About Carolina Cucumber: Historians generally agree that the first cucumbers grew in India's Himalyan Mountains over 3,000 years ago. From this region they expanded into Greece and Rome; the Romans most likely spread this vegetable to the rest of Europe. The cucumber was widely grown by native Americans through the influence of the Spanish and other explorers. Cucumbers continue to be a vital part of traditional cuisine in Russia and many parts of Asia; the greatest variety of colors and shapes of this vegetable can still be found in its Asian birthplace. Carolina cucumbers hail from Clemson University of South Carolina, where they were first developed.
Carolina Cucumber Germination: Cucumbers do not take well to transplanting, so either start them early in peat pots or plant them directly. Start them indoors about 2 weeks before frost, placing 3-4 seeds 1/2" deep in the pot. Keep the air temperature at least 80 degrees F. When two or three leaves appear on each plant, cut off all but the strongest plant with a scissors. Before planting them, "harden" the seedlings by setting them outside during the day. They should be planted no sooner than a week after the last spring frost, when the air temperatures consistently average 65-75 degrees F. For planting them in a hill, place three seedlings or 7-8 seeds in each hill; space hills 4-5' apart. If rows are preferrable, plant seedlings 1' apart or place 5 seeds within 1' and later thin them. Cucumbers love heat and cannot endure even a light frost; if cold temperatures threaten, cover the seedlings. Since cucumbers love to climb, providing a trellis will save space in your garden and produce straighter cucumbers that are easier to pick; however, the vines will simply spread out over the ground if no trellis is provided. Some gardeners plant their cucumbers with corn, since the two plants benefit each other and the cucumbers will climb the corn. Planting several radishes with cucumbers seems to repel damaging cucumber beetles; however, cucumbers do not like being planted near potatoes or aromatic herbs.
Growing Carolina Cucumber Seeds: Carolina cucumbers tend to be very disease resistant. Moisture is the key to growing excellent cucumbers; keep the soil consistently moist. When the vines have developed, apply mulch or straw to conserve moisture and control weeds. Watch out for cucumber beetles, and remove them immediately to prevent damage.
Harvesting Carolina Cucumber: This nearly smooth skinned, white spined variety of cucumber works very well for pickling, though excellent as well for fresh eating at a bigger size. If picked consistently all season, the yield will be very high. When the blossom end of the cucumber begins to turn yellow, this indicates that the cucumber has passed its prime. Cucumbers store very well in the refrigerator.
Saving Carolina Cucumber Seeds: Because this variety of cucumber is a hybrid, the seed it produces will either be sterile or will revert to the characteristics to one of the parent seeds; reproducing this type from its own seed will not be successful.
Detailed Carolina Cucumber Info: Cucumis sativus. Annual. 55 days. 1000 seeds per oz. 18-24" plant height. 24-36" spacing. Produces 3" cucumbers.