Making great homemade pickles all begins with selecting and growing the right pickling cucumber varieties.
Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetable plants grown in the backyard garden.
And one of reasons so many grow them? To make crunchy, delicious pickles of course!
Although any variety of cucumber can be pickled, there are many varieties better suited to the process.
And if making pickles is on your to-do list this year – selecting the right cucumber to grow is a huge key to pickling success!
Growing Pickling Cucumbers
Pickling Cucumbers vs. Slicing Cucumbers – The Difference
In the world of cucumbers, there are two distinct styles that can be grown. Slicing cucumbers, and pickling cucumbers.
Slicing cucumbers tend to be the larger of the two styles. Their thin-skins and fleshy meat are perfectly suited for fresh eating.
But no so good on the other hand for making pickles.
And that is where pickling cucumbers come to the forefront.
Pickling cucumbers are typically shorter than slicing cucumbers. Their flesh and skin also tend to be thicker and crispier that slicing varieties as well.
This combination of unique traits makes them absolutely perfect for the pickling process.
So let’s take a look at 3 great pickling cucumber varieties to grow to make your garden a pickle growing powerhouse this year!
And, to learn how to grow your best crop ever, be sure to check out our article : An Amazing Way To Grow Cucumbers
Pickling Cucumber Varieties – 3 Great Choices For Making Delicious Pickles
Boston Pickling Cucumber
When it comes to delicious pickling cucumber varieties, the Boston Pickling cucumber is near the top of the list!
A seedless cucumber, this heirloom variety has incredible flavor and crispness. And it is a big producer too!
It was believed to be first developed back in the 1800’s in Boston, Massachusetts, and draws its name from the city.
The cucumber plant produces a large quantity of 3 to 4″ smooth-skinned cukes on long vines.
Making it even more attractive to pickle makers, it matures quickly. Cucumbers can be ready to pick in as little as 50 to 55 days.
Plants should be spaced 24 to 36 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Support in the way of a trellis or fence is an excellent choice to make for easy picking. Seed Link : Boston Pickling Cucumber Heirloom Seeds
The National Pickling Cucumber
The National Pickling Cucumber is the perfect cucumber for making all types of pickles!
Whether it is picking young cukes to make gherkins, or letting them grow to 4 or 5 inches for making spears or slicing cucumbers, the National is an All-Star multi-purpose cucumber.
This variety was actually developed back in the day with help from the National Pickle Packers Association.
With thicker, dark green skin and a super crunch, the cucumber simply makes outstanding pickles!
Plants produce a heavy yield of cucumbers continually throughout the season on long vines. They are a bit longer to mature at 65 days, but well worth the wait.
Be prepared to give this prolific grower plenty of space to sprawl and grow in the garden. Or, trellis or grow along fence lines to grow vertically. Seed Link : National Pickling Cucumber Seeds
The Bush Pickle
Of all the pickling cucumber varieties, the Bush Pickle cucumber is the best to plant when space is at a premium.
It produces sweet, smooth-skinned cucumbers on compact plants.
Mature cucumbers range from 3 to 5 inches in size, and fruit sets on bushy plants that grow 24 to 36 inches in height.
In addition to garden planting, it’s compact nature makes it an excellent choice for those wishing to grow in pots or containers.
Like the Boston Pickling Cucumber, the Bush Pickle is an early producer. Cucumbers can mature in as little as 50 to 55 days. Seed Link : Bush Pickle Plant Seeds
Here’s to selecting the best pickling cucumber varieties for your backyard garden this year! And – making some incredible homemade pickles!
Be sure to check out all of our favorite pickle recipes on our : Pickle Recipe Page
Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.
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