Types of cucumbers you need to know


When it comes to gardening, cucumbers are a popular choice among home gardeners. With their refreshing taste and versatility, cucumbers make a great addition to salads and other dishes. But did you know that there are many different varieties of cucumbers to choose from?

One popular variety is the standard cucumber, which grows on vines and is often used for slicing. These cucumbers are typically long and firm, with a slight bitterness to their taste. Another type is the burpless cucumber, which, as the name suggests, is less likely to cause burping. These cucumbers have a milder taste and are often recommended for those who prefer a milder flavor.

If you prefer a more traditional taste, you can try the Russian cucumber, also known as the Russian gherkin. These cucumbers are shorter and have a bumpy skin, similar to a pickling cucumber. They have a delicious, slightly sweet taste and are perfect for making pickled cucumbers or adding to salads.

In addition to these varieties, there are also specialty cucumbers, such as lemon cucumbers and apple cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers are small and round, with a bright yellow color and a shape similar to a lemon. These cucumbers have a mild, tangy flavor and are often eaten raw. Apple cucumbers, on the other hand, have a unique apple-like shape and taste. They are crisp, firm, and have a slightly sweet taste.

When it comes to growing cucumbers, it’s important to take care of the plants and provide proper management. Cucumbers are part of the Cucurbitaceae family and like warm weather. They grow best in well-draining soil and require plenty of sunlight. To prevent diseases and pests, it’s recommended to use plastic mulch to keep the soil warm and free of weeds. You can also hand-pollinate the flowers or set up honey bee hives to encourage pollination.

Cucumber Varieties

When it comes to cucumber varieties, there are several options available to choose from. Typically, cucumbers are easy to grow and thrive in warm conditions. Planting cucumbers in your garden can be a rewarding experience, as they produce an abundance of delicious fruit.

There are many different types of cucumbers, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, gherkin cucumbers are small in size and are often pickled. Slicing cucumbers, on the other hand, are larger and are commonly used in salads and sandwiches.

Cucumbers belong to the cucurbit family, along with melons, squash, and pumpkins. They can be susceptible to various diseases, such as wilt and powdery mildew. It is important to take proper care of your cucumber plants to prevent these diseases and ensure a healthy and productive crop.

Russian varieties of cucumbers, like the Russian bush or the Russian egg, are also popular choices for gardening. They are known for their mild taste and are often left to mature slightly longer before harvesting.

When it comes to eating cucumbers, you may wonder about the added bitterness in the skins. The bitterness in cucumber skins can be reduced by peeling them or by removing the ends where most of the bitterness is concentrated.

When growing cucumbers, it is important to know that they are not self-pollinating. This means that you need at least one male cucumber plant in your garden to ensure proper pollination and fruit production.

Cucumbers are typically harvested in late summer or early fall before the first frost. They can be harvested by gently twisting the fruit off the vine or by using a pair of pruners or shears.

Insects like the cucumber beetle and diseases like anthracnose can affect cucumber plants. It is important to monitor your plants regularly and take appropriate measures to control and prevent any infestations or diseases.

Traditional and Asian cucumber varieties, such as the heirloom Armenian cucumber, are also commonly grown. These cucumbers have a unique shape and texture and are often enjoyed as a refreshing snack or added to salads.

If you find that your cucumbers have a bitter taste, it could be due to poor growing conditions or poorly-shaped fruit. Make sure to provide your cucumber plants with adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients to help them thrive.

In conclusion, there are many different cucumber varieties to choose from, each with its own characteristics and uses. Whether you prefer slicing cucumbers for salads or pickling gherkins, cucumbers are a versatile and delicious addition to your garden and your table.

If you have any more questions about cucumber varieties, you can refer to our FAQs section for more information.

Remember to store your cucumbers properly to ensure freshness and longevity. Cucumbers should be stored in a cool, dry place and eaten within a few days of harvest for the best flavor.

So, if you’re looking for a refreshing and nutritious addition to your garden, consider growing some delicious cucumbers. They are relatively easy to grow and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

In summary, cucumbers come in many varieties and can be harvested throughout the growing season. From smaller gherkin cucumbers to larger slicing cucumbers, there’s a cucumber to suit everyone’s taste.


Cucumbers are a popular cucurbit vegetable that are commonly used for pickling, salads, or eaten fresh. They come in various sizes, with the most common size being about 8 inches long. Cucumbers can be found in different varieties, but some varieties may have poorly-shaped fruit or a bitter taste.

When planting cucumbers, it is important to consider cross-pollination. If you are growing multiple varieties, you should not plant them too close to each other as they may cross-pollinate. If cross-pollination does occur, the resulting cucumbers may not appear as expected. To avoid this, it is best to plant different varieties in separate rows.

Sea cucumbers are a type of cucumber that is often used for making pickles. They have a thicker flesh and are typically left to ripen longer on the vine before they are harvested. This results in a more mature cucumber with a gherkin or Kirby-like shape.

When selecting cucumbers for pickling or eating fresh, it is best to choose smaller cucumbers. Smaller cucumbers are likely to have a crisper texture and a milder flavor. Immature cucumbers may have a bitter taste and a thicker skin.

If you are new to gardening and growing cucumbers, we recommend starting with traditional cucumber varieties that have been well-established and are easier to manage. These varieties are less likely to be affected by common cucumber pests such as cucumber beetles or fungal diseases like powdery mildew.

To help control pests and diseases, it is important to apply proper gardening practices such as regular watering, mulching with hay or straw, and removing any brown or wilted leaves. Additionally, introducing beneficial insects like lady beetles can help control pest populations.

In summary, cucumbers come in different sizes and varieties. When selecting cucumbers for pickling or eating fresh, choose smaller cucumbers with a green color. Avoid cucumbers that are poorly-shaped or have a bitter taste. Proper gardening management is essential for successful cucumber growing, and selecting traditional varieties is recommended for beginners.


Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, are a popular home garden crop. They come in various sizes and shapes, from small ones like gherkin and dragon’s egg cucumbers to larger ones like slicing cucumbers or cantaloupe-sized cucumbers. Cucumbers are known for their juicy and refreshing taste. They have a high water content and are often enjoyed raw.

When selecting cucumber varieties, it is important to consider their characteristics. Some cucumber varieties are more resistant to diseases, such as powdery mildew and bacterial wilt, while others may be more prone to these issues. Cucumber varieties with bumps on their skins, like the Crystal Apple variety, are often more resistant to common cucumber pests, like cucumber beetles, than varieties with smooth skins.

Cucumbers can be grown in home gardens or larger-scale agricultural settings. They require well-drained soil, sunlight, and moisture to thrive. It is suggested to start cucumber plants indoors and then transplant them once the weather warms up. Cucumber plants should be placed in a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

There are two main types of cucumbers: slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers. Slicing cucumbers are larger and are typically eaten fresh. They have a crisp texture and can be added to salads or sandwiches. Pickling cucumbers, on the other hand, are smaller and are specifically grown for pickling. They have a sour taste and are often cooked or processed to be stored for a longer period of time.

Cucumbers offer various health benefits, as they are low in calories and high in water and fiber. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and potassium. Additionally, the skin of cucumbers contains antioxidants that may have potential anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

Overall, cucumbers are a versatile and tasty vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. Whether you prefer them fresh or pickled, there are plenty of cucumber varieties to choose from, each with its own unique set of characteristics.

Planting and Care

When it comes to planting and caring for cucumber varieties, there are several important factors to consider. Follow these tips and guidelines to ensure a successful cucumber harvest:

  1. Select the right varieties: There are many different cucumber varieties available, including marketmore, lemon, dragon’s egg, Parisian, heirloom, English, and kirby. Each variety has its own unique characteristics, so select the varieties that best suit your preferences and growing conditions.
  2. Plant in the right location: Cucumbers thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. Choose a location in your garden where they will receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  3. Prepare the soil: Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris. Cucumbers prefer a fertile soil rich in organic matter. Adding compost or well-rotted manure can help improve soil fertility.
  4. Start with young plants: It is recommended to start cucumber plants from young seedlings rather than planting seeds directly into the ground. This allows for a faster and more reliable start to the growing process.
  5. Provide support: Many cucumber varieties benefit from some type of support, such as a trellis or fence. This helps keep the growing vines off the ground and allows for better air circulation, which can reduce the risk of diseases.
  6. Water regularly: Cucumbers have high water requirements, especially during hot and dry periods. Water the plants deeply and consistently, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk of disease.
  7. Fertilize as needed: Cucumbers are heavy feeders and benefit from regular fertilization. Apply a balanced fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually every 3-4 weeks during the growing season.
  8. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases: Common pests that affect cucumber plants include aphids, cucumber beetles, and spider mites. To control pests, use organic insecticides or beneficial insects such as ladybugs. Diseases like anthracnose and downy mildew can also be a problem. Proper plant spacing, good air circulation, and regular inspections can help prevent or minimize disease outbreaks.
  9. Harvest at the right time: Most cucumber varieties are ready to be harvested when they reach a length of 6-8 inches. Pick them promptly for the best flavor and texture. Overripe cucumbers can become bitter and have tough skins.
  10. Store properly: Cucumbers are best when eaten fresh, but if you have a surplus, store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to a week. To maintain their firmness and crispness, avoid storing cucumbers near fruits that produce ethylene gas, such as apples and cantaloupes.

By following these planting and care tips, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, tasty cucumbers from your garden.

✿ Read More About Vegetables.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.