Cucumber is a popular warm-season plant that takes about 60 days to mature. The cucumber fruit is typically green, while the inside is juicy and full of water.
Its fast-growing nature is one of the reasons it is so popular among gardeners. However, it is specific about its climatic needs as it requires warm weather to grow. Do not let that discourage you, as even regions with a few warm months yearly can get to enjoy this wonderful fruit in their garden.
You can even decide to grow cucumber in greenhouses to have full control over the weather. This way, you can grow cucumber all year round, even in extremely cold climes.
Cucumber is a low-calorie plant filled with water and soluble fibers, which aid in weight loss and hydration. It can be eaten raw, used in salad and stir-fries.
Its creeping vines can climb up to 9 feet high and need to be staked for optimum growth. Cucumber is subdivided into two groups; slicing and pickling cucumber. While some people argue they are actually three with burpless cucumber the third.
This article will help you differentiate between these cucumber groups, learn about the most popular cucumber varieties and their best-growing conditions, among many other things.
But before we go into that, let’s quickly see how the cucumber subdivisions differ from each other.
As earlier stated, cucumber is subdivided into 2 groups, with some people arguing for a third group. Here, I’ll show you how these three groups differ.
Slicing varieties are longer than the others, with their fruits growing up to 12 inches long. Their skins are thicker, and they usually have a uniform dark green hue.
What they lack in spines and fast-growing nature, they make up in fruit-bearing as they bear fruit for longer, usually 4-6 weeks. Their lack of spines also makes it easier to ship. As such, they are the cucumber variety you’ll most likely see in grocery stores.
Pickling cucumbers are shorter variants, with their fruits only growing about 6 inches. They have spines and thin skin. You’ll also find a lot of them with striped shades of darker green and lighter green.
Unlike the slicing group, they are quick to mature, but their harvest is shorter, only lasting over a week.
Burpless cucumbers are seedless varieties.
Now, without further ado, let me show you some cucumber varieties you can grow in your garden.
Popular Cucumber varieties
There are dozens of cucumber varieties. That may be overwhelming for gardeners looking to choose a cucumber variety to grow in their homes quickly. I’ve simplified the search with this compilation.
1. Green Fingers Persian Cucumber
Persian cucumbers and English cucumbers are sometimes difficult to differentiate because they share a lot of similarities. Persian cucumbers cukes can be short or long, and they also have a mild flavor and thin skins.
They are juicy but not watery and can handle the heat of stir-frying. They are also delicious in salads.
2. English Cucumber
English cucumbers are long and narrow with thin skins. It is common to find this cucumber wrapped in plastic to protect their thin unwaxed skin. Their seeds are smaller than the typical cucumber seeds and so can be easily eaten.
This variety is more common in Europe but can still be found in the US. They are slightly sweeter than the average cucumber and have an almost white inner flesh.
3. Ashley Cucumber
This is a slicing cucumber variety resistant to downy mildew, one of the major diseases plaguing cucumber. This makes it ideal in hot, humid regions where downy mildew disease is rampant.
This variety is a vigorous fruit producer and should be ready for harvest in 65 days.
4. Bush Champion Cucumber
Bush champion cucumber does not need to be supported with trellis, like most other cucumbers. This will save you time and resources if you decide to grow this variety. It is also resistant to mosaic virus.
This hybrid variety can produce up to 11-inch long fruit with a light green hue. They can be ready for harvest in just 60 days.
5. Diva Cucumber
This improved hybrid slicing variety is characterized by its sweet flavor and high yielding capabilities. A fully mature diva cucumber will be between 6 to 8 inches long and usually have very few seeds when pollinated by other cukes.
Diva is resistant to scab and tolerant to downy and powdery mildews. It is ready for harvest in 58 days.
6. Marketmore 76 Cucumber
This is a popular heirloom cultivar that is open-pollinated and is a member of the slicing cucumber group. Its impressive disease-resistant capabilities will save you a lot of resources.
Marketmore 76 is dark green, narrow, thick-skinned, and its fruit is around 9 inches long at maturity. It takes about 67 days to mature. Marketmore 76 can easily fit into both pickling and slicing groups.
It is resistant to downy and powdery mildews, mosaic virus, scab, and leaf spot.
7. Tendergreen Burpless Cucumber
This seedless variety is sweet with no bitter flavor and grows up to 6 inches long when mature. It can be light or dark green with its tender flesh aided by its thin skin ideal for both slicing and pickling.
Tendergreen burpless is high yielding and can be ready to be harvested in 55 days. It is resistant to both downy and powdery mildews.
8. Bush Pickle Cucumber
Not all cucumber plants produce long vines, and the bush pickle is a testament to that. It does not cover up large spaces, which makes it ideal for small gardens and can be planted in containers or even in raised garden beds.
Its compact vines help it conserve space while still producing light green fruits four to five inches long. These fruits can be ready for harvest in just 50 days.
9. Lemon Cucumber
This cucumber is different from the usual green, long, and slender cucumber we’re used to. Lemon cucumber has round yellow fruits like that of lemon, but that’s all about similarities. It does not taste like a lemon. Its flavor is somewhat slightly milder than the regular cucumber fruit.
They can be eaten raw, added to salads, and used as pickles too.
10. Kirby Cucumber
Kirby cucumbers are short and have bumpy skins with different colors ranging from yellow to dark green.
They are both crunchy and full of flavor; that is why they can serve as slicing and pickling cucumbers. Kirby fruits are crisp, their skin unwaxed and thin. They also have a minimal amount of seeds.
11. Supremo Cucumber
Supremo is a hybrid variety with dark green fruits and compact vine, making it ideal for small gardens. With supremo, you’re bound to have a bountiful harvest of 3 to 4 inches long striped fruits.
They are resistant to leaf spot, mosaic virus, and powdery mildew, among others. They take 52 days to mature.
Cucumber is a healthy and nutritious fruit used in salads, stir-fries, and even eaten raw. Its yellow flowers can also beautify your garden during its flowering stage.
Choosing the perfect cucumber for your home is not rocket science, as you have already seen. Simply go through the 11 popular varieties and choose the one(s) you’ll like to grow.