Appalachia Gardening

Sow True Seed Cucumber Reporting @ Large Update 2

Sow true seed marketmore cucumber

Sow True Seed Marketmore 76

Here’s my latest update for the Blind Pig and The Acorn’s Sow True Seed Cucumber Reporters @ Large project.

Slicing Cucumber Muncher: We’ve never grown this variety before, and I’m not sure we will again. The muncher has produced great for us, but I don’t think it has much flavor.

Richmond Green Apple: I haven’t harvest one of these yet. Weird it’s like I didn’t even plant them although I know I did.

Marketmore 76: This one is described as one of the best all around cucumbers – even good for selling at the market. I’ve never grown it before either and like the muncher I haven’t been very impressed by it.

Boston: According to the description, this is the cucumber for pickling and I’ve already pickled some of them. Good producer with a good taste.

Bush Pickle: I grow this one every year because it produces great and tastes great.

Another cucumber that is a must plant for us is the Arkansas Little Leaf from Sow True Seed. The variety isn’t part of the reporting project, but its hands down my favorite cucumber to grow. And as always it’s doing great in the garden this summer.

If you signed on to be a Cucumber Reporter @ Large send me an update when you get a chance and I’ll share your report with everyone.

If you have a fool proof dill pickle recipe I’d love to have it. I’ve tried lots of recipes: ones that use a crock and ones that pickle in the jar. I haven’t been pleased with any of them. The pickles either don’t have enough flavor or get soggy or both!



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  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 8:32 am

    I’ve got a long way to go, but there are tiny cukes on several of my Sow True Seed Asian cucumber plants now, so I will keep you posted! And I made crock pickles many years ago in Colorado which were pretty darn good – I’ll try to find the recipe. I’d never even heard of homemade crock pickles when I made them, so maybe it was beginner’s luck?!
    Do you grow and pickle okra? I’ve planted okra this year and have high hopes of repeating my long-ago (also back in CO) dill-pickled okra – used to sit on the porch with a jar and just pass it around til it was empty 🙂

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    July 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    Im growing the Boston. I started them inside due to our cold Spring. This week, I picked our first cukes from the plants. They are looking great. I love the small pickling cukes but just eat them . Im a lousy pickle maker. Barbara

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    July 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you so much for your advice on cucumber varieties!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    To purport to be a pickle person would be a pretense on my part. I can tolerate a sweet gherkin now and then. Bread and butter pickles about the same. I love beet pickles but you are talking about cucumbers.

  • Reply
    Chris Smith
    July 20, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Hey Tipper, thanks for the Cucumber Report – it’s great to get a range of opinions. It’s a shame we didn’t send you the Suyo Long – it’s hands down my favorite tasting (doesn’t even make it to the kitchen) cucumber and very prolific. Next year….!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    I miss my garden something awful this year. But I do feel for all you folks having trouble with pickles turning soft. Looks like the weeds ain’t having any trouble cause they’re doing fine. My favorite thing in the garden is White Runners and Hickory Cane Corn. I guess Silver Queen is OK, but I prefer the old timey Hog corn. When it’s fried, it has that ole chawky taste that I like. This was our roast nears when I was a boy, before all this hybrid stuff came about…Ken

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I made a “Sweet Crisp Cucumber Pickle” for years and yes, that is the name of the pickle recipe! The recipe used “slaked lime” solution for one of the stages/days of crock storage process! They were always “crisp” and delicious. They would actually snap! I learned to always try and remember to cut them evenly no thicker than 1/4 inch and no less than 1/8 inch and try not to slant the cut. A preset “mandolin” works best for slicing evenly!
    The problem is the time it takes, over a few days. Also the recipe makes a bunch of pint jars of pickles! When the boys lived at home, there was no problem with them leaving the storage shelves! Grabbed and carried to their treehouse or bunker In the woods and eaten for snacks right out of the jar. With dirty little fingers, I am sure. Ewwwww! I suppose the vinegar/sugar liquid in them was watched over by their “guardian angels” and protected them from Montezuma’s revenge! Ha
    If I can locate the recipe, (My Mom’s old recipe) I will share it!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 20, 2016 at 11:09 am

    We got a few cucumbers, and continue to get a few Marketmore 76 cucumbers although very slow to produce in the drought we had until this week.
    We finally got some significant rain off and on a couple of days, at least enough to soak down a few inches.
    Our plantings of Richmond Green Apple cucumbers have bloomed and bloomed with not a single cucumber. They began to dry up, but hope this bit of rain will revive them. I really think the air around all the plants has just been too hot. I think if they were in the shade and no sun bearing down, that they would wilt during the day. I have also noticed a decline in bees (of any type) hovering around the blooms during the hot part of the day…so I question if the blooms got pollinated at the right time of day?
    The Asian Long Suyo made cucumbers but nearly all curled and spiked with this drought and heat.
    After a bit of rain one stayed true (long) although not totally filled out, it stayed straight but it too got the drought spikes…I cut off ends and I was surprised that they were sweet but toward the crook of the deformed cucumber of course it was bitter. I took a picture so you could see what I am talking about.
    We are thinking of planting a late garden, but the extreme heat is hanging around so it doesn’t look too promising.
    The bumper crop, even with drought and heat, has been “old faithful Zucchini and Crookneck squash”. In order to survive the heat and drought, the plant shut down production until a few quick showers moistened the plants. Another help for them is they are in the shade from a couple of apple trees in the afternoon and they also are in bloom in the cooler dawn of morning while the bees seem to be more abundant! I picked a couple more last night and noticed more healthy small ones coming on.
    I may make me some pickles out of zucchini…ha
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 20, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I fear you have hit upon the Achilles hell of large-scale commercial farming. Crops are developed for a host of reasons but taste is very low on the scale, if it is even on it at all. Appearance, ease of handling and shelf-life is high on the list I think.
    I always just plant some variety of ‘pickling’ cucumber because I think they have the best flavor and are usually heavy producers. I do not like cucumbers served with the skin on and am not attracted to those varieties at all. About the only drawback on the pickling ones to me is the bitter ends. ( Wonder if that is the origin of the phrase, “to the bitter end”?) As memory serves, I planted some Boston variety to but the drought really messed up having anything reliable to say about them.
    I have had good luck with a home-made cage for cucumbers to climb on. It is 5 feet high and 18 inches in diameter, made with 2 x 4 inch mesh wire. In my small garden the space-saving aspect is important.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I quit making traditional pickles many years ago for the same reason. So I have resorted to concocting my own recipe from several. but is a refrigerator pickle. I also have the same problem with pickled peppers. The downside is they have a short life and take up lots of space in the frig. but they are delicious.
    One tidbit I picked up on through the years is the fact that grape leaves add crispness to any pickled product due to containing tannin–thanks to google. So, I actually started adding the leaves to top of kraut in crock and the kraut is beyond good. Just a thought, but I may do an experiment by adding the leaves to my frig pickles.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 20, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Tip, I gave up on trying to make dill pickles for the same reason, they always got too soft. I tried many recipes both sliced and whole and I dumped out many jars because they got too soggy.

  • Reply
    Betty Newman
    July 20, 2016 at 6:28 am

    The best flavor dill pickle I’ve ever found (perfect blend of dill, garlic and other spices) is in the Ball Dill Pickle mix (see my blog post How to Cheat at Pickles
    However – they only remain crispy for a few months or as refrigerator pickles. I’m glad to see your cucumber review. It’s been hit or miss with me.

  • Reply
    Sherry Gray
    July 20, 2016 at 5:51 am

    My daughter and i got tired of soggy pickles so this year we tried a new method… canning for 30 mintues at 180°. And we used Ball’s pickle crisp in the jars. And we sliced them 1/4 inch thick, salted them, and let them sit in the fridge for 3 hours. It was a lot of trouble but all of these changes produced one of the crispest pickles ever.
    Sherry Gray
    A native of Ivy Log although i haven’t lived there in 40 years

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