Best Cucumber Varieties for the Home Gardener

Cucumbers commonly come in pickling, slicing and burpless varieties. There are also some specialty classifications such as Armenian, English, Persian and Lemon cucumbers as well as some oddities that you wouldn’t routinely think of as being a cucumber.

Pickling Cucumbers

Any cucumber can be pickled, but those botanically classified as pickling Cucumbers are shorter and more portly. Their flesh is somewhat spongier and not as juicy as other varieties, which enables them to soak up brine and take on that ‘pickled’ flavor more readily.

Popular pickling cucumbers for Home gardeners include ..

Boston Pickling Cucumber is excellent for pickling, but not limited to pickles as it works well as a fresh cucumber also.

Bush Pickle Cucumber The original Bush Pickle is an heirloom, but there are also hybrid variations with similar characteristics and qualities.

Calypso Pickling Cucumber is a compact hybrid pickling cucumber. It was bred for commercial agricultural use, but has become very popular among home growers as well. It is a very productive plant that outproduces most other pickle varieties.

Moringa Cucumber a Russian heirloom that is a disease resistant early producer, taking only 45 – 50 days from seed to harvest. An indeterminate with predominantly female flowers. The cukes themselves are crunchy and suitable for pickling.

Northern Pickling Cucumber is a favorite of many Northern Gardeners as they are well adapted to shorter seasons and cooler climates. They bear medium green cucumbers in 50-55 days.

Sumter Cucumber is a hybrid bred for disease resistance. It is an ideal pickler and is also suitable as a fresh cucumber.

Slicing Cucumbers

Marketmore 76 is a favored slicing cucumber of many gardeners as well as cooks. It produces an abundance of flavorful straight and smooth 8-9″ cucumbers in 65 to 70 Days.

Straight Eight Cucumber is an American Heirloom and one of the most prolific producers of quality cukes ever. This variety is commonly found in Supermarkets and is prized for its flavor, and uniform deep green color. It is a straight and hefty cucumber reaching about 8 inches long – frequently more.

Olympian Slicing Cucumber is a high yielding slicing cucumber that is similar to marketmore varieties such as Marketmore 76 Cucumbers. It was introduced in 1985 by Hollar Seed Company of Colorado, primarily for commercial use, but has gained popularity among Home gardeners.

Specialty Varieties

White Wonder Cucumber is an heirloom that can be traced back to the 1890s.White to Creamy yellow in color the cucumbers average 2 inches round by 6-8 inches long.

Lemon Cucumber are excellent for eating fresh, they are tender, crisper and sweeter than standard varieties and can be eaten just like a fruit. They are also good for salads and pickling.

Richmond Green Cucumber is a miniature variety, technically a pickler. Fairly compact, it works well in small gardens and containers. It doesn’t fare well in hot dry climates with low humidity – it will grow but not as well. It does best in cooler climates.

Armenian Cucumber is an Old World heirloom that produces a bounty of mild tasting large and long cucumbers. The skin is light green, ribbed and very thin, almost non-existant. It does not require peeling and does not acquire the bitter taste of some cucumbers.

Red Hmong Cucumber are initially pale green and turn golden orange as they mature. They rarely attain the full deep red color that is shown in some images. The flavor is mildly melony sweet with a high water content when ripe. They sometimes have a tart flavor and occasionally are a tad bitter.

English Telegraph Cucumber 12 – 18 inches long, it is commonly grown in greenhouses, suitable for hydroponic growing as well as conventional vegetable gardening. A similar variety is English Telegraph Improved Cucumber, a hybrid variety that produces smaller cukes, but has more disease resistance.

Sikkim Cucumber resemble cantaloupes. They have a webbed skin similar to cantaloupe that is an orange-red color, a tad darker than cantaloupe. It doesn’t taste anything like cantaloupe however, it tastes like a cucumber but slightly sweeter. The foliage is about twice the size of normal cucumbers, as are the flowers.

See: Mandurian Round Cucumber Plant Profile