Some of the best cucumber plants to grow will be detailed in this post to help you select the ones I would recommend you grow.
In this photo of the harvest of cucumbers above, there are Pickling, Diva, and Armenian cucumbers. The crop is coming on very heavily this year. I will keep you posted on recipes that we use them in as we start to enjoy our bounty.
When choosing the best variety of cucumbers to grow know what you will use them for in making that decision. If you are looking for a variety that is a heavy producer that you can make pickles or relish with you want a pickling cucumber, if you are looking for a kid-friendly snack-size the Diva and for salads you can use any of them but some of the larger ones may be best suited for you.
When selecting the best place to grow your cucumbers you have some choices they can either be grown on trellises or cages to increase the number of plants you can grow or you can let them sprawl out on the ground. Heavy feeders need to be fertilized throughout the growing season to produce the best plants and fruit.
The top seed companies to buy seed packets from are available through this link.
Best companion plants with cucumbers
Sunflowers and Corn are good companions, allowing the plants to grow up the plant to keep them off the ground. Beans, lentils, and peas add nitrogen to the soil which helps the cucumbers, beets, onions, dill, and carrots are also good companions.
Nasturtiums and marigolds, Zinnias (Be careful with nasturtiums since they can attract aphids). Flowers are great to have near your garden to increase bees and other beneficial bugs. It is also said that these flowers can benefit the flavor of the cucumbers.
By planting these companion plants you can avoid poor pollination issues.
Avoid these plants as companions, potatoes, sage, and melons which crowd and stunt cucumbers.
Best Cucumbers to Grow (Varieties that I enjoy growing)
This is an English heirloom cucumber that is full of flavor smooth green skin and ranges from snack size to 6 inches with very few seeds. This is an easy cucumber to grow for kids and a great one for them to pick and eat right from the garden. It is also disease resistant but needs a large area to grow or trellis for the vines to sprawl out. Very best cucumber
This variety is smooth-skinned either green or white about 10-18″ long. The fruit is sweet, tender, crisp, and seldom bitter, they can be enjoyed eating by themselves or in salads. They can grow in partial shade and are disease resistant. Very best cucumber
Dragon Suhyo Cross
I grew this cucumber for the first time last year and really enjoyed it for its unique shape, long and slender with many spines on the skin. It is very flavor-filled, sweet and floral, and not bitter ranging in size from 6-12″ long. It is a heavy producer throughout early summer and runs throughout the growing year. Best grown on trellis supporting the plant and fruit. Very best cucumber
English telegraph improved
This is a smooth, burpless long cucumber (the largest one we grow) up to 18″ long. It is one of the older cucumbers originally produced around the late 1880s that produces lots of fruit throughout the growing season. Best to build a strong trellis system to support the vines and fruit. This is a great slicer for salads. Best cucumber
The Martini cucumber is a hybrid that is white in color with warts about 3″ oblong and fat. They are very juicy and non-bitter-tasting. This cucumber produces less than others but is great to slice and add to salads and eat alone because of its juicy nature and color. Best cucumber
Excelsior Pickling Variety
This is a great disease resistant that produces barrels of cucumbers that can be eaten fresh and is great for pickling to make crisp pickles. I would recommend you trellis these to make it easier to find the cucumbers. Very best cucumber
This is one of the oldest cucumbers over 100 years old. This is a high-producing cucumber that produces small round lemon in color and shape that has a sweet, crisp non-bitter taste that can be enjoyed right out of the garden or sliced in salads, or made into pickles. best used when smaller before the seeds get larger since they have many seeds. It is also a disease-resistant cucumber that produces even into early fall. Best cucumber
Final Tips for Growing Cucumbers
Wait to plant in the garden until you have passed last frost dates and warm weather has arrived.
Harvest cucumbers regularly in the morning for sweet flavor and avoid bitter flavors
Apply water consistently
Allow vining plants to grow vertically to reduced cucumber diseases and pests
Recipes using Cucumbers
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Here is a recipe for refrigerator dill pickles that are ready to eat in 3 days and last up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator, if you can make them last that long without eating them.
3 1/2 cups of water
1 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 T white sugar
1 T sea salt
4 Cups cucumber spears we use all kinds of cucumbers
2 Cloves garlic whole
2 Heads of fresh Dill
Stir water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil and remove from heat and cool completely in the refrigerator.
Combine cucumber spears, garlic, and dill in 2 large jars.
Pour the cooled vinegar mixture over the cucumbers in the jars.
Seal and refrigerate for 3 days