Cucumber ‘Sweet Crunch’

Family: Cucurbitaceae

‘Sweet Crunch’ is an F1 hybrid and a predominantly female cucumber variety that produces half-sized to three-quarter sized cucumbers.  In my Cucumber Trials, I’ve found ‘Sweet Crunch’ is a fast grower that rapidly produces a harvest.  ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers are crunchy and lovely to eat; they have thin, smooth and glossy skins that are devoid of any spines.  These cucumbers have a great flavour and this variety has many good qualities.

‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers taste delicious at every stage – from when they’re finger-sized and larger.  ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers can be harvested when they are any size – right from the smallest cucumber you’ve ever seen – up to their maximum size, which is about half to three-quarters of the size of a standard supermarket cucumber.  To help you gauge the size of this variety, here’s a picture of some maximum sized ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers I grew last year….

Cucumber ‘Sweet Crunch’ with my Niwaki Garden Snips (the snips were in my hand from harvesting) shown for size comparison. These cucumbers aren’t that much smaller than standard supermarket cucumbers – they are about three quarters of the size of a supermarket cucumber. ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers can be harvested and eaten at a much smaller size – they taste just as good!

Cucumbers are tender plants that are killed by frost; it’s important to protect your plants and grow them in a frost free environment, where the temperature won’t fall below 10C (50F) at night.  These seeds need warm temperatures to germinate, the ideal temperature is around 21C (70C) for germination – avoid temperatures lower than 18C (65F).  Sow ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumber seeds from March until June.  Avoid sowing seeds in too small a container, as cucumber seeds will sulk and deeply resent you if you disturb their roots!

If you plant to grow ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers outside, make sure you gently harden your cucumber plants off before you move them outdoors.  To harden your plants off simply move your cucumber plants outside in the morning and then give your plants protection over night by bringing your plants indoors again at night.  It may feel like a lot of unnecessary effort, but I promise you It’s important to take the time to harden your plants off and I’d advise hardening your plants off for a minimum of a couple of weeks prior to planting your cucumber plants in their permanent position outside.

‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers can be grown inside a glasshouse, conservatory, polytunnel, and they can spend their whole lives in a protected environment or can be moved outdoors when the temperatures have warmed up and there’s no risk of frosts.  Wherever you choose to grow ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers, remember that these plants require a bright and sunny location that’s sheltered from the wind.  ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers can be grown in pots and planters filled with peat-free compost or planted directly in the soil.  I’ve successfully grown ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers using a compost bag as a planter but you could also grow this variety in a self-watering planter.

Cucumbers are naturally trailing or climbing plants that can be grown up a support frame or trellis.  Training plants vertically takes up the least amount of floor space; this method is very effective and useful for those with limited space in small gardens.  Cucumber plants need to be gently tied in to their support network or directed up a length of strong vertical twine.  Training cucumbers plants upwards helps to protect the fruits from slugs and snails, and prevents your cucumber plants from becoming trip hazards!   However if you prefer, plants can be simply left and allowed to trail along the ground.

If you’re growing ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers inside a glasshouse, pinch out the growing tip of your ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumber plant once the plant has reached the top of your greenhouse or support frame.  Prune back side shoots by counting two leaves after any developing cucumbers and then use scissors to cut off and remove the remainder of the shoot.

When you’re watering cucumbers, try your best to avoid wetting your plant’s leaves and stem.  Water around the outer circumference of your cucumber’s planter and avoid tipping water directly onto your cucumber plant’s stem, as this can trigger rot and problems for your plant.

Cucumbers can be grown in peat-free compost in containers or self-watering planters, or grown directly in the soil.  If you’re growing cucumbers in containers, avoid constricting your plant by using too small a planter.  Don’t forget to protect your cucumber seedlings from slugs and snails!

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