Cucumis sativus (57 days) F-1 hybrid. Named for its widespread adaptability, Cross Country goes the distance. The best pickler in our trials, it bears abundant blocky straight dark green white-spined fruit of uniformly good quality with very small seed cavities. Our trialer described its sweet taste as “crunchy and cool.” Had good yields (5.5 lb per plant), appearance, and long uniform fruit in Highmoor Farm trial. Has been highly rated in brine tests. Resistant to scab, but susceptible in our trial to BW. Resistant to ANTH, ALS, PM and DM. ⑤
1234 Cross Country
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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 65°, optimal range 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.