Diva, Green Finger, Marketmore 76, Marketmore 97, Ministro, Sonja, Straight 8, Talladega, Tasty Jade, Tendergreen.
Seeds were started in the greenhouse in paperpots on May 1. They were hardened off for 2 days in the shade house, and then transplanted on May 26 into the high tunnels. The Diva variety had trouble with damping off, both in the greenhouse, and later at transplanting into high tunnels/ hoop houses.
We had 3 replications, two on either side of the small high tunnel (16’ x 60’ and 12’ high at center, running east/west), and one in the southwest corner of the large high tunnel (30’ x 60’ and 15’ high with straight sidewalls). Plants were transplanted into raised beds, drip irrigated and covered with black plastic mulch. They were planted at 1’ spacing and trellised with 5’ plastic mesh trellises .
Harvest started June 23, and continued twice a week through the summer. "Harvest-ready" was determined by each variety’s description, i.e. Diva- 5-7”, Marketmore 76- 8-9”, Tendergreen- 3-7”, aiming for the described size for that variety.
Through the course of the season, we had some trouble with mites, thrips, and aphids. We sprayed twice. First on June 29 with Cinnamite in the large tunnel and Sorbishield in the small tunnel. We also sprayed on July 17 with a mix of Monterey Garden Spray and horticultural oil. Harvest was stopped in the fall when plants were slowing down due to light frost and aphids were picking up.
Tendergreen was a popular variety. Although it did not produce well compared to other varieties, it was dependably productive through the whole summer. We also liked the small size and flavor. It stayed crisp and was great for snacking.
Total harvested yields were different among varieties but only after dropping out a low yielding bed of Sonja. The table below shows the average yields in Kg. Yields of varieties that don’t share a lower case letter were significantly different. For example, Tasty Jade had higher yields than varieties that are not marked with an “a”: Green Finger, Straight 8, Tendergreen, and Diva.
|Variety||Diva||Tendergreen||Straight 8||Green Finger||Marketmore 76||Ministro||Talladega||Marketmore 97||Sonja||Tasty Jade|
|Avg. Yield (kg)||29.6||32.8||33.1||36.4||39.5||39.6||42.2||43.8||44.0||45.1|
Varieties differed in total number of cucumbers. Tendergreen (mean cucumbers per bed=289.3) was larger than all other varieties. This variety also had the smallest fruit size (see below). Straight 8 (mean cucumbers per bed =129.3) produced less cucumbers than Diva (mean cucumbers per bed =193.0)
Varieties had different sized fruits (although some of these differences are due to harvesting based on variety description). The table below shows the average fruit weight (in grams). Fruit weights of varieties that don’t share a lower case letter were significantly different. Generally, the larger fruited varieties were higher yielding over the season, although that was not always the case. The biggest exceptions were Talladega, a relatively small fruited cucumber that yielded as well as the bigger fruited cucumber varieties (Sonja and Tasty Jade), and Straight 8, a larger fruited cucumber that did not produce well.
|Variety||Tendergreen||Diva||Green Finger||Talladega||Marketmore 76||Marketmore 97||Ministro||Straight 8||Tasty Jade||Sonja|
|Fruit Wt. (g)||117||152||226||230||240||258||264||266||282||298|
Interestingly, Cucumbers grew better and were more productive in the larger tunnel. Yields were 71% higher in the 30’x60’ tunnel than in the 16’x60’ tunnel. This was due to a 73% increase in the number of cucumbers harvested and was not associated with larger fruit size.