Pros: easy to grow, disease resistant, prolific, mild cucumber taste
Cons: not every seed germinates
I have grown Marketmore Cucumbers for several years. During my many years of gardening, I have tried a variety of cucumber types
and Marketmore 76 is the one that keeps producing cukes throughout the growing season. Here are my tips for cucumber gardening success.
Marketmore 76 cucumbers are known as slicing cucumbers. They grow straight and have smooth, dark green skin. Handling them, youll feel a few cucumber spines but there are not many and they easily rub off. These cucumbers grow between 8 to 9 inches long. The plants are disease resistant to Scab, Cucumber Mosaic Virus, and both Downy and Powdery Mildew. These cucumbers will vine, but are not obnoxious. They can be either grown on the ground, or on a cage or trellis. Harvest is in about 68 days from planting.
Since I live in New England, I start my seeds indoors in mid-April. During the year, I save plastic yogurt cups, punch three drainage holes in the bottom of them with an awl, and stack them so they are ready for seed planting. I fill the cups with either a seed-starting soil mix, or I combine perlite with a denser soil (the perlite lightens the soil, making it easier for the seeds to germinate). When filled with soil, I place the yogurt cups into trays.
I plant two or three seeds into each yogurt cup. However, only one (sometimes two) seeds will germinate. If no seeds germinate, then I pop another seed into the cup. If you prefer, these seeds can be directly planted in the ground once it is warm enough.
A few days before I transplant the plants into the vegetable garden, I harden them off. I have a cold frame where I place the plant trays. Essentially, the cold frame is a box with a hinged Plexiglas lid. I keep the lid propped open during the day so that the plants can acclimate to their new surroundings, and at night close the lid. Before I had the cold frame, I would bring the trays of plants outdoors and leave them on the lawn in semi-shade during the day, and then I would bring them in at night.
I have never had much luck growing cucumbers on a trellis, so I plant them directly into the ground and let the vines wander. The vines are not aggressive and easy to redirect back into the area where I want the cucumbers to grow.
Once the danger of frost is gone, and the ground is warm enough, I transplant the plants outdoors, usually the last week in May or the first week in June. Since the plants are in yogurt cups, I just tap the bottom of the cup to loosen the soil. I dig a hole, mix fertilizer into the soil and plop the plant in place, watering it afterward. Place the plants about one foot apart.
An extra step I take is to protect the young plants from cut worms. Cut worms will wrap themselves around vulnerable plant stems and chew through them just like felling a tree. Once the plant is "cut", there is no saving it. To give the plants a chance to develop thicker stems that will resist cut worm attack, I place a collar around the plant. What works best for me is to take large plastic drinking cups (such as those manufactured by Solo or Hefty) and cut the cup in half. Cut off the bottom, and you have two collars (each cup half is a collar). Simply take half of the plastic cup and press it into the soil so that the plant stem is in the center. You may need to coax some leaves out of the way during the process. Once the plant is large enough, the plastic cup can be cut away and recycled.
This year I planted fifteen of these Marketmore 76 cucumbers. Two of the plants died (I have no idea why). I popped two seeds directly into the soil where the old plants were, and one of the seeds sprouted. The plants are doing well, loaded with lots of blossoms.
Harvest and Good Eating
Marketmore cucumbers are prolific. Throughout the summer, they provide steady growth and cucumber output. As a rule, these plants produce just enough for the family with nothing leftover to share with neighbors. Our family enjoys refrigerator pickles, and each batch requires three of these cucumbers. They are also excellent in sandwiches and salads.
These are slicing cucumbers, and they do slice beautifully. The cucumbers are always long and straight. My father enjoys eating these cucumbers green skin and all in sandwiches. He says the skin is tender and easy to eat. I have always peeled my cucumbers, so its difficult for me to break the habit. When the cucumbers are picked between 6 to 8 long, the seeds are small.
The cucumbers have a mild cucumber aroma and a nice cucumber taste without being overpowering in flavor. Everyone in our family who has eaten them, enjoys their taste.
As a comparison, I am also growing SpaceMaster cucumbers. These cucumbers do not vine as much as the Marketmore 76 cucumbers but they also do not grow as well or produce nearly as much fruit. So far I have picked one small SpaceMaster cucumber and eight medium-size Marketmore cucumbers.
I buy my seeds online. This Marketmore 76 cucumber sells for $1.25 (a packet of 20 seeds) at Park Seeds. Shop around for price, though. Burpee sells a packet of these seeds for $2.65 each.
The Marketmore 76 Cucumber is a vegetable I always return to. Sometimes Im lead astray by the promise of beautiful green fruits in glossy garden catalogs, but they never grow as well as the Marketmore cucumbers. Growing Marketmore means more cucumber eating enjoyment!
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy your day,
Please read my other reviews:
Zucchini Italiano Largo
Jiffy Square Peat Pots
Upside-Down Tomato Garden
Rubbermaid Big Max Storage Shed
Black and Decker Cordless Rear Bag Mulching Lawnmower
Copyright 2008 Dawn L. Stewart