Why are cucumber seeds so expensive?

Hello all, I would like to grow some cucumbers next year outdoors in the garden.
Have been looking around for seeds and they are quite expensive. Usually only 5 come in a packet for 3.
Does anyone know why they are so expensive and if only 5 seeds are given what is the sucess of germination. Ie, am i guarnateed to get 5 healthy plants?
Is there no way to harvest cucumber seed?
Eg Cucumber 'Femspot' F1 cost 3.45 for 5 seeds.
Thanking you in advance. -- dommy ------------------------------------------------------------------------ posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 15:41:54 GMT, dommy

It looks as if you're in the UK from your address and use of the pound sign.
The British cucumbers that I've seen are pretty much seedless - they contain few to no seeds. This would, I assume, account for their seeds being so expensive.
The cucumbers commonly grown in the USA are full of seeds and they're not as nice as the English ones, really, but the seeds are cheap.
You could probably buy American cucumber seeds from an American seed company. They like hot weather, but they'd grow all right in most parts of the UK (which has been hot this summer in any case).
I bet you wouldn't like American cukes, though. My (English ex-pat) husband likes them now, but it took quite a while for him to become accustomed to them and he'd still prefer the English-style cucumbers.
Otherwise, the expensive seeds would certainly be worth starting indoors to try for maximum germination.
Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the replies pat and steve.
I was looking at the online catalogue at
www.mr-fothergills.co.uk
They dont charge any P&p unlike Thompson and morgon.
I think i will go for these ones:
Cucumber 'Telepathy' F1 (Code 0600) ONLY FROM MR FOTHERGILL'S IN THE UK! An improvement on 'Telegraph' producing earlier, longer cues which average 16 - 20 inches. Dark green with occasional very small white spines.
Approx. 10 seeds.
Shopline
Price: 1.69
Since i was looking for the long cucumber type and these seem to offer best value i think.
Anyways does anyone know if I can grow this variety outside or do i need a greenhouse for that variety? cheers -- dommy ------------------------------------------------------------------------ posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dommy wrote:

Dommy, you are looking at some expensive seed there. You don't really need that kind of seed. I don't know what seed companies you have available but I'm sure you could order from Thompson and Morgan. They have some that are not quite so expensive (mixed in with some very expensive types). Look at the one at the bottom of this page: http://www.thompson-morgan.com/seeds/uk/list_c_49.html
My personal favorite is "Sweet Success". It is expensive by American cucumber standards but I love it. It gets BIG and is still tender and seedless in my growing conditions. You might try that one if you can find it.
Steve in the Adirondacks of northern NY
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

They are cultivated F1 hybrids, and will have been treated.. The markup by the big seed co's is also a LOT..
Try going into Woolworths, or Wilkinsons and you will find cheaper or go for the older 'non hybrid' cucumbers.. For suppliers try starting here and email for some catalogues..
The reason that they are so expensive is that F1's are time consuming to produce compared to normal seed. The advantage of these 'modern seeds' is that the cucumber plants are 'all female' (or more likly to be) in some older varieties it is necessary to keep the plants stress free (tricky) and to pick off male flowers otherwise you will get many seed in your fruit and this will make them bitter..
Thus the preference is for 'all female' F1 hybrid cultivars.
<http://directory.google.com/Top/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/Business _and_Economy/Shopping/Home_and_Garden/Gardens/Plants/Seeds/>
I can recommend Chilterns, Tamar, The ORganic Gardening Catalogue, Thomas Etty Esq and Vidaverde & Future Foods to name but a few...
If you are in the UK you have PLENTY of time to decide which you want to grow before next year.. The alternative of course is to wait till next year and buy a few ready grown young plants.
Why not post in uk.rec.gardening as well (if you're in the UK you may find the answers geographically more relevant) // Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.