The best cucumbers for pickling typically have thin skins, tiny seeds, and super crisp textures. Besides these features, the smaller a cucumber is, the easier the preparation and pickling process.
Knowing that smaller size makes cucumbers better for pickling, you may have your eyes set on getting mini cucumbers. But before you do, have a look at these 11 types of mini cucumbers that are great for pickling. When done reading this article, we are sure making a choice will be much easier for you.
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‘Picklebush’ is a small/compact type of cucumber. The vines typically only grow up to 2 feet long, while the fruits are usually around 3 to 4 inches when mature.
‘Picklebush’ cucumbers are pale green with white stripes. As their name hints, they are great for pickling, and you can use them at any size. However, you may get the best taste if you use the smaller ones.
If you are considering growing ‘Picklebush’, it’s worth the effort. The vines are compact, so it doesn’t take up much space. This variety only takes around 52 days from planting to harvest. Plus, the plant is resistant to powdery mildew.
2. ‘Sweet Gherkin’
‘Sweet Gherkin’ cucumber is another perfect pickling cucumber you can consider for planting. You can even plant it in a container.
The vines of ‘Sweet Gherkin’ cucumbers only grow around 1.5 to 2 feet long. Then the cucumbers are 1 to 5 inches when mature.
‘Sweet Gherkin’ cucumbers have bumpy skin. Their skin color ranges from dark green to pale green to yellow.
3. ‘Northern Pickling’
As the name suggests, the ‘Northern Pickling’ cucumber is primarily a pickling cucumber. Like the others we have discussed so far, it is perfect for pickling and great for home gardens.
‘Northern Pickling’ is a fast-growing vine cucumber. However, it is not as sprawling as many other types of vine cucumber. So, you should be able to confine it within a small space.
‘Northern Pickling’ cucumbers are yellowish-green with bumpy skin. They have yellow stripes across their length. The flesh of a ‘Northern Pickling’ cucumber is firm, and even after pickling it, it remains crunchy. Even when you are not pickling ‘Northern Pickling’ cucumbers, you can enjoy them fresh.
If you live in cooler regions, ‘Northern Pickling’ cucumbers might be a perfect option if you want to grow your own mini cucumber. They mature within 50 to 55 days, so the short growing season of your climate should not be a problem. But apart from that, the leaves are small-sized, so picking the fruits is easy.
4. Persian Cucumber
Unlike the ‘Northern Pickling’ cucumber and the ‘Sweet Gherkin,’ the Persian cucumber does not have bumpy skin.
Persian cucumbers are mini cucumbers – about 5 to 6 inches long with narrow width when mature. They are perfect for pickling, and you may also eat them fresh.
Persian cucumbers are generally dark green. They are smooth and have few seeds. So, they do not have the typical bitterness associated with cucumbers that have bumps.
The firm skin and crunchiness of Persian cucumbers make them ideal for pickles. But beyond pickling, you may also use them in salads or eat them with dip.
5. ‘Homemade Pickle’
‘Homemade Pickle’ cucumbers are an heirloom variety. When fully mature, they can be as long as 5 to 6 inches, but you can also use them when they are as small as 1.5 inches.
‘Homemade Pickle’ cucumbers are generally mild green with bumpy skin. On the bumps of their skin, you may notice some small whitish spines.
As the name may have revealed, ‘Homemade Pickle’ cucumbers are tasty as pickles. ‘Homemade Pickle’ cucumber bushes are pretty resistant to common diseases. So, you could consider growing it if you want.
6. ‘Salt and Pepper’
‘Salt and Pepper’ cucumbers are mini cucumbers measuring around 2-4 inches when fully grown. They are small and cylindrical, and they have dark and white spines on their yellow skin. Hence, the name, salt and pepper.
‘Salt and Pepper’ cucumbers are one of few non-green cucumber varieties. In their early days, they may be whitish or light green. But when they fully mature, they turn pale yellow.
‘Salt and Pepper’ cucumbers are bumpy and have few seeds. They pickle pretty well. But beyond pickling, you could use them as a colorful garnish in meals.
7. ‘Parisian Pickling’
‘Parisian Pickling’ cucumbers are a mini type of pickling cucumber. Like ‘Homemade Pickle’ cucumbers, they are an heirloom variety. When fully grown, the fruits of the ‘Parisian Pickling’ cucumber measure around 2 to 6 inches in length and have a fingerlike width.
‘Parisian Pickling’ cucumbers are seedless, sweet, and crunchy with firm skin. So, their use in pickling, salads, and slaws makes perfect sense.
‘Parisian Pickling’ cucumbers have mild green skin, with bumps and dark green spots. They are typically ready for harvest within 67 days after planting. But you could pick them early at 50 days.
‘Kirby’ cucumbers earned their reputation as mini cucumbers that are great for pickling, thanks to their texture. They have firm, crunchy flesh that remains unfazed in pickling liquid – pickling vinegar or brine.
‘Kirby’ cucumbers are typically around 3 to 6 inches when mature. So, fitting them in a pickling jar should be easy.
You may choose to harvest ‘Kirby’ cucumbers when mature, or you may collect them when young. You may plant ‘Kirby’ cucumbers in containers or planters that receive full sun or partial shade.
‘Apple’ cucumbers get their name from their apple-like form. Their color and size are about the same as that of apples.
‘Apple’ cucumbers have crisp, cream, white flesh, and firm skin. They are also pretty juicy, and all of these attributes make them perfect for pickling.
When planted, ‘Apple’ cucumbers typically give a high yield. So, you should consider planting them if you can. On average, ‘Apple’ cucumbers are ready for harvest within 70 days.
10. Lebanese Cucumber
Thanks to their thin skin and minimal seeds, Lebanese cucumbers are mini cucumbers perfect for pickling. They are also sweet and crunchy, so if you are not pickling them, you could eat them as a snack.
Lebanese cucumbers are green and burpless. When fully mature, they measure around 6 to 7 inches. Their vines can grow up to 6 feet, so if you do not have enough space in your garden, they may take over. But if you train the vines to grow up a wire fence or trellis, you can save space.
11. ‘Mini Munch’
‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers are crisp, seedless, and juicy. They have tender, delicious skin and are perfect for pickling or snacking.
At maturity, ‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers are usually around 6 to 8 inches long. But you can harvest them when they are 3 to 4 inches long. At this length, stuffing them in a pickling jar is pretty simple.
‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers are usually ready for harvest within 50 to 65 days. Their vines are long with few branches. So, with trellis, you can confine them to small garden spaces.
If you plant ‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers, getting mature fruits off the vine earlier can improve your yield.