Did you know there a multiple types of cucumbers for a variety of different uses? Let’s go over them so you know what kinds and when to use them.
Choosing what types of cucumbers to grow can be a little confusing. If you don’t know what you want when growing cucumbers it is difficult to decide what variety to plant.
Fortunately, it is not too difficult to figure out what each type of cucumber can be used for. Similar to the different types of tomatoes, cucumbers can be split into three categories; slicing, pickling, and burpless/mostly seedless.
Sometimes a specific cucumber can be used for multiple purposes, but there are three categories, none the less.
Types of cucumbers
Typically, if you’re thinking about eating cucumbers, you are thinking of slicing cucumbers. They’re the ones you’re most likely to find in the grocery store because they are ready to eat. They generally have smooth, tough, dark Green skin.
However, English cucumbers are typically thin, have more delicate skin, mostly seedless, and you’ll find them wrapped in plastic at the store.
One of the more common types of slicing cucumbers that you’ll find are straight eight cucumbers. You’ll recognize them by the fact that they are perfectly straight. They have a smooth, dark green skin and usually grow around 6 to 8 inches long. In the grocery store, they will almost all look identical.
When growing cucumbers, you will want to train the vine to a trellis so that they can grow vertically. And believe it or not, we harvest them when they are unripe in a green state. If they ripen all the way to being yellow, they become bitter and sour.
Straight eight cucumbers are most often used as slicing cucumbers, but they are pretty versatile in that they can pull double duty as a pickling cucumber as well.
Technically, any cucumber can be pickled. The major difference between pickling cucumbers and slicing cucumbers is size. Pickling cucumbers are usually shorter, ranging 3 to 4 inches long and only one inch wide.
They don’t typically have the same uniformity of shape that slicing cucumbers have and their skin is generally bumpy and not smooth. The color will also vary from yellow all the way to dark green.
Similar to the straight 8 cucumbers, Bush Pickles will also grow straight. they are however a good bit shorter, usually in the 4 to 5 inch range. They have a sweet flavor and typically have a dark green bumpy skin.
They are one of the fastest vegetables to grow. It is not uncommon for a Bush Pickle plant to reach maturity in as few as 45 days!
Burpless or Seedless
Burpless/seedless, or rather mostly seedless, cucumbers have a thinner skin than most other cucumbers and have a sweeter taste. They get the name Burpless because it is reported that the seeds in cucumbers will give the eater gas.
Since these cucumbers typically do not have seeds. Then they do not give the eater gas. Again, due to the lack of seeds, they are easier to digest.
You’ll most commonly find these grown in green houses. Because they are a mostly seedless variety they are more of a hobby cucumber plant. You can find some that will grow up to two feet in length.
Lebanese cucumbers are one of the more popular types of burpless cucumbers. Named after the part of the world from which they come, Lebanese cucumbers are known for their distinct flavor and aroma. They are typically thin and recognizable by their smooth, dark green skin.
What are your favorite types of cucumbers? Let us know in the comments below.