For crisp texture and cool flavor, a freshly harvested homegrown cucumber beats the waxy-coated ones found at the grocery, hands down. And it doesn't take many plants to keep a family supplied for most of summer. Each vigorous, sprawling vine can cover up to 25 sq. ft.; to save space, grow on a trellis or inside wire cages.
If you don't have the room that regular cucumber vines demand, plant smaller bush types that grow short vines, such as 'Fanfare (62 days from sowing to harvest), 'Spacemaster' (60 days), and 'Salad Bush' (57 days). For mild-flavored, burpless cucumbers, try 'Sweet Slice' (62 days) or 'Sweet Success' (54 days, doesn't need pollination). Good slicing cucumbers include 'Ashley' (66 days), 'Fanfare' (63 days), 'General Lee' (66 days), and 'Poinsett' (67 days). For pickles, try 'Bush Pickle' (45 days, short vines), 'County Fair' (48 days), and 'Homemade Pickles' (55 days).
Novelty selections include an Asian type called 'Suyo Long' (long, slim, and very mild), Armenian cucumber (actually a long, curving, pale green, ribbed melon with cucumber look and mild cucumber flavor), and English greenhouse cucumber. When well grown, it's the mildest of all cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers are mild, round, and yellow.