Cucumbers are a great addition to any garden, and why shouldn’t they be. This delicious vegetable complements well with various dishes and is a perfect inclusion in salads. You can eat them fresh or pickle and store them for consumption later. However, there exist many types of cucumbers. So, choosing the one to plant in your garden or shop from the grocery store can be tricky. Today we will solve this issue of yours. We’ll take you through the different types of cucumbers.
We will provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision regarding what to plant next.
How Do Cucumbers Vary?
Different types of cucumbers have varying characteristics. You can differentiate between cucumbers based on the ones you can eat fresh and pickled. The ones you can eat fresh are slicing cucumbers, and those you can pickle have hard and scaly skin. Another classification exists based on whether they grow on bushes or vines.
Some types of cucumbers are long and thin, while the others are short and round, depending upon the cultivar. They also vary according to their growing nature. Cucumbers that grow on bushes are well suited for indoor gardens and containers because they take less space. Contrary, cucumbers that raise on vines are a good choice for outdoor gardens with more space.
Types of Cucumbers
Now that you know about variations in cucumber varieties, let’s go over 12 different types of cucumbers in detail.
1-) Armenian Cucumbers
Are you looking to grow slicing cucumbers and have an outdoor space? Then Armenian cucumbers are a good choice for you. Also known as Snake Cucumber due to their curved shape, they grow on vines. They have a delicious taste when consumed fresh. We commonly eat them in leaf salads or sandwiches, but you can also pickle or grill them. The color of these cucumbers turns from dark to light green as they progress through their growth stage.
The skin of Armenian cucumbers has inward dents in the shape of stripes that take a pale green color. Their shape is long and thin and reaches a length of around 12” when ripe for consumption. This cucumber grows on the ground, but being a climbing variety, you can also trail them. Trailing the plant makes it easier to pick the cucumbers when ready.
2-) Japanese Cucumbers
Also known as the Kyuri cucumbers, the Japanese variety is next in our types of cucumbers list. These climbing plants yield long and thin cucumbers. The slicing cucumbers have a dark green color, and unlike other slicing cucumbers, they get hard and bumpy skin. Japanese cucumbers have very few seeds in them, making them exceptionally sweet.
The size of Japanese cucumbers does not affect their sweetness. As they grow very long in size, reaching around 2 feet of length, they retain the same level of sweetness. Use this delicious taste in fresh salads or sandwiches and pickles.
3-) Iznik Cucumbers
Iznik comes third in our types of cucumbers list. They grow on vines and are a good choice if your garden needs a climbing variety. Moreover, they are a perfect fit for an indoor garden and patio containers.
Unlike others, they have short lengths and thin skin. They do not feature any seed and have a crunchy feel when you bite them. Due to their small size, they only reach around 4” in length.
4-) Northern Pickling Cucumbers
Northern Pickling is a vine cucumber taking the fourth spot in our types of cucumbers list. As the name suggests, they are the best fit for pickling. They do not take as much space as other vine cucumbers and are more compact. It means they do not need a huge outdoor space to grow. You can even plant them indoor or trail them up short trellises.
Northern Pickling cucumbers boast an uneven skin having a yellowish-green color to it, complemented by yellow veins. Even after pickling, they retain their crispy feel thanks to the firm skin and flesh. Nevertheless, you can peel them and eat them fresh, as well.
These cucumbers are well suited for planting if you live in a cooler climate with a short growing season. Harvesting the Northern Pickling is easy since the plant has only small leaves, not causing any interruption.
5-) Tyria Cucumbers
Next in our types of cucumbers list is Tyria, slicers known for their sweet taste. These long and thin-shaped cucumbers are seedless. They have a dark green color and a light rib-like pattern running down the length.
Tyria cucumbers grow on vines and achieve a length of around 14” when mature. The first reason why you’d want to plant these cucumbers is they are easy to grow. Besides, a single plant yields many fruits. You can grow them in a greenhouse or trail them up trellises.
6-) Korean Cucumbers
Originated from Asia, these are famous types of cucumbers. This slicing cucumber has a sweet taste and a crispy feel to it. They are versatile – you can eat them fresh or pickle them for consumption later. People primarily use them in salads due to their sweet taste. But, you can also eat them raw with skin on. Moreover, they hold their taste and crispiness even after pickled. Their hard and uneven skin suits pickling liquid, as well.
7-) English Cucumbers
English cucumbers are on the seventh spot of our types of cucumbers list. These slicing cucumbers have a sweet taste. They boast a long and thin shape and a dark green & shiny color. Their flesh is crispy and has tiny seeds that add to its sweetness.
English cucumbers can be very long, reaching a length of up to 2 feet. The skin of these has inward ridges running the length of the vegetable. You can use them in many ways; adding them to sandwiches, eating them raw, making cucumber waters using their slices, and including them in salads. English cucumbers need space to grow; hence, they best suit greenhouses and outdoor gardens for growth.
😎 Persian Cucumbers
Unlike English cucumbers, these are small and have smooth skin, as they are burpless. These slicing cucumbers have very few seeds and are a good choice if you want to eat them fresh. The lack of seeds and uneven skin means they do not taste bitter.
Persian cucumbers are famous for eating fresh due to their sweet taste. Their flesh is crispy, which makes it an excellent fit for use in salads. They also hold exceptionally well in pickling if you want to preserve and eat them later.
9-) American Cucumbers
Next in our types of cucumbers list are American cucumbers. Widely known as Garden Cucumbers, you can find them in Northern America. They are short and plump cucumbers with even and very thick skin. They are full of big seeds, meaning you have to bear a bitter taste. A tip for consumption: peel them first and remove all the seeds to avoid excessive bitterness. The sliced garden cucumber is an excellent choice for salads and presenting as a side dish.
Gherkins have an odd appearance compared to other cucumbers we have discussed so far. These types of cucumbers have a round shape with a pattern on the skin. They grow on a vine and only reach a length of 1.5”. However, the size does not restrict its taste. Gherkins have a strong sour taste. The term gherkin refers to any small cucumber, and its usual use is in pickles.
11-) Mexican Sour Gherkins
Like gherkins, these are also very small. Botanically known as Melothria Scabra, Mexican Sour Gherkins are popular types of cucumbers. They have a close resemblance to watermelons, but taste like cucumbers. Unlike gherkins, they have smooth skin. They grow on vines and are an ideal choice to eat fresh. You can try something new such as adding them instead of tomatoes in salsa. You can also simply slice and add them to salads. They are also an amazing fit for pickling as they hold very well.
12-) Kirby Cucumbers
Kirby comes at last in our types of cucumbers list. The primary use of these is in pickles. Their thick and uneven skin makes them ideal for pickles, as it helps hold the crunchiness in liquid. These cucumbers also possess a firm flesh that helps to keep the crispiness in pickling vinegar.
You don’t need any mush to enjoy the crunchiness of pickled Kirby cucumbers. You also get relief from cutting these before pickling, as they fit into any container due to their small size.
Cucumber is a go-to vegetable for your garden. However, the availability of different types of cucumbers can be confusing at times. Each variety has its own uses, so the cucumber you want to plant should depend on how you like to consume them. When you plant, make sure you take good care of them. If you see any sign of weakness, take immediate actions.
Do not forget to check our guide on how to avoid your cucumber leaves from turning yellow.