Cucumbers are classified as either slicing or pickling varieties. Slicing cucumbers are used in salads and other dishes, while pickling cucumbers are used, as the name explains, for making pickles.
If you’re looking for an excellent slicing cucumber, for growing at home, or just eating, the Marketmore 76 is an excellent choice. It is a 1976 variant of the Marketmore cucumber originally developed in 1968 at Cornell University and is hailed both for its vigor in the home garden and its mild and sweet taste.
Read on to learn more about the Marketmore 76 cucumber, including how to grow it and how to integrate it into your diet.
Characteristics of the Marketmore 76 cucumber
A longtime standard among home gardeners and small-scale commercial growers, the Marketmore 76 cucumber is noted for its abundant production of eight-to-10-inch cucumbers.
The Marketmore 76 matures a bit later than other cucumber varieties, but in mid-summer, when production of those other varieties is likely to begin tapering off, the Marketmore 76 will be producing strong yields.
How to Use the Marketmore 76 Cucumber
While the Marketmore 76 cucumber is touted as a slicing cucumber, you may still struggle with finding ways to make it part of your family’s diet. After all, using cucumbers usually conjures up images of dainty sandwiches served at fussy parties.
But salads, soups, and even smoothies can include cucumbers, particularly a quality slicing cucumber like the Marketmore 76, to spice up meals at home.
First, there are many cucumber salad recipes, some of which call for vinegar-based dressings, while others use dairy-based dressings. Cucumber salad recipes also use a variety of seasonings for widely differing taste sensations.
Cooking With the Marketmore 76 Cucumber
Another option is warm-weather soups using cucumbers as an ingredient. As just one suggestion, try combining chopped cucumbers with buttermilk or yogurt with herbs like parsley or mint for a light and refreshing summertime meal.
Smoothies can also be made with cucumbers, enhancing the healthiness of the beverage in combination with more traditional ingredients like strawberries or pineapples.
And don’t forget that you can also cook cucumbers. Try sauteeing them, alone or with other items in recipes calling for sauteed ingredients, and see how they absorb the other flavors in those recipes.
Getting Kids to Eat the Marketmore 76 Cucumber
Because its skin is not particularly bitter, the Marketmore 76 cucumber may be the perfect variety with which to introduce youngsters to cucumbers. But even if your child is reluctant to eat a Marketmore 76, you may be able to entice him or her to try it by serving slices with a dip like hummus, cottage cheese, or peanut butter.
Health Benefits of the Marketmore 76 Cucumber
Because Marketmore 76 cucumbers contain significant amounts of potassium and magnesium, they have a number of health benefits. Magnesium is critical for nerve and muscle function, while potassium has a role in the health of the heart and kidneys.
In addition, magnesium and potassium, in combination with a diet low in starch and including lean protein, can help lower blood pressure in people prone to hypertension.
At a serving size of about one-third of a full cucumber, varieties including the Marketmore 76 provide 14% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, and a whopping 62% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, essential for bone health and proper blood clotting.
Where to Buy Marketmore 76 Cucumbers
Because its vigor is due in part to its resistance to diseases and pests, and because its thick skin protects it from transport damage, the Marketmore 76 cucumber is popular with small-scale commercial growers. That means it’s likely to be one of the varieties you’ll find at local farmers’ markets when it is in season.
The popularity of the Marketmore 76 also means it may show up in the produce aisles of your grocery store, although you may have to ask whether any of the cucumbers you find there are the Marketmore 76.
Growing the Marketmore 76 Cucumber at Home
Marketmore 76 cucumbers are an excellent choice for new home gardeners because they can thrive in temperatures from 70 degrees to 90 degrees and are well-suited for small gardens.
It is recommended that these cucumbers be direct-seeded into the ground rather than started indoors and transplanted. Seeds should be planted outdoors six to eight weeks after the last frost.
Plant seeds where they will get full sun, placed one-half to three-quarters of an inch deep in groups of four to six seeds on small one-foot-diameter hills. When seedlings emerge, thin the hills to one or two plants.
Water the soil regularly, ensuring that the top one to two inches are kept moist, but don’t let foliage stay wet. Mulching is recommended, and you should plan on applying a 2-3-6 fertilizer or old compost once each month.
Pests and Diseases
One of the best reasons to grow the Marketmore 76 cucumber is that it is resistant to diseases including scab, mosaic virus, and mildew.
But in terms of pests, the Marketmore 76 is, like other varieties, susceptible to damage from aphids, small, pear-shaped insects of various colors, and cucumber beetles, small yellow insects with black spots or black stripes.
Both pests can be controlled by either picking them off the plants, spraying them off with water, or using insecticidal soap or neem oil.
To avoid problems organically, plant your cucumbers alongside either corn, beets, radishes, marigolds, or nasturtiums.
Harvesting Your Marketmore 76 Cucumbers
Marketmore 76 cucumbers reach maturity within nine to 11 weeks, but you’ll want to start watching them carefully sometime before that, to ensure that you’re picking them at the peak of flavor.
The optimum time to pick these cucumbers is when they reach seven to eight inches. If they get larger, their sweet taste will suffer. So as your cucumbers approach optimum length, check daily to determine which of them need harvesting.
When you harvest your cucumbers, don’t pull them, use a knife to cut them loose. Once picked, make sure your cucumbers are completely dry before putting them in the refrigerator, wrapped in paper towels or cloth. Store them in the crisper tray, where their shelf life will be about two weeks.
Where to Buy Seeds
Have we convinced you that you need a Marketmore 76 cucumber plant growing in your garden this year? If the answer is yes, we have good news!
Marketmore 76 seeds are sold online through one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Tools. You’ll be delighted with the quality of the seeds and other products sold by Hoss.
Wrapping up the Marketmore 76 Cucumber
We hope this post has provided you with what you’ll need to make the Marketmore 76 cucumber a thriving element of your backyard garden and has also enlightened you on its nutritional value.
Ready to continue discovering these funky fresh vegetables? Then learn more about cucumbers by checking out my planting guides, recipe tips, brand suggestions, and more!