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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338723

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Prunus and Vitis Scions and Rootstocks for Fruit Quality and Pest Resistance

Location: Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research

Title: Cucumber cultivars for container gardening and the value of field trials for predicting cucumber performance in containers

Author
item Wehner, Todd - North Carolina State University
item Crane, Melissa - North Carolina State University
item Naegele, Rachel

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2017
Publication Date: 2/7/2018
Citation: Wehner, T.C., Crane, M., Naegele, R.P. 2018. Cucumber cultivars for container gardening and the value of field trials for predicting cucumber performance in containers. HortScience. 53(1):16-22.

Interpretive Summary: Cucumber is one of the most popular vegetable crops grown in U.S. home and urban gardens. The objectives of this study were to identify cultivars and planting densities for best yield and performance of container-grown cucumbers, determine if field trials can predict the performance of cucumbers in containers, evaluate different plant types (determinate vs. indeterminate, gynoecious vs. monoecious, pickling vs. slicing) for container use, and disease severity across cultivars. Fourteen cultivars and breeding lines were tested at three densities in two seasons for yield, quality and disease resistance in field and patio trials. Differences were detected in performance (yield, disease, etc.) among seasons, cultivars, and densities. Yields were highest in the spring season compared to the summer season in North Carolina, and the best performance was obtained using three plants per 12 L container. There was a high correlation between patio and field trials, allowing extension specialists to recommend cucumber cultivars with high yield, high quality, and disease resistance based on field trial data. Home gardeners who want space-saving, high-yielding cucumbers with tender skin, should consider a determinate, pickling type, that is monoecious. With monoecious type, no pollenizer is needed, and the harvest will be spread over more weeks than for gynoecious type cucumber.

Technical Abstract: Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is one of the most popular vegetable crops grown in U.S. home and urban gardens. The objectives of this study were to identify cultivars and planting densities for high yield of container-grown cucumbers. Additional objectives were to determine the value of field trials for predicting cucumber performance in containers, evaluate different plant types (dwarf-determinate vs. tall-indeterminate, gynoecious vs. monoecious, pickling vs. slicing) for container use, and disease severity across cultivars. Fourteen cultivars and breeding lines were tested at three densities in two seasons for yield, quality and disease resistance in field and patio trials. Significant differences were detected for seasons, cultivars, and densities. Yields were highest in the spring season compared to the summer season, and the best performance was obtained using three plants per 12 L container. There was a high correlation between patio and field trials, allowing extension specialists to recommend cucumber cultivars with high yield, high quality, and disease resistance based on field trial data. Home gardeners who want space-saving, high-yielding cucumbers with tender skin, should consider a dwarf-determinate, pickling type, that is monoecious. With monoecious type, no pollenizer is needed, and the harvest will be spread over more weeks than for gynoecious type.