If you love to make pickles, today’s article on finding the best cucumber plants to grow for making them is a win-win for sure!
Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in a home garden. In fact, they are second only to tomatoes. And one of the biggest reason they have that high popularity is that so many gardeners love turning their fresh cucumbers into delicious homemade pickles!
From sweet, dill, gherkin and bread & butter varieties – to spicy garlic, flaming hot pickles and everything in between – there is nothing like the taste of a homemade pickle. Especially when you grew them right in your backyard!
So what makes a great pickle? For sure, having a good pickling recipe is a big key. As is picking the cucumbers at their peak of freshness. That is certainly the case for two of our favorite in-house recipes, our Homemade Dill Recipe, and Granny’s Icebox Pickle Recipe
But there is one more extremely important factor that can make all the difference when it comes to making great pickles – and that is selecting a cucumber variety that produces the right type of cucumber for pickling. And that is what today’s article is all about!
The Two Types Of Cucumbers – The Best Cucumber Plants For Making Pickles
There are two main types of cucumber plant varieties, slicing and pickling. Slicing varieties are wonderful for fresh eating, as well as in salads, dishes and more. But it is the pickling varieties, with their shorter, blockier stature, and crisp, crunchier makeup that are the best choice of all for making pickles.
With that in mind, here is look at four of the best of the best when it comes to growing cucumbers for pickles. All of the varieties below are tried, true, and proven to produce excellent cucumbers for pickling!
The 4 Best Cucumber Plants For Making Pickles
Spacemaster Cucumber Seeds
If space is at a premium in your garden, the Spacemaster variety is the cucumber plant for you! Spacemaster is a bush variety of cucumber that grows in a wonderfully compact fashion.
Plants grow anywhere from 18″ to 24″ high and produce an abundance of fruit. If allowed to grow to full size, the cucumbers can reach seven to eight inches in length, however it is best to pick them smaller for making deliciously crunchy pickles.
Its compact nature lends itself beautifully to raised beds or even container plantings. With that said, it fits well into traditional gardens just as easily, especially with its predictable growing pattern. The Spacemaster also holds up extremely well in hot, humid weather, making it perfect for warmer locations.
The plant usually needs a bit of support in the way of a stake or trellis when it reaches full fruit load. As with all cucumber plants, pick often to keep the plant producing. Seed Link : Spacemaster Cucumber Seeds
National Pickling Cucumber – The Best Cucumber Plants For Making Pickles
Developed in the late 1920’s through an effort by the National Pickle Packers Association and the University of Michigan, the National Pickling variety was bred specifically for making pickles. With that type of background, you know it has to be good!
Not only are the seeds fast to germinate, they also produce cucumbers in as little as 55 days. Even better, it produces loads of them! In fact, the National Pickling variety can usually produce as many as 10 pounds of cucumbers per plant.
Best of all, the cucumbers are perfectly tapered cucumbers perfect for pickling. This variety is a climber, so support in the way of a fence panel or trellis will help the plant grow and produce even better. Seed Link : National Pickling Cucumber Seeds
Boston Pickling Cucumber – The Best Cucumber Plants For Making Pickles
A long-standing variety for pickling, no cucumber-plant-for-pickles list would be complete without mention of the Boston Pickling cucumber.
This heirloom variety has been around since the late 1800’s and is still one of the best varieties around for making pickles. A vining cucumber, it will thrive when given a bit of support from a trellis, fence or a cage.
The Boston Pickling cucumber is another early producer, with fruit setting in as early as 55 days. This indeterminate variety will produce a heavy load of cucumbers right up until the first frost.
A bit of extra fertilizing through the summer months will help it continue to bloom, flower and fruit. When planting, add a fair amount of compost into the planting hole to provide a good supply or early nutrients for the plant. Seed Link : Boston Pickling Cucumber Seeds
Wisconsin SMR – The Best Cucumber Plants For Making Pickles
The Wisconsin SMR cucumber variety is another plant that is wonderful for making pickles. Especially if you love making dill pickles!
The Wisconsin SMR produces a thicker, more block-style cucumber. Fruits are usually around 2-1/2 inches in diameter and four to six inches long, which happens to be a great size for slicing and pickling into spears. It is highly productive once it starts producing at around 60 days.
This is one cucumber plant that really benefits from a little extra care when planting. Adding in compost at the time of planting will help the seeds or transplants develop quickly. Fertilize with an all purpose organic fertilizer every four to six weeks to keep the plant supplied with nutrients.
Water well when first establishing to help the roots spread rapidly. Full sun and warm soil are a must for good production. Locate these plants in a location that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight each day. Seed Link SMR Cucumber Seeds
For more on getting the most from your cucumber crop, check out How To Grow Your Best Crop of Cucumbers Ever! article on the blog.
There you have it! Four of the best all-around cucumber plant varieties around for making delicious homemade pickles. Here is to growing and pickling like a pro this year!
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