Different types of cucumbers to grow
I’ll admit that I go overboard sometimes when ordering different types of cucumbers from my favorite seed catalogs. The problem is that there are just so many wonderful types and varieties to grow — in countless shapes, sizes and colors! Here are a few of the types of cucumber varieties that are essential in my garden.
Seed sources for cucumbers
Slicing cucumbers are a popular choice in vegetable gardens, with most varieties having thick dark green skin. They grow 7 to 9 inches long and should be harvested often to encourage high fruit production.
Early, productive and disease resistant, ‘Marketmore 76’ is an excellent slicer. The fruits grow 8 to 9 inches long with smooth, deep green skin. (58 days to harvest)
‘Picolino’ (in photo)
If you love gourmet cocktail cucumbers, plant ‘Picolino’, a slicing variety with fruits that are best harvested when just 4 to 5 inches long. They’re crunchy, delicious and perfect for snacking or slicing. (50 days to harvest)
The fruits of Asian cucumbers are usually long and slender, often growing up to 18 inches in length. The flavor is amazing, never bitter and perfect for salads and fresh eating. Trellis the vigorous plants to produce straight fruits.
‘Suyo Long’ (in photo)
This heirloom from China is a favorite in my garden and I grow it every summer as everyone loves the tasty fruits. We harvest when they’re 12 to 15 inches long, at which point they’re nearly seedless and very sweet. (65 days to harvest)
Tasty Green is a popular Japanese hybrid with smooth, thin-skinned fruits that have a mild, sweet flavor. It’s also early to produce, high-yielding and offers excellent disease resistance. (60 days to harvest)
Growing varieties intended for pickling is the first step in a prize-winning batch of pickles. The plants of pickling cucumbers produce thin-skinned fruits that stay crunchy when pickled and produce in abundance.
‘Bush Pickle’ (in photo)
This compact variety is perfect for small spaces like raised beds or containers. The plants grow just 30 inches tall and yield many bright green fruits that should be picked when 3 to 5 inches in length. (50 days to harvest)
‘Miniature White’ is a unique pickling variety that pumps out dozens of mini cucumbers less than two months from seeding. Harvest when the creamy fruits are 2 to 4 inches long for a perfect pickle, or quick snack. (55 days to harvest)
This is a catch-all category for cucumbers that have varied shapes and colors like ‘Lemon’, ‘Boothby’s Blonde’, ‘Crystal Apple’ and ‘Poona Kherra’.
This popular heirloom cucumber comes from Maine, where it was grown by several generations of the Boothby family. The pale yellow oval-shaped fruits are crunchy and refreshing. Harvest fruits when they’re 3 to 5 inches long. (60 days to harvest)
‘Lemon’ (In photo)
This was the first unusual cucumber I grew, and I was immediately hooked! The plants produce many rounded, lime green to pale yellow fruits over the summer. They’re delicious sliced or pickled. Harvest when the cucumbers are 2 to 3 inches across and before they turn bright yellow. (70 days to harvest)
Ok, I’m cheating here as Armenian cucumbers (Cucumis melo) aren’t botanically cucumbers; they’re muskmelons. That said, the seed is typically listed in seed catalogs alongside cucumbers because they are so similar. Armenian cucumbers are also called snake melons and are the most popular “cucumber” in our garden.
Armenian cucumber (In photo)
There are light and dark green skinned varieties of Armenian cucumbers and all have ribbed, mildly sweet fruits. They’re also covered in a soft fuzz that rubs off easily. The fruits can grow up to 2 feet long but are best harvested when 10 to 12 inches in length. (65 days to harvest)
Striped Armenian cucumber
Also known as ‘Painted Serpent’, this cucumberlike melon is a beauty! The fruits grow very long and narrow with dark and light green stripes and slightly fuzzy skin, no need to peel! (63 days to harvest)