Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Cucumber

Family: Cucurbit

Seed Variety:

There are two main types of cucumbers: pickling and slicing. Pickling cucumbers have a thinner, rougher skin, with a less uniform color and fewer seeds than slicing cucumbers. Although both varieties can be pickled or used for slicing, pickling varieties generally make crisper, more flavorful pickles but may be slightly bitter to slice onto a salad.

Double Yield Pickling - This is a productive pickling type with slender fruits that are 5-6in long by 2in in diameter, symmetrical, smooth and uniform of a pale green color, with black bumps.
American Slicing - These are typical slicing cucumbers one sees in the market, long, slender, and dark green fruits get to be 8-9in long and stay uniformly dark green.

Indoor Start Date and Cell Size:

Slicing - 5/1 in 38s
Pickling-5/14, 6/1 in 38s All- 6/15 in 38s

Greenhouse Transplant Date and Cell Size:

Cucumbers do not need to be transplanted in the greenhouse.

Outdoor Transplant Date and Bed Specifications:

Plant the seedlings outside three weeks after starting them in the greenhouse (5/22, 6/4, 6/22, 7/5). Plant seedlings in two rows, with a plant every two feet. Be sure to alternate the spacing in each row, so plants are not directly across from another. Also, be sure to hill the cucumbers slightly.

Plant Needs:

As with all plants, well-fertilized soil is essential. Adding a good layer of rich compost during bed preparation is essential for the success of cucumbers. Cucumbers thrive in the warm weather, and do best in well-drained soil. Be sure to cultivate early on, when the cucumbers are not as large, making weeding impossible.

Pests and Pest Control:

See summer squash
Squash beetles in particular are a problem early on and plants should be protected with row-cover as soon as they are set out.

Harvest Techniques:

During the height of their production, cucumbers need to be harvested at least every other day, so they do not over ripen. Gently break the fruit off from its stem, trying not to damage too much of the fruit. Rub off the spines and be gentle. Because cucumber plants vine a lot, and often overtake the path, harvesting barefoot is a good idea to decrease the chance of crushing vines with heavy shoes.


Wash the cucumbers after harvest to rid them of any dirt from the field. Then store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag so the do not get soft. Be sure to cut holes in the bottom of the bag to allow water to drain out. Cucumbers do not keep exceptionally well, but can keep up to a week. For long term storage, pickling is the best option.


For retail, sell slicing cucumbers for $1.00 each, and pickling for $2.00 per pound. For wholesale, sell slicing for $2.00 per pound, and pickling fro $1.00 per pound.


Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

2 cucumbers
4 Tbsp. fresh mint or 2 scallions
1⁄2 cup or more plain yogurt
1⁄2 tsp. salt pepper

  1. Peel the cucumbers and slice them thinly or cut them into small cubes.
  2. Chop the fresh mint or scallions and mix with the cucumber in a mixing bowl. Add yogurt and the salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for two hours, so that the flavor can develop and some of the excess water in the cucumbers can drain off. Pour off the accumulated water, Add more yogurt, if you wish.
  4. Serves 4 to 6.