What Are Parthenocarpic Cucumbers?

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What Are Parthenocarpic Cucumbers?

The uninitiated might wonder what a word like ‘Parthenocarpic’ has to do with cucumbers. For that matter, they might similarly scratch their heads when they learn that other fairly obscure words such as ‘Monoecious’ and ‘Gynoecious’ are also used to describe certain types of cucumbers. These terms simply refer to the gender and flowers, which can be found on different varieties of cucumber plants.

Monoecious cucumbers for example, will produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. Gynoecious cucumbers will produce only female flowers and therefore will need to be planted close to male pollinating plants. However, Parthenocarpic cucumbers, which also produce female only flowers but don’t need to be pollinated. The result is, they produce seedless or virtually seedless fruits. For this reason, it’s easy to immediately see the advantage of growing Parthenocarpic cucumbers over other types.

Perfect for growing under cover.

Parthenocarpic cucumbers are hybrids and because the cucumbers from these plants produce very few seeds, they are generally more expensive to produce. The upside is you can expect a bigger crop of tasty, almost fully fleshed cucumbers, with virtually no seeds. The real benefits to the grower is that Parthenocarpic cucumbers can be successfully grown under cover, where exposure to insect pollination is much less likely.

Cucumbers that are grown in a protected environment, such as a greenhouse or poly-tunnel, will very often be of a higher quality than those grown outdoors. Commercially, they are much more acceptable to the market but amateur growers can also benefit in knowing that their Parthenocarpic cucumber plants will produce excellent fruits without requiring any pollinating intervention from them. 

Longer harvesting period.

Another benefit of Parthenocarpic cucumbers, which are grown under cover, is they can be harvested over a longer period, right up until the first frosts. During the growing season they are often picked when not fully mature, encouraging more flowers to be produced, more often. It’s easy to see why some of the best pickling cucumbers are grown from Parthenocarpic cucumber plants. 

The growing habit of Parthenocarpic cucumbers favours all types of upright supports, especially trellis. This will permit the plants to grow tall, which also makes them particularly suitable for growing in high sided tunnels.

Our recommended Parthenocarpic Cucumbers.....

Cucumber Baby
Cucumber Baby
£1.79

These mini cucumbers can be harvested at a petite length of about 10 cm,.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Cucumber Vista
Cucumber Vista
£1.99

Vista is a all female parthenocarpic.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Cucumber Merlin
Cucumber Merlin
£1.99

Merlin is a heavy yielding parthenocarpic.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Cucumber Mini Munch
Cucumber Mini Munch
£2.99

Cucumber Mini Munch produces a high yield of 'snack sized' fruits.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Cucumber Passandra
Cucumber Passandra
£1.79

Passandra comes highly recommended by the.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Cucumber Party Time
Cucumber Party Time
£1.79

Cucumber Party Time produces a high yield of 'snack sized' fruits.....

Packet Content: 5 Seeds

Summary.

If you consider the advantages and disadvantages of growing Parthenocarpic cucumbers, the only disadvantage is probably the cost of the seed. The overwhelming advantages include:

● An almost guaranteed bountiful harvest due to female only flowers that do not need to be pollinated.
● No need for intervention in the pollination process or with encouraging pollinating insects. 
● A longer growing season due to plants being under cover and allowed to grow to their full potential.
● Parthenocarpic cucumbers are more likely to have smooth skins, making them ideal for slicing and no need for peeling.
● They are also perfect for pickling.

 

What is your favourite cucumber variety? Leave a comment below and let everyone know....

 

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