Cucumber Varieties - What's the Difference?

There are several cucumber varieties available to the backyard vegetable gardener. Some are tried and true standards, others are more exotic. Cucumbers can be divided into 4 categories:

  • Slicing
  • Pickling
  • Burpless
  • Specialty

Here is a partial list of some of the more common varieties from each category, along with fruit descriptions and use recommendations.

SLICING CUCUMBERS - just as the name suggests, good by themselves, in salads or in most cucumber recipes

Long Green Cucumbers

Bush Champion - bright green fruit 9-12 inches long, compact plant good for containers, long production season
Bush Crop - crisp and tender medium green fruit reach 6-9 inches long, bushy hybrid plant, high production
Dasher II - produces slender, dark green fruit 8-9 inches long, known for crisp texture and good flavor, disease resistant hybrid variety
Fanfare - early producer of smooth green fruit 8-10 inches long, compact plant, long harvest season, disease resistant
Marketmore - this cucumber variety produces 8-9 inch, slender, dark green fruit with a white spine, disease resistant
Pot Luck - good for containers, dark green fruit 7-8 inches long with white spines, very productive
Salad Bush - compact hybrid plant good for containers, very disease resistant, this variety produces smooth, dark green fruits around 8 inches long
Slice Master - hybrid variety, 8-9 inch dark green fruit, early producer, disease reistant
Spacemaster - smooth, dark green fruit 7-9 inches long, compact plant
Straight Eight - great taste, deep green fruit 6-10 inches long, small seed cavity, prolific producer, heirloom variety
Sweet Success - very disease resistant, crisp, sweet flavor, thin skinned green fruits reach 12-15 inches long, best when grown vertically

Harvested Cucumbers

PICKLING CUCUMBERS - best varieties for pickling because they are mild tasting and very firm and crisp

County Fair - early producer hybrid, nearly seedless, 3 inches long, very vigorous cucumber variety, disease resistant
National Pickling - dark green fat fruit that reaches 5-7 inches long with black spines, prolific producer over long season
Pickle Bush - very crisp, tasty, dark green fruit reaching 5 inches long, classic whole pickle shape, very productive hybrid, good for containers
Regal - disease resistant, long slim fruit reaching 7 inches, this variety produces high yields over a long season
Saladin - can be pickled or eaten fresh, curved green fruit reaches 5 inches, small seeds, good all-purpose hybrid variety

BURPLESS CUCUMBERS - easiest varieties to digest and very mild taste, rarely get bitter

Burpless Hybrid - disease resistant, crisp and mild flesh can be pickled or sliced, straight bright green fruit reach 12 inches long, high production
Orient Express - very crisp and crunchy with tender skin, this hybrid cucumber variety produces slim, dark green fruits reaching 15 inches long
Sweet Slice - disease resistant, very sweet and crisp, tender skinned fruit 10-12 inches long that cylindrical in shape

SPECIALTY CUCUMBERS - these varieties are unique in shape, color and taste, a unique addition to any garden

Cucumber Lemon - this cucumber variety produces a round, light yellow fruit that is very tender and sweet, good for slicing or pickling
Suyo Long - Asian variety that produces large fruit reaching 16-18 inches, long, vigorous vines
Japanese Cucumber - this heirloom variety reaches 18 inches long, deep green color, small seeds
Armenian - very unusual variety is best grown vertically, produces greenish-yellow fruit reaching 36 inches long, also known as snake melons

Mature Cucumber Plant

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Click here for help with cucumber plant problems

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Click here for some of our favorite cucumber recipes

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