Cucumber is a plant that is grown widely throughout the world. It belongs to Cucurbitaceous, the gourd family. It is a creeping plant that has cylindrical fruits that are basically used as vegetables. The point of origin for cucumber was South Asia. Cucumber is best known for being cool from the inside. The approximate temperature is 20 degrees less than the surrounding air. They are fresh and light from the inside. The outer texture is thick and crunchy. They work excellently as an addition to salads.
Why and How to Choose Cucumber?
Cucumbers can be broadly classified into two types. Different kinds of cucumbers are slicing, pickling. Slicing cucumbers are generally eaten fresh and the other use is for pickles. Under these two different cucumber types, you will find different varieties or cultivars.Different kinds of cucumbers vary in their structure some may be spiny or smooth. They also vary with respect to the number of seeds. Different kinds of cucumbers can be bushy or more Vining. Cucumber grows well in well-draining, fertile soil.
When you are looking for cucumber varieties there are certain words that will keep on coming. The terms are gynecoecous and parthenocarpic. Parthenocarpic cucumbers do not require pollination and the best choice for growing cucumbers in greenhouses. Greenhouse cucumbers are generally grown at lower temperatures. This is mostly grown where pollinator populations are low. Gynecoecous cucumbers give rise to mostly fruiting female flowers. This leads to increase in the yields.
1. Slicing Cucumbers
Slicing cucumbers are straight and long. They are for fresh eating. They are with non-bitter and thin skins and development of seeds is slow. Burpless cucumbers come under slicing cucumbers. They are grown in order to reduce the bitter chemical that can upset stomach. We eat them in the green form as they are unripe in this form. The ripe yellow form is sour and bitter. The fruit is longer around 7-8 inches. Sometimes, they are also called as American slicing cucumber. They have tapering ends and dark-green skin.
2. Pickling Cucumbers
Pickling Cucumbers are also known as Picklers. They are a little squatter, smaller and stouter than the slicing cucumber. There ideal length is 3-4 inches. They often have gradations of dark green to light green at the bottom. Comparatively, they have more spines and they have much drier flesh. So, this allows them to pick up more juice for pickles. There are various varieties of pickling cucumber. Out of all the varieties, the best known is gherkin. Their harvest time is short that is 7-10 days. Cucumbers are generally pickled for flavor and it also increases shelf life.
Pickling cucumbers are fresh in the form of Kirby and liberty. These are the varieties of pickling cucumber. Cucumber turns into a pickle with the use of brine and vinegar with spices.
3. Armenian Cucumbers
Armenian cucumbers are also known as snake melon or snake cucumber. These are extra-long, twisted cucumbers with thin skin. When it ripens fruit turns yellow. It has a mild flavor. They are crunchy and are delicious and they can be simply eaten raw. The seeds are very soft. They are not good for pickling purposes.
4. Hothouse or English Cucumbers
These varieties originated in Europe, they are also known as European or English cucumbers. They are generally smooth-skinned, thin and 1 to 2 feet in length. They are seedless. As the content of seeds is minimal, it is easier to digest. They are also known as a burpless cucumber. They are expensive because they are grown in hothouses. They are without spines most of the time. They are most of the time sold wrapped in plastic at shops and supermarkets
5. Kyuri or Japanese cucumbers
Japanese cucumbers are also said to be burpless variety. They are slim, dark green, and slender, with thin skin and tiny seeds. You can eat both the small seeds and the skin. The texture is crisp and is delightful.
6. Kirby Cucumbers
These are mainly pickling cucumbers. But they are also sold fresh. Kirby cucumbers are in the unwaxed state. They have crisp flesh, thin skin, and tiny seeds.
7. Lemon Cucumbers
They are mostly about the size of a lemon. They have lemon colored skin when it matures it becomes golden yellow. It is sweet to taste. This cucumber has a very sweet flavor, delicate, and crisp texture.
8. Persian (Sfran) Cucumbers
They are akin to slicing cucumbers but a bit squatter, shorter and more compact. These cucumbers are watery, crunchy and juicy. Persian cucumbers are sturdy enough to withstand heat and are wonderful tossed into a stir-fry.
Other Varieties of Cucumbers
- Ashley’belongs to heirloom slicing cucumber. The harvest time is 65 days. It is a great heirloom slicing cucumber which has light green skin and is thin comparatively. It is also great for salads, juices, slicing. They are 23 cm in length.
- Marketmore 76’ has a harvest time of 58 days. It is open pollinated. It is resistant to downy mildew, cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew, and scab. It produces straight 20-23cm green fruits.
- ‘Muncher’ cucumber harvest time is 60 days. It is a Persian style slicing cucumber with thin-skin. It does not need peeling and forms late seeds. The average length of the fruit is 10-15 cm.
- ‘Tendergreen’ cucumber harvest time is 55 days. It is a variety of bush bean. It grew entire summer and has the best performance in this field. It is adaptable to multiple zones and Disease resistant. It has a delicious flavor. The pods are stringless.
- Green Fingers’ Persian cucumber is an F1 Hybrid. The harvest time is 60 days. It produces delicious Persian slicing cucumbers. These cucumbers do not need peeling. They have small seeds. The fruits are sweet and are never bitter. It produces a good yield in microclimates. The growth starts in the early season and continues all summer long.
- Chelsea Prize’ cucumber is also an F1 hybrid. It is scab resistant. It is a classic slicing cucumber (English). It is not bitter, Thin-skinned, and sweet. It belongs to a burpless category. The fruit of these plants have few seeds. They harvest at the length of 30-38cm. These are Parthenocarpic plants (self-pollinating). These are suitable for a greenhouse or outdoor production.
- Chinese Snake’ cucumber harvest time is 75 days. It produces curved and long fruits. The average length of the fruit is 38-46 cm long. They belong to the category of burpless cucumber. These are never bitter.
- ‘Homemade Pickles’ Pickling Cucumbers harvest time of these is 55 days. It comes under excellent pickling cucumber which is grown for uniform shape and size. It is a Vigorous plant. It is a disease-resistant plant. The average length of the fruit is 13-15 cm and 4 cm for baby sweet pickles. For dill pickles or spears the length is 13-15 cm.
- ‘National Pickling’comes under Heirloom cucumbers. The harvest time is 55 days. It is resistant to scab and is also tolerant of cucumber mosaic virus. It produces high yielding straight, green pickling cucumber.
- ‘Wautoma’ is an heirloom cucumber. The harvest time is 60 days. It is openly pollinated and it is resistant to angular leaf blight, anthracnose, cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew, downy mildew, and scab. The average length of this cucumber is 10 – 13 cm. The vines are vigorous and 1-1.5 m. It is a bitter burpless cucumber that is resistant to various diseases. It is among the best quality cucumbers.
- ‘Spacemaster’ is an heirloom slicing cucumber. It has compact vines which are ideal for growing in a container.
- Bush Slicer these are F1 Hybrid cucumbers. They are mostly Resistant to powdery mildew, scab and cucumber mosaic virus. It produces sweet, crisp cucumbers with thin skins. The average length is 15-20 cm. They also have small seed cavities. These are the best compact vines for growing in the containers.
These were some of the varieties of cucumber. If you want to know something more feel free to ask we also have a post with information regarding different types of strawberries, please read if this interests you. Do comment and share.