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Cucumis sativus was domesticated in India, at least 3,000 years ago, and probably spread to Europe via the Roman empire. It had reached the British Isles by the 14th century.

Sow cucumber seeds one or two to a small pot or large module in February or March in a propagator, heated greenhouse or on a window-sill. The seeds need a temperature of about 20C to germinate. When the seedlings have emerged put them in a bright place but keep pretty warm. Cucumbers won’t grow much in the polytunnel until nights warm up in May. Dig bucket sized holes about 60cm apart where the plants will finally be planted out and fill them with well-rotted FYM, about half a bucket per plant. Then cover the FYM with soil and ground cover. Plant the plants through the ground cover, and water well. Protect from slugs. Cucumbers enjoy warm moist soil but can suffer from fungi if humidity is too high. For best results the plants should be trained up wires and have their side-shoots removed.

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Suyo Long
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Suyo Long, is a traditional long-fruited variety from China. It has a mild-flavoured, ribbed fruit growing up to 35 cm long and is considered a ‘burpless’ type.
Jelly Melon
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Cucumis metuliferus
Also known as African Horned Cucumber or Melon. A 5-10 feet long vine, native to the Kalihari. The green 3” fruits are oblong and have distinctive, long, sharp spines on their exterior. They mature to bright orange and have a citrus or banana-like flavour. The ripe interior has a lime green jelly-like flesh with large seeds. The plant can be grown under cover like a cucumber. They can be stored for 6 months.  Average 20 seeds/packet
West Indian Gherkin
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Cucumis anguria
 A different species to ordinary cucumbers. These are small with soft edible spines, tasting just like a cucumber.  Average 20 seeds/packet
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Cucumis sativus A small, thin skinned 'English' type cucumber with crisp delicious flesh. It has no bitterness and does not need its male flowers removed. Best under cover as more tender than others. Sow in March and plant out in April or May.
Poinsette 76
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Cucumber Poinsette 76

Cucumis sativus A highly productive dark green 7”-8” cucumber with crisp delicious flesh. Bred by Dr.Henry M. Munger and released in 1976. Best under cover but can be grown outside. Sow from March to May and plant out from April to June. 15 seeds

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Achocha, Cyclanthera pedata, also known as Lady's Slipper, Caigua, and numerous other names is climbing vegetable, in the same family as cucumbers and squashes - one of the Lost Crops of the Incas. It is a bit like a cucumber, only smaller, and hollow, except for the black strangely shaped seeds. It csn be eaten raw when small, and cooked in the same way as peppers when larger. The fruits can also be stuffed.  They are believed to reduce cholesterol. The leaves can be used as greens. They can be grown in the same way as cucumbers but are inclined to take over a green house or tunnel, and need to be kept firmly under control. They are fine outside in a reasonable summer but will not produce as much fruit. Average15 seeds/packet
Crystal Apple
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A pale yellow variety with spherical fruits about the size of an apple. They are sweet and crisp. Originally a Chinese variety, it is quite hardy and can be grown under cover or in a sheltered spot outside.  Average 15 seeds/packet
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A hardy variety from the Ukraine. It can be grown indoors or out, and produces a tasty cucumber that can be used fresh or pickled.  Average 15 seeds/packet
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Cucumis sativus Marketmore, The standard outdoor cucumber for these climes. A reliable and prolific cropper of dark green cylindrical fruit. Average15 seeds per pack
MIniature White
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A prolific variety producing creamy- white fruit which are best eaten when about 5cm long.  Average 15 seeds/packet