Cucumbers are versatile fruits and vegetables that you can grow for different purposes. You can use cucumbers for cooking, pickling, and even include them in your skin-care routine.
Unlike some plants, cucumbers require minimal maintenance. You don’t have to break the bank to start growing them. And therefore, many people love to grow their own cucumbers at home.
With numerous cucumber varieties that you can find out there, it can be quite daunting to know which cultivar caters to your preferences and needs. But don’t worry. We have saved you the trouble by listing some of the best cucumber varieties that you can plant in your garden.
Let’s jump right into it!
1. Arkansas Little Leaf
Arkansas little leaf cucumbers were first developed in 1991 by the University of Arkansas.
They grow on branching vines with smaller leaves. For this reason, you can easily spot the fruits whenever they are fully grown and mature.
With their small sizes, this variety is best for pickling. But you can also use these cucumbers as slicing cucumbers and eat them raw.
On average, these plants grow 18 to 24 inches tall. They prefer neutral or slightly acidic soil and enough exposure to full sun.
You can also spot the small yellow flowers growing on the vines. The bright color of the flowers make them pollinator magnets that attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
Like their name, Armenian cucumbers were first grown in Armenia in the 15th century. But today, they also grow in other regions such as Europe and the United States. These cucumbers are also known as snake cucumber, yard-long melon, Gutah, Painted Serpent, and Uri.
These cucumbers measure 10 to 15 inches long and their flesh gives off a scent that resembles the smell of cantaloupe.
Armenian cucumbers grow best in hot regions or during long summers. Still, they need enough moisture to thrive. To promote better growth of the plants, you can use compost or manure that provides additional nutrients to the soil.
But the best part of growing Armenian cucumbers is that you can either use them in cooking or eat them raw.
Ashley cucumbers were developed from a mix of cultivars such as Marketers and the Puerto Rico 40. They were first available to the public in 1956, right after their development by the South Carolina Truck Experiment in Charleston.
In the United States, Ashley cucumbers thrive best in hot regions such as Florida, California, and Texas.
On average, Ashley cucumbers measure 7 to 8 inches long. These cucumbers are suitable for slicing.
Growing this variety is fairly easy. As long as they have enough water, structures for their vines to climb and crawl, nutrient-rich soil, and sufficient exposure to full sun, you can expect to harvest the fruits after 65 days.
4. Boothby’s Blond
These compact and oval-shaped cucumbers are an heirloom variety that came from the Boothby family in Livermore, Maine.
Their flesh is also crunchy with a sweet taste. The plants produce fruits that measure 6 to 8 inches long.
When you first plant the seeds outdoors, it is always best to leave some space between each seed, at least 36 to 48 inches. On average, the plants grow 12 to 24 inches tall and spread 12 to 18 inches wide.
Boothby’s blond cucumbers grow best under partial sun and in hardiness zones 4 to 12. They also require a lot of water and are ready for harvest between 55 to 65 days.
5. Boston Pickling
Boston pickling cucumbers are another heirloom variety that exist as far back as 1880. These small, round, bulky cucumbers have thin, dark green skin that can either be smooth or full of small bumps.
On average, Boston pickling cucumbers measure 3 to 7 inches long. What makes this variety best for pickling is its crunchy flesh that blends well with any pickling juices.
The best spot to grow Boston pickling seeds is outdoors. They need nutrient-rich soil, enough water, ample space between each plant, and six hours of exposure to partial or full sun. This variety is also resistant to cucumber diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus and scabs.
6. Burpless Beauty
These cucumbers measure 8 inches long and take around sixty days to mature. Due to the low level of cucurbitacin in their flesh that contributes to the bitter taste in some fruits, this variety produces a mild and sweet taste.
However, their flesh will lose its crunchiness when you soak them in pickling juices for an exceptionally long time. Hence, they aren’t equipped for pickling. But they certainly make great slicing cucumbers.
To grow this variety, you need to prepare a space between 3 and 4 feet wide for each plant. The plants can grow 6 to 8 inches tall and require enough exposure to full sun.
The University of North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station was the first to develop these high-yield cucumbers. On average, these cucumbers measure 4 to 5 inches long with a diameter of 1 inch. Although you can grow them as slicing cucumbers, this variety is best for pickling.
Calypso cultivars are considered a high-yield variety due to the mother plants that only produce female flowers. They are also resistant to many diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus and mildew.
To grow Calypso cucumbers, you need to spare at least 12 inches of space for seed planting and 5 to 6 feet wide between each grown plant. After 50 to 60 days, you can harvest these cucumbers.
8. Chicago Pickling
These heirloom cucumbers are native to Asia and Africa. They were first introduced to the public in the United States by DM Ferry of Detroit in Michigan. Like their name, Chicago pickling cucumbers are best for pickling. But you can also consume them raw.
They measure 5 to 6 inches and take 55 days to mature. The plants love full sun and need rows spaced between 5 to 7 feet apart, especially if you don’t grow them as climbers (space between rows can be reduced when using climbing apparatus).
The best spot to grow the Chicago pickling variety is outdoors to avoid excess moisture in the air that can lead to downy mildew growth.
9. Crystal Apple
Crystal apple cucumbers were first brought to the United States from Sydney, Australia by Arthur Yates and Company in 1930. With their thin skin and soft content, you can definitely enjoy them raw.
These cucumbers measure 2.5 to 3.5 inches long and take 65 to 75 days to mature. They grow on vines that can reach up to 48 inches tall and spread 18 inches wide. This variety loves full sun and requires frequent watering to maintain the moisture in the fruits.
10. Dragon’s Egg
Resembling large eggs, these cucumbers are native to Croatia.
Dragon’s eggs measure 2 to 3.5 inches long and take between 50 to 70 days to mature.
This variety grows well in hardiness zones 4 to 12. The plant prefers full sun and a space of 12 inches per plant. You can expect Dragon’s Egg plants to grow up to 48 inches tall and spread up to 18 inches wide.
You should also water the plants frequently to avoid the fruits from becoming bitter due to the lack of moisture.
11. Double Yield
Like their name, these cucumbers are well-known to be a high-yield variety that can produce numerous fruits even after their harvesting phase.
Double yield cucumbers came into existence in 1942 through the effort of Joseph Harris Company of Coldwater in New York. This variety produces fruits that measure 4 to 6 inches.
It usually takes 50 to 60 days for the fruits to mature. Being a dual-purpose variety with a crunchy flesh and melon-like taste, they are perfect for both pickling and slicing!
Edmonson cucumbers originated in Kansas. They are an heirloom variety that came from a man named Edmonson. His grandchild, Clarice Cooper did her best to introduce these cucumbers to the public in 1982.
They measure 4 to 5 inches long and take 68 to 70 days to mature. You can grow this variety as dual-purpose cucumbers.
On average, the plants grow 12 to 48 inches tall with the same spread. They grow best under full sun and are highly resistant to diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus and scabs.
They were developed specifically for trellis planting in greenhouses, but they are also equipped to grow outdoors. These cucumbers measure 4 to 5 inches long and mature after 50 to 65 days.
You can either grow Excelsior cucumbers on structures or let them sprawl on the ground. If you choose the former, provide at least one square foot for each trellis.
But if you decide to let them grow freely without any structures, they need a space of 18 to 24 inches wide per plant. You should expose the plants to full sun and grow them in nutrient-rich and moist soil.
Excelsior cucumbers are also resistant to many diseases such as vein yellowing virus, cucumber mosaic virus, scab, downy, and powdery mildew.
Fancipak cucumbers are best for pickling.
On average, Fancipak cucumbers measure 4 to 6 inches long and take 50 to 60 days to mature. The plants grow well under full sun and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor planting.
This variety is highly resistant to many diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus, Alternaria leaf spot, downy mildew, Anthracnose fungus, and powdery mildew.
15. Green Dragon
They measure 10 to 11 inches long with a diameter of 1.5 inches. These cucumbers have sweet, crunchy flesh. You won’t experience any bitter taste coming from their flesh.
This variety is a versatile species that can grow indoors, outdoors, in greenhouses, and containers. The plants have both male and female flowers. So, Green Dragon cucumbers don’t need any help from pollinators. It takes 55 to 60 days for these cucumbers to mature.
Most importantly, they are resistant to many diseases such as scabs, cucumber mosaic virus, downy and powdery mildew.
Although they are relatively small with a length between 5.5 and 6.5 inches long, their best use wouldn’t be as pickling but as slicing cucumbers. In fact, they can taste bitter when you keep them as pickles. However, these slicing cucumbers do make tasty snacks and are best served fresh.
Katrina cucumbers prefer slightly acidic and well-drained soil. Since they don’t require any male plants to pollinate, the plants can yield numerous high-quality fruits.
The fruits are seedless and take 48 days to mature. This variety is also resistant to scabs, cucumber mosaic virus, and other common cucumber diseases.
17. Mini Munch
These small cucumbers are best for both slicing and pickling.
You can start sowing their seeds indoors before transplanting them into containers or outside soon after they produce at least three leaves. This variety also doesn’t branch as much as other cultivars. Hence, they are easy to grow on a trellis.
Mini Munch cucumbers are immune to powdery mildew. However, you should always watch for pest attacks such as spotted or striped cucumber beetles that can destroy your plants.
Longfellow cucumbers were named after the American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. These long cucumbers were developed in 1927 by Jerome B. Rice Seed Company of Cambridge in New York.
These cucumbers measure 8 to 12 inches long with a diameter of 2 inches. The fruits take between 62 to 80 days, which is much longer than other varieties. However, waiting for these cucumbers to mature is easy because they are hardy and resistant to many diseases.
The only pest that you should watch for when growing Longfellow cucumbers are striped cucumber beetles.
Persian cucumbers are native to Iran. People usually mistook these small cucumbers for English cucumbers. However, when you compare the sizes of these two varieties, English cucumbers are much bigger than Persians.
These cucumbers also bear small and soft seeds that always go unnoticed when you eat them.
But the best part about growing Persian cucumbers is that they are suitable both for pickling and slicing. This variety has a mild and sweet taste without any hint of bitterness.
Spacemaster cucumbers were bred and created by Dr. Munger of Cornell University.
On average, Spacemaster cucumbers can grow up to 8 inches long and take 60 days to mature.
This variety is a flexible cultivar that can grow indoors, outdoors, and even in small containers. Since their vines grow as thick and compact bushes, they don’t take large space to grow. Hence, if you are looking to grow multiple cucumber varieties in your garden, pick Spacemaster as one of them.
Spacemaster cucumbers are also resistant to scab and cucumber mosaic virus. They grow well under full sun and in well-drained soil.
21. Sweet Success
Sweet Success cucumbers are a large-sized variety that can grow up to 14 inches long and 2.5 inches wide.
They are also seedless and bitter-free. So, they make great slicing cucumbers.
To grow Sweet Success cucumbers, you need to provide 12 to 18 inches of space per plant. This variety also performs well under full sun and in slightly acidic, well-drained soil. The fruits are ready for harvest after 55 days.
22. Straight Eight
In 1935, they were chosen as the best variety for All-American Selection (AAS). These large cucumbers can grow up to 8 inches long and are ready for harvest in 60 days. Being a dual-purpose, you can grow Straight Eight cucumbers both for slicing and pickling.
You can grow this variety both indoors and outdoors. However, make sure they receive full sun and grow in well-drained soil.
As the vines grow, they will start to branch and sprawl all over the place. So, be sure to build strong structures or trellis when you plant them outside. They also pollinate with the help of bees.
Straight Eight cucumbers are easy to maintain. As always, you should watch for pest attacks such as cucumber beetles and stem worms.
23. Sugar Crunch
Their sweet and crunchy content makes them best for both pickling and slicing. These cucumbers grow 4 to 5 inches long and mature in 57 days.
The plants can grow up to 8 inches tall and spread 36 inches wide. As they only produce female flowers, you can expect this variety to be high-yield plants that can produce up to 70 fruits per plant.
They also prefer full sun and are highly resistant to diseases such as cucumber mosaic virus, downy and powdery mildews.
They have delicious and crunchy flesh, which makes them better suited for use as slicing cucumbers. The fruits are bitter-free and take 58 days to mature.
Tanja cucumbers can grow up to 14 inches long. You can either plant them indoors or in greenhouses or sow the seeds directly into the ground.
However, indoor planting requires you to transplant the growing plants into bigger containers or pots, especially when they start to produce leaves and become taller.
They produce sweet and bitter-free flesh that is suitable both for pickling and slicing. On average, these cucumbers measure 6 to 8 inches with a diameter of 1.5 inches.
When planting Tendergreen, the best spot for them to grow is outdoors and in the ground. However, you can also plant them in garden containers.
This variety is a climber that loves full sun. They are also resistant to downy mildew and deer attacks. It takes between 55 to 65 days for the fruits to mature.
No matter which variety you pick, you should always know how to spot and differentiate between pickling cucumbers and slicing cultivars. This is because slicing cucumbers are usually grown for their fresh taste, while pickling cucumbers can withstand long preservation during the pickling process.
But the easiest way to spot between these two types is by looking at their size. Pickling cucumbers are much smaller than slicing varieties. But if you choose to grow dual-purpose cucumbers, then you could get the best of both worlds.
So, keep this list in handy and use it as your source of reference!