If you’re in the market for a mild and refreshing cucumber, Straight Eight Cucumbers are for you. A winner of the All-America Selections in 1935, this cucumber variety is popular for its flavor and reliability.
With around 100 different varieties out there, you might not know about this particular cucumber. Keep reading and we’ll tell you all about the Straight Eight and what you need to know to add to your garden lineup!
Characteristics of Straight Eight Cucumbers
There are three main types of cucumbers: Burpless, Pickling, and Slicing. Straight Eight Cucumbers fall into the last category.
Slicing Cucumbers like Straight Eights are grown for slicing and serving raw, as opposed to pickling. Their size and flavor set them apart from other varieties.
Straight Eight Cucumbers’ name gives away their appearance. They look just like their name suggests: straight and typically around eight inches long.
These cucumbers are also identifiable by their dark green color, which is usually even across the exterior of the fruit but occasionally has lighter stripes.
Eating a Straight Eight Cucumber
How it Tastes
Straight Eight Cucumbers are popular for their mild and sweet flavor. Similar to other cucumbers, these fruits are crisp and refreshing, with the perfect amount of juiciness.
How to Use it
Like other types of slicing cucumbers, Straight Eights are ideal for slicing and eating fresh. They’re a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and other refreshing dishes.
Try using these cucumbers in a tasty salad, like this Israeli salad. Or, if you prefer something a little more substantial, consider a veggie sandwich. For a more creative option, try a pretty but delicious appetizer, like these watermelon cups.
However you use them, Straight Eight Cucumbers are sure to be delightful!
Low in calories but packed with nutrients, cucumbers are a very healthy snack.
For starters, one eight-inch cucumber has just 45 calories. These fruits are high in vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and fiber.
Collectively, these nutrients offer a host of benefits, including bone health, protecting your body’s cells, energy production, muscle function, and more. Some of these nutrients are also antioxidants, which means they can help prevent diseases.
Cucumbers are also over 95 percent water, so they are quite hydrating, too.
Where to Buy Straight Eight Cucumbers
Slicing cucumbers are usually easy to find at grocery stores, including large chains and your local spots. However, these retailers don’t always specify which type of slicing cucumber you’re getting.
Your best bet for finding Straight Eight Cucumbers is to visit local farmers’ markets or contact growers in your area. You’ll have the best luck when cucumbers are in season during the summer months.
Growing Them At Home
Below you’ll find the basics about growing Straight Eight Cucumbers yourself. However, for more in-depth, step-by-step growing information, check out our How to Plant Cucumbers post.
A major advantage to Straight Eight Cucumbers is that they can grow in all growing zones, as long as they are planted during the warmer season.
Like other cucumber varieties, Straight Eight Cucumbers require warmth and full sun. They should be planted after the risk of frost has passed, ideally, once soil temperatures have reached at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soil should also have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
Additionally, these cucumbers grow on a vine, so they usually need plenty of space to spread out. I recommend using a trellis to help the vines grow vertically.
Lastly, these plants require pollination for fruits to grow. Usually, cucumber pollination is done by bees, but if you find that your cucumbers need extra support, you can pollinate the flowers by hand.
Planting the Seeds
As noted above, cucumber plants need a warm environment to grow, so they should be planted after the last frost.
Sow Straight Eight Cucumber seeds directly outside. Plant the seeds one-half inch deep. Planting sites should each be one foot apart and in rows that are at least five feet apart to give the cucumber vines room to grow.
To ensure you have fresh cucumbers all summer long, plant some seeds every three weeks, starting at the beginning of the summer and ending in the middle of it. This way, when you’re ready to harvest one batch, the next is close behind.
Cucumbers need plenty of water, but they are also prone to diseases like mildew, so watering must be done carefully.
Provide at least one inch of water for your Straight Eight Cucumber plant each week. To keep the leaves dry and lower the risk of mildew, do your best to add water at the base of the plant instead of watering the leaves from above.
As mentioned above, a trellis is a great way to keep your plant healthy as it grows. Not only does it help give the vines space to grow, but it also helps to prevent excess moisture from collecting on and around the plant, which can cause diseases like mildew.
Fertilizers can also help cucumbers grow throughout their different stages, such as when you initially plant them and when they begin to grow fruit and flowers.
For more tips on how to care for your cucumber plant in each stage of growth, check out our blog about The Seven Stages of Cucumber Plants.
Harvesting Your Cucumbers
Cucumbers are harvested before the fruits are fully mature. In the case of Straight Eight Cucumbers, this is typically after 60 to 65 days.
Once the fruits have reached about seven to eight inches in length, they are ready to harvest. They should still be green; if you wait until they turn yellow, they will be overripe and bitter.
To harvest your cucumbers, all you need to do is pluck the fruits from the vine using either garden shears or your fingers. Just be careful not to pull too hard, which can damage the rest of the plant.
Where to Buy Seeds
Because of this cuke’s popularity among home growers, Straight Eight Cucumber seeds are relatively easy to find.
We highly recommend the Straight Eight seeds sold online by one of our favorite seed retailers, Hoss Tools. You’re sure to love the quality of the seeds they have to offer!
The Ideal Slicing Cucumber
Overall, Straight Eight Cucumbers are tasty, refreshing, and relatively easy to grow. They’re the perfect slicing cucumber to enjoy throughout the summer!
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!