While any variety of cucumber works well to make a scrumptious salad, specific hybrids have been designed to give more flavor and crunch. There are two basic types of cucumbers: pickling and slicing. Pickling cucumbers have thin, bumpy skin that allows pickling juices to be absorbed into the flesh more easily. Slicing, or salad, cucumbers have thick skin with an even, dark green coloring, and flesh that is firm and crunchy.
Sweet Slice Burpless
Sweet Slice burpless cucumbers are straight, dark green fruits that grow 10 to 12 inches long. Some hybrids mature at 45 days while others ripen after 60 days, and continue to set fruit throughout the growing season. Growing requirements include full sun, well-draining soil and stakes or trellises to support the vines and allow the fruit to grow straight.
The Salad Bush hybrid is a smaller fruit grown on a compact plant, which is perfect for containers. Growing 8 inches in length, Salad Bush cucumbers are disease-resistant and mature in under 60 days. They require full sun and moist, loamy soil to grow to full potential.
The Straight 8 cucumber is an heirloom variety introduced in the United States in 1935 by Ferry-Morse Seeds. The fruit grows 8 inches in length and 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter, with dark, smooth skin; Straight 8 matures within 58 to 65 days. A successful crop of Straight 8 plants requires well-draining, nutrient rich soil, full sun and trellises to support the vines.
Poinsett 76 cucumbers are dark green with white mottled stripes, and grow 8 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. This disease-resistant variety was introduced in 1976 when Clemson University Vegetable Experiment Station and Cornell University collaborated to create a more disease-resistant hybrid than its 1966 predecessor, the Poinsett. This variety, which fares well in high heat and matures within 55 to 65 days, requires full sun, nutrient rich soil and moderate moisture.
Dasher II cucumbers grow from 8.5 inches to 10 inches long, and mature in as little as 55 days on compact, bushy plants. The smooth, dark green skin and wide diameter make Dasher II fruits perfect for slicing or salads. Growing requirements include full sun, even moisture, well-draining soil. Dasher II plants grow well in containers or in the ground, and produce a high yield under optimal growing conditions.