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Cucumis sativus (63 days) Open-pollinated. Maine, famous for Moxie, also boasts a less well-known heirloom, a cucumber maintained for five generations by the Boothby family of Livermore. Boothby’s short plump oval fruits average 3–4" and become yellower as they mature. Creamy-white exteriors with contrasting black spines and juicy refreshing interiors. Larger seed cavities than most cukes, but the seeds actually add to the mild sweet flavor that makes the fruits so good for eating out of hand. Boothby’s usually lacks the bitter aftertaste so common in many of the other white cukes we’ve trialed. Has the “cool” texture uncommon in American cukes. Boothby’s goodwill ambassador Will Bonsall passed it on both to Pinetree Seeds and to us. MT, ①
1311 Boothby’s Blonde - Organic
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About 30 seeds/g; about 900 seeds/oz; variations noted.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct seeding. From transplant, subtract 20 days.
Culture: May be started indoors for early production, or direct-seeded when soil has warmed. Minimum germination soil temperature 60°, optimal ranger 65–95°. Very tender, will not survive frost. Direct seed 3" apart thinning to 1' apart in rows 4–6' apart or 6 per mound in hills 4' apart thinning to 3 best plants. For transplants: once seedlings have 1–2 true leaves, about 3 weeks old, plant 1' apart in rows 4–6' apart. Cucumbers require good fertility and regular rain or irrigation for abundant yields. Without adequate water, fruits will be misshapen and bitter. Pick cukes frequently for best production, or else the plants shut down. Make sure to remove blimps to the compost pile.
Combat striped cucumber beetles by handpicking early AM when the dew makes them sluggish, or use floating row covers, removing when cukes flower. Cucumber beetles are the vector for BW.
Using compost in conjunction with row covers (rather than either alone) increased cucumber yields at the University of Michigan.
Saving Seed: Saving cucumber seed is easy! Take that big yellow cuke that got away and save it for seed. Scoop out the guts of overripe fruit and ferment it in an uncovered container for a few days. A moldy gross cap to the slurry means the seeds are ready to rinse and dry. To ensure true-to-type seed, grow only one open-pollinated variety per season.