Cucumbers are one of the healthiest fruits to have on hand; not only that, but they come with a multitude of uses packed into a single plant. They may be the most versatile fruit out there, and the best part? They’re extremely easy to grow yourself!
There’s one particular variety of cucumber that can be grown just about anywhere…including indoor spaces. Let me introduce you to the Beit Alpha cucumber!
Characteristics of the Beit Alpha Cucumber
Appearance of the Beit Alpha Cucumber
The Beit Alpha cucumber’s appearance is what you’d expect from your average cucumber: longer than it is wide by a good margin, rounded at the ends and sides, and covered in thick, slightly irregular green skin.
While cucumber varieties vary quite a bit in length, the Beit Alpha sits right in the middle: you can see these fruits reaching lengths between six and eight inches.
Taste of Beit Alpha Cucumbers
Cucumbers typically don’t have a very strong flavor. They have a slightly watery, clean, mild taste to them that makes them perfect as an addition to dishes, a quick and easy snack, or even an extra dose of nutrients in your glass of water.
Beit Alpha Cucumber Plant Traits
You might have noticed that I refer to cucumbers as fruits, not vegetables—that’s because, technically, they’re considered to be fruits! It’s a similar situation to tomatoes: while many people consider them vegetables and refer to them as such, thanks to certain characteristics (containing seeds and sprouting from flowers), they’re technically classified as a fruit.
Cucumbers are also vining plants, so you’ll want to ensure that you provide a trellis for your new plants to climb.
Your Beit Alpha cucumbers will be ready for harvesting after just shy of two months; while it’s possible to transplant them, it’s not the recommended method. It’s best to direct-seed your cucumbers.
While these cucumbers can grow without the help of pollinators, making them a great choice for indoor gardens, there is one downfall to them: they’re at extreme risk for certain plant diseases, particularly if you forego the trellis. Fruit left sitting on the ground doesn’t exactly keep very well, even if it’s still on the vine. If you want to do everything you can to prevent diseases from robbing you of your crop, I suggest investing in a liquid fungicide.
Another cool trait of this cucumber variety: you’ll find they contain very few seeds! Sometimes you’ll come across specimens without any seeds at all.
Uses for the Beit Alpha Cucumber
A popular way to consume cucumbers is simply by slicing them and enjoying an easy, healthy snack. Many people enjoy cucumbers all on their own without any additions, but it’s also common to sprinkle salt or other preferred spices on top to add a little extra kick to an otherwise mild fruit.
You won’t find many recipes that suggest cooking cucumbers. It doesn’t do much to their flavor, and some people find the texture unpleasant. You’ll most commonly find cooked cucumbers in stir-fry recipes or certain kinds of soup.
When it comes to utilizing cucumber in your dishes, you’ll most likely be chopping them up and throwing them into some sort of raw salad. Cucumbers are a staple piece of many different salad recipes, but the most common is a garden salad.
When one thinks of a “spa day” or a “self-care” method, the classic image of someone with cucumber slices over their eyes is woven throughout the public consciousness for a reason. You can spot this trope in movies, TV shows, and cartoons alike, but there’s actually a reason for this practice—it’s not just part of Hollywood myth!
Cucumbers are extremely good for your skin, but they’re placed on the eyes in particular due to their ability to soothe puffiness and swelling around the eyes. They’re naturally good at reducing water retention and skin irritation; if you have sensitive eyes or patches of skin that often flare up when exposed to certain irritants, cucumbers are a great thing to have on hand.
You can pop a couple of slices over your eyes and relax for a bit, or even make a cucumber ice mask for an all-over treatment. You can accomplish this simply by making a cucumber puree and freezing it in whatever mold you prefer; once it’s fully frozen, you can pop the ice mask out of the mold and rub it over the affected areas!
Cucumber water is still all the rage in the health world, for all the same reasons it’s popular in skincare.
It’s rich in antioxidants, great for reducing inflammation, and adds another hydrating element to your water. If you’re not a fan of the taste of plain old water, it also adds a hint of clean, crisp flavor that adds some extra appeal.
When Is the Beit Alpha Cucumber in season?
As mentioned previously, the Beit Alpha cucumber will be ready to harvest after nearly two months. Their harvest date can vary greatly depending on when you plant them; if you start them at the earliest point possible (after the final frost in your area), you could start harvesting by as early as June or July.
Growing Beit Alpha Cucumbers at Home
Like I said, the one big consideration for growing Beit Alphas at home is that you’ll want to provide a trellis. Cucumbers are a climbing plant, and you’ll cut the risk of disease considerably if you train them to grow up the trellis rather than leaving them on the ground.
Where to Buy Beit Alpha Cucumber Seeds
Buying seeds online is always tricky; you want to make sure you track down a reputable seed provider, or else you could end up wasting a lot of money—and a lot of time!—on a pack of seeds that ends up being full of duds. Personally, I recommend purchasing your Beit Alpha cucumber seeds from Hoss Tools!
Final Thoughts on the Beit Alpha Cucumber
There you have it: everything you need to know about eating, growing, and harvesting Beit Alpha cucumbers! For more information on different cucumber varieties, growing cucumbers, and more, visit our cucumber section!