By Jennifer Poindexter
Would you like to make your own homemade pickles? If you’ve ever tried making them in the past and they ended up mushy, it could be because of the variety of cucumber used.
Which type of cucumber you grow to make pickles can have an impact as to how crisp the texture is. If you’re trying to figure out which varieties of cucumbers work best for pickling, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve compiled a list of some of the best pickling cucumbers. If you’d like to make crisp, homemade pickles start with the following varieties:
1. Boston Pickling
Boston pickling cucumbers are a smaller variety which only grow to be between three and seven inches in length.
This is an heirloom variety of cucumber that’s wonderful at withstanding disease. Plus, Boston pickling cucumbers soak up spices, so they’re a great choice for either dill or sweet pickles.
Calypso cucumbers are considered a hybrid variety. For this reason, they’re disease resistant. They’re also early producers.
When growing calypso cucumbers, expect to harvest them when they reach around five inches in length. This style of cucumber is great for making pickle chips or spears. You may also use it in salads.
3. Little Leaf H-19
It’s hard to miss a little leaf h-19 cucumber due to its bright green coloring. This style of cucumber is also a stubbier variety that should be harvested when the fruit reaches approximately five inches long.
Though a smaller variety, you may use this cucumber to make pickles or for slicing. This plant can handle difficult growing conditions as it’s known for being able to withstand some disease and stress from the elements.
4. Chicago Pickling
Chicago pickling cucumber is another heirloom variety. It was first made available to the public in 1888. People loved it because of its exponential growth and the plant’s ability to resist certain diseases around the garden.
If you’re in the market for a great pickling cucumber, give this variety some consideration. This cucumber is ready for harvest when the fruit reaches approximately five inches in length.
Would you like to create nontraditional pickles? If so, the lemon variety could be for you. Lemon cucumbers grow in round balls and have yellow striped flesh.
This is an heirloom variety and was introduced to the American public during the 1800s. The fruit will grow to be around four inches in length and is known for avoiding the bitter flavor that some cucumbers develop.
Supremo cucumbers are known for their crunchy texture and small stature. The fruit of this variety will reach lengths of around four inches.
Plus, these plants make great snacking cucumbers or for use when making homemade pickles. If you need a disease resistant variety of cucumber that’s crunchy, too, don’t overlook the supremo.
7. Miniature White
Miniature white cucumbers look a little odd at first glance, but they’re great for making pickles. The fruit of this plant is small, white, and textured.
Should you choose this variety for homemade pickles, be sure to harvest them when the fruit is around three inches in length. This is another variety known for avoiding the bitter flavor some cucumbers provide.
8. Burpee Pickler
The burpee pickler is a variety that’s known for producing green, slightly textured fruit that reach lengths around five inches long.
These cucumbers can withstand mosaic virus and are also known for producing earlier. If you’d like to get a jumpstart on your pickles, try growing this variety of cucumber.
Are you a fan of gherkin or dill pickles? If so, this could be your variety. This cucumber has been around since 1924.
It has been said that for every cucumber you pick from this plant, two more will grow in its place. Hence, the name. Therefore, if you need a high-yielding cucumber plant, give double-yield a chance.
10. Wisconsin SMR
This cucumber was named for where it originated. The Wisconsin SMR is a variety of cucumber developed by the University of Wisconsin in the late 1950s.
When growing this variety, you should expect small fruit that are known for their crispy texture and sweet flavor. The fruit of this plant reaches lengths around six inches.
Hokus is a wonderful pickling cucumber. The plant produces small fruits that can be used once they reach lengths between 1 ½ inches and 4 inches.
However, these cucumbers are most commonly used to make sweet varieties of pickles or to enjoy fresh.
12. National Pickling
The national pickling cucumber is another variety which produces smaller, green fruit. This is an heirloom variety of cucumber that can be harvested once the fruit reaches lengths between two and four inches.
Expect these cucumbers to have dark green skin and rounded ends. The cucumber was specifically designed this way to better fit inside a pickle jar. These small features make this a neat variety to grow when desiring pickling cucumbers.
13. Russian Pickling
Russian pickling cucumbers are rich, green, and have a smooth skin. The fruits of this plant are sweet and the texture is crispy.
Should you decide this is the right variety of cucumber for you, be sure to harvest the plant when the fruits are seven inches or shorter.
14. Boothby’s Blond
Boothby’s blond cucumbers are a unique variety. This is an heirloom cucumber that came out of Maine. This is unusual considering the planting zones in Maine.
As if this doesn’t make the cucumber original enough, the appearance of this fruit takes things one step further. Expect Boothby blond cucumbers to be a light-yellow color. This is a crispy cucumber that should be harvested when the fruits reach six inches in length.
15. Parisian Pickling
I love Parisian pickling cucumbers because they’re another unique plant. The fruit of this variety is green, but the shape is similar to a small banana.
When growing this variety, expect a fruit with sturdy flesh and small seeds. This type of cucumber is great for snacking or for pickling.
Do you want to grow pickling cucumbers in a small garden plot? This could be your variety. The spacemaster plant only grows vines around three feet long. You can trellis the plant, and it should fit better in a small growing area in comparison to other cucumber varieties.
However, this small plant produces larger cucumbers. They should be harvested when they’re around eight inches long. This cucumber is versatile and great for slicing or pickling.
17. Rhinish Pickle
Rhinish pickle is an heirloom variety of cucumber. This option produces a crisp cucumber with lumpy skin. You should harvest this fruit when it’s around four inches long.
Expect these cucumbers to be a light green color. In return, you can utilize the fruit for pickling, snacking, or for use in salads.
18. Northern Pickling
If you’d like to grow a cucumber variety that produces quite a few cucumbers and produces early, northern pickling could be your option.
This type of cucumber grows from a compact plant which is great if you’re working with limited growing space. The fruits will stay small which make them a great choice for creating pickles.
Bushy cucumbers come from a bushy plant. Therefore, it’s a great option for smaller gardens as the plant will only consume about two feet of space.
This is a relatively new variety as it was only introduced to America in 1992. You should harvest the smaller, green fruit when it reaches lengths around three inches.
20. West India Burr Gherkin
Our last option to discuss for cucumber varieties is the West India Burr Gherkin. This plant produces small, green, spiky cucumbers. Though they look different, this variety is a great option for making pickles and for snacks.
Be sure to pick the fruit while they’re still small and expect the plant to produce long vines. This plant can survive hot and humid growing conditions, so if you live in a difficult climate, this could be the cucumber for you.
You now have twenty different options for cucumber varieties which remain crisp to make crunchy pickles. Pick out the cucumber varieties you’re most interested in and ensure you can provide the right growing conditions.
Then you’re ready to start making crunchy pickles that are flavorful. Some pickles might even take on a unique appearance depending upon the variety of cucumber you choose.