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Beit Alpha Cucumber Seeds - (Cucumis sativus)

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SKU:
V1545
Seed Count:
Approx 35 seeds per pack
Days to Maturity:
55 days
Days to Germination:
5-7 days @ 75-95F
Plant Spacing:
18-24"
Light Preference:
Full sun
Status:
Heirloom, Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO seeds
  • Beit Alpha Cucumbers  - (Cucumis sativus)
  • Maturing Beit Alpha Cucumber  - (Cucumis sativus)
  • Beit Alpha Cucumber Flower and Young Fruit - (Cucumis sativus)
  • Beit Alpha Heirloom Cucumber Seeds - (Cucumis sativus)
$3.25
Frequently bought together:

Description

Beit Alpha Cucumber Seed - Home Gardener Favorite

The Beit Alpha cucumber was bred specifically for early, sweet, burpless, and prolific characteristics in the Beit Alpha kibbutz of northern Isreal during the early 1930s and has become one of the most popular varieties worldwide.

As a bonus, it is also one of the most disease-resistant varieties available, including powdery mildew, and produces well in both hot and cool weather.

Known by several names, including Middle Eastern cucumber, Bet Alpha, or Beth Alpha cucumber, but sometimes called Persian or Lebanese cucumber, home gardeners love this variety.

Vines are easily trellised and usually top out at a convenient 6' height, the strong, thick stems easily support fruit that can grow to 12" but is most often picked at 5 - 6" for fresh use or pickling. Plants are vigorous and readily set large flushes of flowers followed by tiny cucumbers that mature quickly. Continuous harvesting of mid-sized fruit encourages more production. Sometimes a bit slow to start, it always quickly picks up flowering to produce bounties of fruits.

Abundant foliage helps shade the soil and young tender fruit from the sun. Considering it was bred in a desert, this cucumber is surprisingly tolerant of cool temperatures and is noted for being one of the most disease-resistant cucumber varieties.

The fruits are blocky with smooth dark green skin and sweet, crunchy flesh, and mild skin that doesn't need to be peeled.

History

Hanka Lazarson began breeding what would become the Beit Alpha cucumber in 1931 at the Beit Alpha kibbutz in northern Isreal, in the fertile soil of the Harod valley of lower Galilee. She started with the local Damascus cucumber that had a desirable thin skin and good flavor but uneven growth and significant variation.

The goal was to develop a consistently sized fruit with a juicy flavor and fine texture with a high yield for the varied climates of Isreal and the Middle East.

Her team began distributing the initial seedstock to regional farmers in 1936, while they continued to refine and select for the best traits over the next 30 years.

Since then, the Beit Alpha variety has become the foundation stock for many cucumber strains, both hybrid and open-pollinated. We offer the open-pollinated variety that is close to the original strain that founded a dynasty of beloved cucumbers. This variety has both male and female flowers so does not depend on pollinator action to set fruit.

Middle Eastern immigrants brought the Beit Alpha seeds with them wherever they settled around the world, introducing their favorite cucumber with their new neighbors.

Growing Tip

Planting seed in one-month intervals will ensure an almost continual harvest, but be aware that you may be drowning in cucumbers! Only do this if you are needing a large number of fresh cucumbers for pickling or preserving, or feeding several families.

These are an excellent choice for home gardens, farmer's market or CSA growers. 2 - 3 plants will often supply plenty of fresh cukes for smaller gardens.

The flavor will be sweetest and juiciest when planting seeds in fertile soil.

Cucumbers grow straighter on a trellis or fence and can curl when grown on the ground. Trellising takes up less ground space while giving shade for tender plants underneath, keeps the fruit cleaner, and saves time harvesting as you don't have to hunt for the young ripe fruit.

Harvest Tip

Harvest Beit Alpha cucumbers a bit smaller than other types, sometimes as small as 3" for baby pickles or petite salads, or up to 5 - 6" for dill spears or fresh slices for salads or sandwiches. Cut the stems from the plant with garden scissors or a knife instead of pulling to prevent tearing of the stem into the plant.

Regular picking keeps up production. If you let the fruits grow to maturity, new flower set decreases significantly.

Overripe fruit will be bitter but are perfect for saving seed.

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