8 Small Cucumber Varieties

Growing small cucumbers in your garden means that you can enjoy crispy, fresh cucumbers straight from the vine and you don’t need a lot of space to grow them.

Here are 8 easy to grow, small cucumber varieties to plant in your garden. They’re also ideal for pots, containers and vertical gardens.

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small cucumbers in a basket


1. Lebanese cucumbers

Lebanese cucumbers are one of the most popular small cucumber varieties and they’re ideal for snacking because they have thin skin and minimal seeds.

The vines can reach 6 feet (1.8 metres) in length so they’ll take over the garden if you let them.

If you have a small garden you can train the vines to grow up a trellis or a wire fence to save on space.

2. Apple cucumbers

Apple cucumbers have white skin and grow to about the size of an apple.

The plants are high yielding but it’s important to keep the plants well watered to avoid bitter tasting cucumbers.

Apple cucumbers are ready to harvest about 70 days after planting.

3. Lemon cucumbers

Lemon cucumbers are an interesting small cucumber variety that has yellow skin and a slightly lemony taste.

They grow to about the size of a tennis ball and take 65 days to reach maturity but you can pick them earlier for smaller fruits.

Lemon cucumbers contain lots of seeds so if you don’t like seedy cucumbers you’ll have to scrape out the seeds.

4. Spacemaster

Spacemaster cucumbers are ideal for small gardens because they grow on compact vines.

They can be planted in containers and even hanging baskets.

Spacemaster cucumbers are also one of the fastest growing cucumbers and you can start harvesting them after only 56 days.

5. Picklebush

Picklebush is another compact cucumber vine that only grows 2 feet (60 cm) long.

They’re green with white stripes and ideal for pickling.

The vines are resistant to powdery mildew and the cucumbers are ready to harvest 52 days after planting.

6. Marketmore

Marketmore is a popular slicing cucumber that is ideal for small vegetable gardens.

They’re easy to grow and resistant to cucumber mosaic virus and powdery mildew.

Marketmore cucumbers can be harvested in 63 days.

7. Sweet gherkin

Sweet gherkin cucumber vines only reach 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) long so they’re perfect for containers. 

They’re ideal for pickling and can be planted in spring or early summer.

8. Cucamelon (Melothria scabra)

Cucamelons, also known as Mexican sour gherkins aren’t actually cucumbers but I couldn’t resist adding them to this list.

The tiny fruits are about the size of a grape and they taste like a slightly sour cucumber.

You can eat them straight from the garden as a snack, add them to salads or pickle them.

Cucamelon seeds can be planted directly in the garden in spring once the chance of frost has passed and they’ll be ready to harvest in 60 to 70 days. [1]


Growing small cucumbers is fairly easy and they grow fast so you won’t have to wait long to harvest your crop.

If you have limited garden space, it’s best to train your cucumber vines to grow up a trellis to maximize your garden area. 

Cucumber trellises should be at least 4 to 5 feet tall.

Prepare your garden bed by digging some compost into the soil before planting your cucumber seeds.

You can start cucumber seeds inside in early spring and move them out the garden once the temperature warms up and the risk of frost has passed.

small cucumber varieties

Small bush cucumber plants can also be grown in containers and they’re great for courtyards and balconies.

Cucumber plants need full sun, so choose a position that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight during the day.

Most small cucumber varieties can be harvested in 50 to 60 days after planting.

Check the vines each day and harvest the cucumbers using a pair of garden shears or sharp scissors.

small cucumbers in the garden

Here’s a quick video that shows how to grow cucumbers step by step from sowing the seeds to harvesting. I hope you find it helpful.

So there are 8 types of small cucumbers to plant in your vegetable or container garden.

I love crispy cucumbers fresh from the garden so I like to experiment with a few different types of cucumbers each year to see which ones I like best.

I hope this article has helped you to discover some interesting compact cucumber varieties for your garden.

Even if you have a small garden there’s sure to be a small cucumber plant that is suited to your space.

small cucumbers in a bowl


Have you tried growing any of these small cucumber varieties in your home garden? Let me know in the comments below.

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Scott DeNicola

    I love cucumbers but have to admit I never knew there were this many different small cucumber varieties. I’m sure I have eaten a few though including gherkins. One of my favorite pickles.

  2. Stephanie S

    I didn’t do so great this past growing season when it came down to my cucumbers. I grew some in a pot, and these were also a small variety. I was able to enjoy two from the plant. I will try again this next growing season.

  3. Lyosha

    I love cucumbers! They are so delicious. My grandfather enjoys growing them, he says it’s his favorite vegetable plant to grow.

  4. Smita

    We just started growing some herbs in our balcony garden and they are doing so well that we now want to go bigger! Cucumbers sound awesome for that – especially the Lebanese cucumbers or the sweet gherkins. Can’t wait to get fresh crispy cucumbers straight from the garden to the plate!

  5. Britt K

    This was really interesting to read. I knew of a couple of the varieties that you listed, but most of them were completely new to me. We love cucumbers in our house, so I am going to try my hand at a couple of different options this coming year. We have an okay sized garden as well as a number of different pots for container gardening around our back deck, but with so many things on the ‘must grow’ list, it seems pretty small at times haha! We have to try to make the most of the space that we have available.

  6. Stella

    I will soon be starting a small veggie garden and hoping to grow Marketmore cucumbers. There is always so much variety in everything it is overwhelming!!!

  7. Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    As I started reading this, my first question was, which ones are good for pickles? Which you covered. I would love to try growing some picklebush cucumbers! I LOVE pickles, so that would be perfect for me to try and then make my own pickles. Recently I made bread and butter pickles, but I’m interested in other types too. Do you know if the picklebush cucumbers hold up to home canning once pickled? That would be what I am after trying next.

  8. Deborah

    Interesting article. I was especially interested in Apple cucumber. Presently I am container growing Lemon cucumber which I started indoors under lights. As of March they are in full bloom. I also have Cucamelons growing as seedlings. I love experimenting with lesser know varieties. Thank you for the new suggestions.

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