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Cucumber Varieties

Sliced cucumber in a glass bowl.

Cucumbers are a beautifully refreshing vegetable that may be used in salads, gazpachos, or just eaten raw. The plants are warm-weather and may thrive in hot climates as well.

They are ready to harvest in around 60 days, making them excellent for cultivation even in areas where hot weather only occurs for a few months per year.

These plants are simple to grow and provide a lot of enjoyment. Cucumbers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they may be divided into three categories: slicing cucumbers, pickled cucumbers, and specialty cucumbers. Here are several common cucumber types, along with information on how to recognize, raise, and enjoy them.

Armenian

Armenian cucumber, close up shot.

The Armenian cucumber has earned the nicknames snakemelon and snake cucumber due to its long, twisted form. An Armenian cucumber’s thin skin is either a uniform light green color or has deep green and light yellow pinstripes.

Keep the skin intact and consume it by itself, or add it to salads or dips.  They’re great when cut and eaten raw since they’re so crispy.

The seeds of these cucumbers are exceptionally tender, and the skin is very thin. They don’t need to be seeded or peeled before eating. They are not suitable for pickling due to their softer texture, which causes them to turn to mush.

Cucumbers from Armenia are commonly eaten raw in salads with green leaves, pasta salads, and chopped salads. They have a subtle taste that makes them a great textural addition to sandwiches and sushi.

They may be chopped, julienned, and cut lengthwise, widthwise, and diced. Cucumbers from Armenia can be puréed, grilled, or pickled. White and red fish, shellfish, chiles, tomatoes, mint, yoghurt, oregano, cumin, garlic, pig, chicken, and fresh cheeses like chevre and feta are all complementary components.

Armenian cucumbers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. It should be covered in plastic and kept in the refrigerator once it has been sliced.

European/English/Hothouse

European cucumber on a piece of cloth.

Because English cucumbers are often cultivated in a greenhouse, they are more expensive to purchase. Wait until they’re approximately 12-24 inches long if you’re growing your own.

In supermarkets, English cucumbers are usually wrapped in plastic. It has pinched ends and vivid green color.

Because you don’t have to scrape on the centers, this seedless cucumber is ideal for canapés and chopped salads. One of the most delightful ways to consume this variety of cucumber is in a minty watermelon and cucumber salad.

When buying cucumbers, firmness is the best indicator of freshness. Avoid ones that are limp or withered. Watch out for fruits that appear to be little in comparison to their size. Because they’re younger, they’re more likely to contain underdeveloped or fewer seeds.

The European cucumber is packaged in plastic wrap, which may seem weird, but it is required because of its thin skin. Pick a cucumber that is solid to the touch throughout its full length when you’re in the shop.

With the wrap intact, keep it in the produce section of your refrigerator. It will keep in the refrigerator for approximately a week if wrapped with plastic wrap.

American Slicing

American Slicing cucumbers are best picked when you observe that the cukes are deep green and around 8-10 inches long. Straight cucumbers with deep green flesh and a pale yellow spot towards the top are found in most supermarket stores.

As virtually all grocery store cucumbers are covered in a coating of wax to avoid bruising and moisture loss, make sure you scrape or peel them thoroughly before eating.

This variety is less expensive at the store, making it a suitable choice for recipes that call for peeled cucumbers, such as salmon with cucumber and lime sauce, or cucumbers in a large quantity, such as Pennsylvania Dutch cucumbers.

This typical American slicing cucumber has a crisp, refreshing flavor that you’ll appreciate. Americana Hybrid produces dark green and rich fruits with non-bitter skins and sweet, juicy flesh that are ideal for salads, wraps, relishes, and other applications.

Try making a refreshing tzatziki sauce or ‘raita’ using sliced cucumbers, yogurt, and spices, and then sprinkle it over kebabs or falafel for a more exotic flavor. Cucumbers abound on disease-resistant vines that yield a bumper crop throughout the summer. Cucumbers are a great “beginning” garden plant since they are quick and easy to cultivate. It takes 60 days to reach full maturity.

Kirby

Kirby cucumbers, close up shot.

Before being picked, this short variety only requires a 3-6 inch growth. Kirbys have a rough skin that is generally a combination of yellow and green blotches and are tiny and hefty. As they have such a crunchy texture, pickling Kirby cucumbers is a no-brainer.

They are, however, also delicious in salads or sliced up for salsa. Although there are different pickling cucumber types that don’t always fit into this category, the term “Kirby cucumber” has become associated with pickling cucumbers. As these cucumbers don’t have a waxy covering, they’re perfect for pickling.

For those who prefer not to eat cucumbers with too many seeds, this variety has an immature seed hole in the center of the vegetable, resulting in very few seeds. On average, these cucumbers are slightly less juicy than traditional cucumbers.

Lemon

It’s ideal to pluck this cucumber when it’s approximately the size of a golf ball or a fist.These cucumbers are shaped like a lemon and have thin, marbled yellow skin, as the name indicates.

Lemon cucumbers are suitable for eating raw or sliced for making a salad because of their light, mild flavor and crisp texture. These cucumbers may also be hollowed out and used as iced teacups or a tiny dish for salsa or gazpacho.

Lemon cucumbers, despite their name, have no citrus flavor. They taste just like the green, oblong cucumbers you’re used to seeing and consuming (albeit they’re sometimes regarded a touch less bitter).

Lemon cucumbers are simple to cultivate. Lemon cucumber plants, like most other cucumber cultivars, require full sunshine and a rich, well-drained soil. Lemon cucumber crops get off to a terrific start with some well-rotted manure or compost.

Gherkins

These little cucumbers are set to be picked after only 2-3 inches of growth. Gherkins are stubby and short, having rough skin that has a pale green color.

Gherkins can be consumed raw, although they’re more typically pickled and presented on a relish tray or as a garnish for a Bloody Mary.

A gherkin isn’t just a pickled cucumber you can purchase at the grocery. It’s a little cucumber kind that’s grown specifically for pickling, or converting into a gherkin. An ordinary cucumber can be pickled, but it will not taste like a gherkin.

Gherkins can be eaten raw. Although they can taste bitter, they can also be cooked if desired. For pickling, salt the cucumbers overnight, clean them, and put them into a sterile jar with spiced vinegar.

Gherkins are beneficial to your health. Not only are gherkins a terrific way to get minerals and vitamins into your diet, but they are rather low in fat as well.

Persian Cucumbers

Persian cucumbers on a wooden table.

Persian cucumbers resemble English cucumbers in appearance. They’re so identical that they’re almost indistinguishable from fresh English cucumbers that haven’t been covered in plastic.

Persians, on the other hand, come in a broader variety of lengths—some longer, some shorter, and occasionally with somewhat rough skin similar to a Kirby.

Persian cucumbers have thin skins and a mild taste. This makes them ideal for dips or salads. They’re also crisp and hard enough to withstand some cooking—try adding these cucumbers in a stir-fry!

Persian cucumbers are a kind of cucumber that originated in Persia (or present-day Iran). They are smaller than many other types, measuring about 4 to 6 inches long, and appreciated for their thin layer of skin and lack of seeds, which make them much easier to consume without the need for peeling or pips removal. They’re known as a ‘burpless’ cucumber since they’re easily digestible and don’t cause you to burp like other cucumbers.

Tips For Growing Cucumbers

Following a few important guidelines when growing cucumbers might be the difference between faltering plants and a bumper crop.

A large crop means lots of cucumbers for fresh eating, salads, pickling, and more if you enjoy cucumbers. Here are 7 crucial pointers to help you harvest your finest crop yet:

1. Plant For Early Morning Sunshine

To generate a large harvest, cucumbers require a lot of sunshine. To develop robust, durable, and fruitful vines, cucumbers rely largely on photosynthesis. A process that revolves totally around the sun.

Place your plants in a location that receives at least eight hours of sunshine every day. Make sure your crop receives early morning sunshine if at all possible.

2. Excellent Soil Equals Excellent Cucumbers

Cucumbers, whether cultivated in the ground or inside containers, require deep, healthy soil to thrive. Furthermore, the soil must be light and fresh to allow for proper drainage.

When planting, fill each planting hole with six to eight cups (a couple of shovels) of compost. Compost provides essential nutrients that cucumber plants may readily absorb. But it does more than that; it loosens the soil and improves drainage.

3. Plant In Mounds

Place your crop in slightly tapered slopes when planting directly in the soil. Make sure the main stem is placed above the nearby soil in containers.

Cucumber plants are extremely prone to rot. However, some “raised planting” keeps the primary plant stem clear of standing water during torrential rainfall or irrigation.

4. Direct Seeding vs. Transplants

While cucumbers may be grown from seed, we like to start our seeds young and transfer them. A transplant’s increased growth and vigor provides the plant a greater chance of avoiding and combating cucumber beetle assaults.

Plant two transplants for each cucumber mound when planting. Plant three seeds and thin to the two sturdiest after a few weeks if seeding. They interweave for increased strength by sprouting numerous vines per mound.

5. Be Wary of What You Plant in Proximity

What you grow near your cucumbers will have a big impact on how productive they are. Planting cucumbers near potatoes is definitely something to avoid.

Cucumbers are severely hampered by a chemical released by potatoes in the soil. Planting them in proximity to your cucumber crop can be disastrous.

However, some crops, such as radishes, are extremely helpful. Radishes, when planted close or with cucumbers, serve to repel insects that attack fragile cucumber plants, such as cucumber beetles and aphids.

6. Crop Rotation

Cucumbers, similar to tomatoes and peppers, are susceptible to soil-borne illness if grown in the same location year after year.

Each season, move your plant to a different spot in the garden. This enables the soil to heal, lowers illness, and eliminates the risk of long-term infestation.

Wait at least 3 years before planting cucumbers in the same spot for the greatest results.

7. Harvest on a Regular Basis

Cucumber plants that have begun to develop and yield must be plucked on regular intervals so they continue to produce.

When plants are overburdened with fruit, they will devote their energy on enlarging the existing fruit rather than creating new flowers.

Final Thoughts

Cucumbers used to be limited to the finest farmer’s markets, but now they’re more common than ever at grocery stores, co-ops, and garden patches. Cucumbers are native to South Asia, but they now thrive on almost every continent, thanks to the worldwide demand for cucumbers.