Cucurbits: Squash and Cucumbers

With dozens of cucurbit vegetable varieties to choose from, the right selection means the difference between success and disappointment. Use this guide to determine what squash and cucumbers will suit you best.

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Squash ‘Sunburst’ F1

A yellow “Patty Pan” variety, this squash has vibrant butter-colored fruits, shaped like flying saucers. Large crops of flavorsome fruits are produced by this easily grown variety if regular harvesting is carried out.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Squash ‘Crown Prince’ F1

This trailing squash is a favorite because of its exceptionally good nutty-flavored flesh. The steely gray skin of the fruits contrasts dramatically with the orange flesh and looks attractive on the vine.

Sow: Mid-spring to late spring
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Squash ‘Turk’s Turban’

Not an exceptional culinary squash, with pale yellow flesh and a turnip-like flavor, but often grown for its ornamental qualities. The rich orange skin folds and forms a bulge splashed with green and cream.

Sow: Mid-spring to late spring
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Squash ‘Pilgrim Butternut’ F1

A less vigorous and so more manageable butternut squash for the smaller garden. The semi-bush habit of the vine does not prevent a good crop of beige-skinned, orange-fleshed squashes, which store well.

Sow: Mid-spring to late spring
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Squash ‘Festival’ F1

Ornamental and delicious, this trailing vine produces high yields of small, squat, orange and cream striped squashes, with sweet, nutty-tasting, cream flesh. The squashes are perfect for stuffing or baking, and store well.

Sow: Mid-spring to late spring
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cucumber ‘Bush Champion’ F1

Grow this ridge cucumber outdoors— its compact plants are ideal for small gardens and pots, and have good tolerance to cucumber mosaic virus. The slightly knobby, dark green, sweet fruits reach about 4 in (10 cm) long.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cucumber ‘Zeina’ F1

An all-female variety that can be grown in the greenhouse or outdoors. Small, succulent, smooth-skinned cucumbers can be harvested over a long season and are a handy size to eat at one meal.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cucumber ‘Petita’ F1

For an abundance of juicy, miniature cucumbers from the greenhouse, this is the variety to choose. It is easy to grow, even in difficult conditions, and has all female flowers so bitter fruits are not produced.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cucumber ‘Masterpiece’

Crisp, juicy, white flesh, under a deep green, slightly spiny skin, makes this ridge cucumber a good choice for outdoor cultivation. This variety crops reliably, but performs best when allowed to climb.

Sow: Mid-spring to early summer
Harvest: Late summer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun

Cucumber ‘Carmen’ F1

Resistance to powdery mildew, scab, and leaf spot makes this all-female variety a good choice for greenhouse cultivation. Impressive harvests of straight, smooth, green fruits are simple to produce.

Sow: Early spring to early summer
Harvest: Midsummer to mid-fall
Soil Preference: Well-drained soil, moist soil
Sun or Shade: Full sun