The Diva Cucumber: Green Goddess of the Vegetable Garden

My favorite fodder for the nuka pot, at the moment, is the ‘Diva’ hybrid cucumber. Sleek, smooth, seedless, thin-skinned, and absolutely never bitter, this creation of breeders at Johnny’s Select Seeds was a 2002 All-American winner. At the recommended harvest length of 5 inches, with an approximate diameter of 3/4 inch, this tasty cuke is perfect for a 1-gallon nuka pot. I bury two or three of them at a time, and take them out to eat the next day. See the nuka-pickled ‘Diva’ cucumbers here.

UPDATE 2022: Thankfully, ‘Diva’ is still available from numerous seed companies.

0 thoughts on “The Diva Cucumber: Green Goddess of the Vegetable Garden”

  1. I’ve grown Diva for the past few years and have found it a wonderful cucumber. In addition to being great at the smaller size you mention, it also holds up well to age: I found a few large cucumbers that had eluded me when young and had developed seeds and a tougher skin, but I peeled and seeded them and found that the flesh was excellent: a little firmer than usual, and slightly tangy, really delicious.

  2. Does Diva also work as a pickling cuke if picked small? I have read mixed comments on using it. supposedly as a slicer it has a chemical in it that prevents it from. being crisp.

    1. Chris, I’m sorry for the delay in answering. I don’t remember whether I’ve pickled any Divas in any way other than in nuka, so I’ve been trying to get opinions from cucumber scientists regarding your question. Only one has responded. Todd Wehner, at North Carolina State University, says that, although picklers and slicers are very closely related, slicers are more susceptible to bloating during fermentation.

      You may have read a blog post from an anonymous horticulturist who explains, “Slicers are not recommended for pickling because they contain the enzyme endopolygalacturonase. Endopolygalcturonase is created at the blossom end of the fruit and acts to soften the normally-rigid tissues of the cucumber. Pickling cucumbers also have endopolygalacturonase; however, they also have various proteinase, and amylase inhibitors.” I haven’t been able to verify her last statement through a search of scientific papers on cucumbers. Dr. Wehner can’t verify the statement, either. He says, “I do not know of anyone who spends a lot of time measuring polygalacturonase activity of different cultivars.”

      If you pickle some Divas, please let me know how they turn out.

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