trained up netting to save space.
10 seed £
A proper gherkin-type cucumber with a long history - selected in the 1800's for the cooler northern climate of Paris when cucumbers became fashionable in the city - other 'southern types' just couldn't crop reliably that far north.
It is a very reliable, early and productive cucumber, making lots of fruit with no fuss, even outdoors in the UK. It used to be grown as a pickling cucumber - but it also works well letting it get bigger for use in salads.
You would of course need to peel it if you let it get huge or over-ripe (like any cucumber), but the skin is just fine to eat up to a normal size, so this a good choice if you only have room for one type of cucumber, but want pickles as well as salad.
We used lots in salad last summer.
25 seed £
These fantastic little yellow-white cucumbers are Ben's favourite. Best picked when about 2" long, and terrific in salads. They have very soft thin skin, without any bitterness, and distinctly sweet crunchy flesh.
We know a lot of people with smaller families also like this variety because they can use a whole cucumber in a salad, and not be left with half cukes in the fridge.
The vines are very compact, start to bear early, and happily climb netting, or grow on the ground. Can't be beaten!
Sweet, pretty colour. Crunchy!
15 seed, organic £
An early and prolific heirloom dark green cucumber. This variety was bred around 1900 by a farmer called George Starr , who was growing a field of the cucumber ‘Davis Perfect’( which is now sadly extinct) to sell at market.
In that field he found just one much earlier and better plant that really stood out from the rest. He saved seed from that one special plant and from those he selected this new variety which he named ‘Early Fortune’.
It was then introduced commercially for small market gardeners and home gardeners by the “Jerome B. Rice Seed Co” in 1910, and has been popular ever since, as it starts to make fruit really quite early in the season.
16 seed, organic £
'Boothby's Blond' YELLOW, LUNCHBOX CUCUMBER
This new variety is an early-cropping heirloom from the Boothby family in Maine.
It makes sweet crisp fruit, best taken when about 4 inches long, and comes from a region with cold springs and a short growing season, so it is well adapted to setting fruit pretty quickly.
It does really well for us and we like it because the fruit ripen to an amazing bright yellow colour while still being good to eat, and they are the perfect size to slip into a lunchbox for a refreshing snack.
Really good flavour. Josie eats them for snacks like a piece of fruit.
16 seed, organic £
This variety from 1927 makes very pleasing long dark green fruit that are slightly tapered from one end to the other, getting fatter as you get towards the middle.
Bred by the “Jerome B. Rice Seed Co.” of Cambridge, New York, to be a ‘top class’ straight cucumber for expensive markets in New York.
It was popular with small-scale market gardeners and grocers for many years, but fell out of favour with the coming of the supermarkets, now it is very rare, which is a shame as it is an excellent and tasty variety.
16 seed , organic £
These cucumbers are about 4 - 5 inches long, and a bright kermit green with many small white spines that rub off fairly easily.
Originally bred as a pickling gherkin type, but we find it actually very nice raw as a salad cucumber. It is from Siberia and did well for us outdoors in Wales.
Sent to us by Andrei Barawovski in the Ukraine. Just a few packets this year.
12 seed £
Poona Kheera (Lime green, then Orange)
This new cucumber from India is very good, and more than a little different from any others we have ever seen.
Firstly, it is very, very crisp and crunchy - even for a cucumber! It is hard to explain, but when you try it you will understand - it is particularly crisp (in a nice way).
And secondly, it is incredibly colourful: it starts out a very bright lime green (that picture has not been enhanced!), but as it gets bigger, it turns an amazing orange colour.
It is good eating at all stages.
14 seed £
Slotted Ears (Pickling Only)
An unusual cucumber, definitely only for pickling, as it is not very juicy. This is so that it remains firm and pleasingly crunchy when boiled and bottled. This works very well as long as you are not expecting a salad cucumber!
Pick small and pickle using your favourite pickled gherkin recipe.
14 seed £
This was a very exciting find a couple of years back, a traditional variety we got from Bulgaria, that was said to be good for early cropping and home growing.
And it lived up to its reputation! We got very quick-growing plants that soon set large numbers of impressively long (30cm +), slightly ridged green cucumbers. In fact we have had to put up extra netting to contain it, as it was trying to take over our polytunnel!
Although very productive, it doesn't make many seeds, so order early if you'd like to try this one.
12 seed £
This superb variety was thought lost years ago, but cucumber breeder Robert Bruns heard of our search for an early, disease resistant, non-bitter, cucumber, and sent us the last few seeds he had. From those few seeds we regenerated this variety back in 2002 - & it's great!
Everyone who has tried it loves it. But because it makes very few seeds, we simply couldn't manage to keep it in the catalogue, and a few years ago we stopped listing it.
However Alan Fryer had been so impressed by it that when he heard we'd dropped it he got in touch . After hearing the problem, he decided to take it on as a project - and produced seed for us every year since then, so thanks to his heroic efforts we are once again able to offer this terrific cucumber.
Please consider saving your own seed. Alan has rescued it for now, but more people need to look after this one, it would be a shame to lose it. Cucumber seedsaving is easy and there are free instructions in our 'how to save seed' link to the left of this page.
10 seed £
This delicious variety comes originally from Turkey. A traditional salad cucumber - it has a smooth, tender thin green skin with no bitterness and is very prolific. It grew all over our tunnel and made loads of fruit!
Very popular traditional variety, does well in the UK.
12 seed £
Saving Cucumber Seed:
Here is Josie, aged 2, saving cucumber seed. It's really
Let them get over-ripe, scoop out the seeds, and put in jar with water for a couple of days or so.
The good seeds sink and the bad ones float (being full
of air). Pour off the top 1/2 of the jar, losing the floating bad seed
Refill & repeat a few times until you are left with just the good heavy seed.
Then drain the good seeds through a sieve and onto a plate to dry, or onto a newspaper if the weather is cold and damp.
Then dry your seeds properly and store them safely away from heat and mice.
It is important that they haven't crossed with another variety. And of course you can only save the seed from real varieties, hybrids won't work.
Detailed seed-saving instructions are included with
and also in our freely-printable instruction sheets (which you can find in a box on the left hand side of this page)
so you can do this yourself.