Cucumbers are one of the most popular summer vegetables, and lucky for all gardeners, you can select one of the dozen cucumber varieties to grow in your garden.
Cucumbers come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. They aren’t just green! You can find orange, yellow, and white cukes, and some have different flavor profiles, from sour to super sweet.
Most of all, cucumbers aren’t all the same type. Some are better suited for pickling, capable of standing up in brine, and holding onto their crunchy texture, while others are more suited for fresh eating.
Also, don’t forget that some grow on long, trailing vines, and others grow on compact bushes.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of cucumber varieties to grow in your home vegetable garden:
Common Cucumber Types To Grow
Most cucumber varieties can be categorized into four main types slicing, pickling, specialty and dwarf cucumber which are perfect for container garden.
You can help make your selection a little easier by narrowing it down to the specific type of cucumber you want to grow, unless you want to grow all kinds of cucumbers. Then, making the decision is a bit more complicated.
1. Slicing Cucumbers
If you want to grow cucumbers for salads or adding to meals, you want to grow slicing cucumbers. These varieties hold up well on their own, and as their name suggests, they’re designed for slicing and raw eating, in particular.
2. Pickling Cucumbers
Are you a canner who wants to turn all of your cucumbers into jars of pickles? You need to grow pickling cucumbers. While you can grow pickling cucumbers for raw eating, they tend to have a slightly bitter flavor, but they can be tossed in salads as well.
3. Specialty Cucumbers
Perhaps you want to grow a fancy or strange-looking cucumber, something that adds a unique look to your garden. You might want a cucumber variety that adds a delightful taste.
That’s when you need to pick a specialty cucumber. While you might not want to grow an entire garden full of specialty cucumbers, adding one or two varieties gives you something different
4. Container Cucumbers
This specific type of cucumber can be either slicing or pickling ones, but they are suitable to grow in a container with a small trellis. If you prefer container gardening, these cucumbers are the ones you want to grow.
The Best Cucumber Varieties
When you’re picking the best cucumber varieties to grow in your garden, you should look at each type individually. You’ll be amazed at how many types of cucumbers there really are! We’re going to break this list down by type to make it easier for you to find the right ones you want to grow.
Before you make your selection, think about how you plan to use your cucumbers.
Slicing Cucumber Varieties To Grow
Slicing cucumbers have broad leaves and long vines. It’s best to eat these cucumbers before they fully ripen because they do turn bitter and sour with too much time on the vine. They start as green in color (when you need to pick), but they turn yellow when overly ripened.
1. Ashley Cucumbers
If you don’t mind waiting about 65 days for your cucumbers to reach maturity, Ashley cucumbers are a smooth, top-shaped choice for those who want sweet, tender fruits with an extended shelf life.
This is a vining variety that became popular in Charleston in the 1950s as an excellent produce market cucumber. It’s a mix between “Marketer” and “Puerto Rico 40.”
2. Burpless #26
This is a hybrid vining cucumber that grows thin fruits measuring around 12 inches long. However, it’s best to pick them when they measure 8-10 inches instead. Burpless #16 cukes have dark, green skin and flesh with no bitterness.
The vines are long, so you need to make sure you provide strong staking and trellising, taking up to 50 days to harvest. You need to pick the fruit regularly to encourage the production of more fruits to develop.
3. Bush Champion Cucumbers
Are you looking for a high yielding plant? You’ll love Bush Champion. When mature, the cucumbers typically measure 8-11 inches in length. The ripe fruits are straight and bright green, reaching maturity in 60 days.
Bush Champion is ideal for raised bed gardening and container gardening. It’s resistant to the cucumber mosaic virus, so if you’re struggling with this disease, you might want to try this cultivar.
4. Chelsea Slice Cucumbers
If you struggled with scab before, Chelsea Slicing cucumbers are scab resistant and a hybrid variety to try in your garden this year. This variety stands out because it is sweeter than usual, with pale green and yellow, thin skin. Chelsea cucumbers typically measure 15 inches when you finally harvest them from the vines.
5. Chinese Snake Cucumbers
If you want a different, unique slicing cucumber, you can’t go wrong with the Chinese Snake cucumber. You can trace its origination back to ancient China, but the vines produce straight fruits that measure 15-18 inches long.
Chinese Snake cucumbers take about 75 days to completely mature, and they stand up to the cucumber mosaic virus well.
6. Dasher II Cucumbers
For gardeners who struggle with diseases, Dasher II is a robust and disease-resistant variety that only takes 55 days to mature. The fruits grow to be 8.5 inches in length and rich, green color.
7. Diva Cucumbers
These slicing cucumbers have a glossy, yellowish-green skin and a balanced shape. The skin is on the thinner side, making it an excellent choice for fresh eating. Diva is one of the cucumber varieties that is an AAS winner.
You can expect these cucumbers to take about 58-65 days to reach full maturity.
8. Early Frame Cucumbers
As suggested by the name, these are fast-growing, vining cucumbers who handle growing on a frame well. They’re an heirloom cucumber that can be used for both slicing and pickling, making them an excellent homesteader choice.
Early Frame cucumbers are best harvested and consumed when they’re 7-8 inches in length. It’s easy to distinguish this variety from others because it has pale lines that form a pattern.
9. Long Green Improved
“Long Green Improved” is an heirloom variety, known for being a prolific producer that’s straight, measuring 10-12 inches long. The fruits have dark green skin, growing on vigorous, strong vines that need staking.
This cultivar started in 1842, but it’s believed that it can be dated back and bred from an older variety called “Long Green Turkey,” which dates back to 1778.
These fruits mature in 65 days, and you can use them both for slicing and pickling.
10. Marketmore 76
When it comes to popular heirloom cucumbers that are self-pollinated, you can’t go wrong with Marketmore 76. These cucumbers offer large yields that can withstand a range of conditions.
Also, if you’ve struggled with the cucumber mosaic virus before, these seeds are resistant, along with resistance towards powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf spot, and scab.
Marketmore 76 cukes are dark green, thin, thick-skinned fruits that measure 8-9 inches long. They take around 67 days to mature, with a crispy, crunchy texture and a sweet flavor.
This cultivar began by Dr. Henry Munger at Cornell University in 1968. He didn’t release it in 1976 as an open-pollinated strain.
11. Muncher Cucumbers
Do you want a slicing cucumber that doesn’t need to be peeled? Muncher cucumbers can be eaten without peeling when they’re ready to be harvested. They take close to 60 days to reach full maturity, measuring 4-5 inches in length for the best flavor.
12. Orient Express II Cucumber
When you go to the grocery store and find the individually wrapped cucumbers in plastic, they’re typically Orient Express II Cucumbers. These cucumbers stand out because they measure around 14 inches long and mature in 64 days.
13. Saladmore Bush F1 Cucumbers
Most gardeners opt to grow vining cucumbers rather than bush ones. If you want a bush cucumber variety, Saladmore Bush F1 is a crispy choice that is ideal for salads and fresh eating. You can pick them earlier for pickling. It only takes 55 days to reach maturity.
14. Straight 8 Cucumbers
Here’s one of the most popular heirloom slicing cucumber varieties. Straight 8 produces cucumbers that are light green to slightly yellow, only taking about 50 days to fully mature.
The name is such because it’s best to harvest these cucumbers around 8 cm long, and they’re also straight in appearance when fully grown.
One thing you should note is that Straight 8 is resistant to the cucumber mosaic virus. So, if you’ve struggled with this disease in the past, you might want to try this cultivar. Also, if you let it stay too long on the vine, they’ll quickly turn yellow.
15. Tendergreen Cucumbers
Tendergreen cucumbers are a bush cuke that grows well in hot conditions. It’s also known for being resilient when facing harsh weather conditions
Pickling Cucumber Varieties For Home Garden
Pickling cucumbers tend to be shaped a bit differently. They are rarely long; most are short and fat. They vary in color, starting at dark-green and going all the way to creamy-white, so it’s best to know your cucumbers’ mature color to help identify when to harvest.
Let’s look at some of the best pickling cucumber varieties.
16. Alibi Cucumbers
If you want small, dark green cukes that work for both salads and pickling, Alibi is a great choice. They take roughly 50 days to reach harvest size. Alibi cukes have a long, productive growing season, and they’re well-known for being resistant to various diseases.
17. Double Yield
Double Yield, as suggested by its name, is a highly productive pickling cuke that produces a crisp, delicious fruit. Home canners rave about the flavor of the fruit once pickled.
The cucumber size ranges from 4-6 inches with a lime-green color and black spines. They take roughly 50-60 days to mature.
18. Excelsior Pickling
Here is another prolific variety that grows small cukes, typically measuring 4-5 inches long. They grow well in greenhouses and garden beds alike. Another reason that Excelsior cucumbers are loved is that they’re disease resistant and ready for harvesting around 50 days.
19. Jersey Pickling
As you might notice, based on the name, Jersey Pickling cukes do well in the Jersey state and any area that might have the same climate condition requirements. Even for those not in New Jersey, this is a common pickling variety to grow in the garden.
It’s a versatile plant that is prolific when grown in the right conditions. It makes delicious dill pickles when matured.
When matured, Jersey Pickling cucumbers measure 7-8 inches long and have black spines.
20. Liberty Cucumbers
Sometimes, you just have to go back to classic, standard varieties, and Liberty will never die away from being a fantastic choice. It was an AAS winter in 1978 with dark green skin and a delicious, crunchy texture.
21. Little Leaf Pickling Cukes
If you want a pickling cucumber that’s known for being an excellent climber, Little Leaf is a perfect choice that produces small foliage, as its name indicates. For those who have small garden beds or want to grow cucumbers in containers, the leaves’ small size makes this an excellent choice, and the fruits typically can be harvested in 56 days.
22. National Pickling
Wen you’re looking for the best cucumber varieties for your garden, look at what other gardeners grow in their garden each year. National Pickling Cucumbers are a top selection that has one of the highest yields. It’s also known as National Pickle or National Association Pickling. This cultivar was created in 1924 in Michigan.
National cukes are medium-sized, straight, and dark-green in color, typically measuring six inches in length. They take about 50 days to mature after planting.
23. Pick A Bushel F1 Cucumbers
Here’s another AAS winner that only takes 50 days to reach harvestable size! Unlike some of the other pickling choices we’ve listed so far, Pick a Bushel is a compact bush plant rather than a vining variety. It spreads about 2 feet wide to be a good choice for either container gardening or small-size gardens.
You’ll also note that Pick a Bushel cukes have a sweeter taste than other ones, so they work great for sweet pickles.
24. Wautoma Cucumbers
If you’re looking for a robust, cucumber-mosaic resistant variety that is also open-pollinated, you don’t need to look further than Wautoma. These hardy cukes range from light green to yellow, taking about 60 days to reach maturity.
One of the reasons why Wautoma cucumbers stand out is because they are known for withstanding harsher conditions than other varieties. They also are resistant to many common diseases aside from the mosaic virus, such as the angular lift blight.
Wautoma cukes average in length between 4-5 inches, and you’ll love that they don’t harbor any bitter flavor. They hold their brines well, making delicious pickles.
Specialty Cucumber Varieties
Sometimes, you want to add some exciting cucumber varieties to your garden, especially heirloom types. Some of these types take more time to grow and might be more vulnerable to diseases, but adding a flare of uniqueness is what gardening is all about!
25. Armenian Cucumbers
These cucumbers are known as snake melons, and they reproduce through open-pollination. In the best conditions, it can take up to 60 days to reach maturity.
Armenian cucumbers are identifiable through both their size and look. They are a pale-green color with a unique ribbed texture, and the fruits are long, measuring up to 19 inches long.
However, it’s best if you harvest these when they’re around 12 inches long to avoid a bitter flavor.
26. Boothby Blonds Cucumber
It’s easy to confuse Boothby Blonds for Lemon Cukes, but they aren’t the same at all. Believe it or not, Boothby came from the Boothby family and continues to be preserved for future generations and gardeners.
Boothby Blonds is closer to white cucumbers than lemons, but it does have a yellow undertone to the skin. It would be best if you harvested these at 3 inches long, and you’ll know that the fruits are fully ripe when they turn a bright orange color. It takes close to 60 days to reach full maturity.
27. Crystal Apple White Spine Cucumbers
These are small, white cucumbers with a unique shape, making it easy to think that they aren’t cucumbers at all. They don’t look much like your classic cucumber at all!
Crystal Apples reach 5-6 inches long, but they have a rounder appearance as well. The most notable thing is that there are white spines rather than black or brown spices, and their skin is pale white.
Crystal Apples work best for slicing and fresh eating rather than pickling.
28. Jelly Melon Cucumbers
Without a doubt, one of the most exciting cucumbers that you can grow is the Jelly Melon, also known as the African Horned. While it’s not a true African Horned cuke, but it closely resembles them.
These take the longest to reach maturity – 120 days! – and the yellow flesh has a citrus flavor.
29. Lemon Cukes
Not all cucumbers are green; some have a bright, yellow skin instead. While lemon cucumber seeds can be hard to find, they’re worth it when you do. They have a rich flavor that makes them perfect for fresh eating.
Lemon cucumbers take about 65-70 days to maturity and measure 1.5-2 inches when ready to be picked.
30. Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumbers
If you want an adorable cucumber that you can grow in your garden bed or container, Mexican Sour Gherkins sell out all the time. It takes around 75 days to mature, which seems like a long time because the fruits are tiny. They look like tiny baby watermelons, but they’re cucumbers!
You can toss these cukes in salads, or you can pickle them as well. Sour Gherkins taste like a cucumber mixed with a bit of lemon. The vines are ornamental with tiny leaves, perfect for cottage gardens or children’s gardens. You can expect huge yields from these plants.
31. Sikkim Cucumbers
This is a historic cucumber that can reach several pounds in size; they’re fat, large, and the ripe fruit has a rusty, red color that you can eat raw or cooked.
Sikkim cucumbers are used in Asia in stir-fries, full of flavor. It’s typically grown in the Himalayas Mountains and Nepal region; the first Sikkim fruits were discovered in 1848.
Container Cucumber Varieties
If you’re growing a container garden or simply want to try growing cucumbers in pots, you’ll want a variety that is limited in size. They can be planted anywhere, but they’re best adapted to containers; the leaves don’t spread out too widely.
32. Fanfare Cucumber F1
Here is an AAS winner from 1994 that gardeners love for their vigorous growth and top quality fruit. They’re full of flavor without the bitterness common in many bush-growing cucumbers. It takes about 65 days to reach maturity.
33. Salad Bush Cucumbers
Another cucumber type that you might want to try is Salad Bush, and it was created to fit nicely into a container. They’re ready for harvesting in 57-60 days. The fruits measure 8 inches long and dark green.
Salad Bush varieties also have another desirable quality – it’s known for being resistant to diseases. It is resistant to mosaic virus, downy mildew, leaf spot, and scab.
It’s such a well-known, loved cultivar that it won the All-American Selection award in 1988.
34. Spacemaster Cucumber
These have some of the most compact vines out of all cucumber plants, and they excel in small gardens or limited containers. Spacemaster is an open-pollinated bush variety that produces 6-8 inch fruits in 65 days.
Even though they’re small plants, they produce a large yield that can be used for slicing or harvested earlier for pickling. Spacemaster cukes have dark green skin, and it’s known for being resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, scab, downy mildew, and powdery mildew.
You can grow several different cucumber varieties in your garden, depending on what you want to do with them. These 34 types of cucumbers grow well in all gardeners; you should give them a try!
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Bethany is a suburban homesteader, growing over half of the vegetables, fruit, and herbs that her family of six needs each year. She raises chickens and homeschools her children. When she isn’t spending time tending to her garden, you can find her reading, crocheting, and canning.