Pickling Cucumbers

Plant the right cucumber seeds for the best pickles

There are many types of cucumbers, some that are better suited to slicing and those that are ideal for pickling. You can always grow a variety of both and there is plenty of variety within each category. Don’t let the multitude of options slow you down. Start with your end use, cucumbers for slicing or pickling, then decide whether to sow seeds for bush or vine varieties. From there you can determine the size, shape and growth habit that works best for you.

How are pickling cucumbers different from slicing cucumbers? The pickling type usually are shorter and bigger around with thinner skins, often with more dark-colored spines for appearance. While you can eat pickling cucumbers raw, their flesh tends to be drier to absorb the brine, so slicing cucumbers typically have better flavor when eaten raw.

Choose from organic, heirloom, and hybrid seeds. Select smaller gherkins for whole pickles, segment medium-sized pickles for spears, and grow those pickling cucumbers long and consistent for sliced pickles.

Bush cucumbers grow in a more compact manner so use them in patio containers and smaller spaces. You can let them grow along the ground, snake them through a trellis, or train them over a short fence. Vining cucumbers will require staking due to their hardy growth and tendency to produce generous fruit.

Find the perfect seeds for pickling cucumbers. Record your selections in our gardening planning app, Seed to Spoon, and next season, simply tap to repurchase your favorite seeds or try something new.