Top 9 Pickling Cucumbers: Best Varieties for Homemade Pickles

Looking for the top pickling cucumbers to make delicious homemade pickles? Find the 9 best types for crunchy, tasty pickles straight from your plot. Growing cucumbers is a breeze, and you get a big harvest. But what are the best cucumbers for pickling? Many folks, in their first year, wrongly think any cucumber type will do for pickling. They end up with pickles that are tough outside and soft inside. Different cucumber varieties suit various purposes, such as snacking or pickling. The finest pickling cucumbers have thin skin, and solid, non-watery flesh, and are small—ranging from 1-1/2 to 6 inches with blunt tips.

What Makes a Cucumber Good for Pickling?

Some cucumber types are better for pickling because they lead to tastier pickles. Angela Gerace from The Tipsy Pickle says the top pickling cucumbers have thin skins. Thin skins are key since thick skins make it difficult for the brine to get in.

These cucumbers also need to be firm and dry. This helps them stay crunchy through the pickling process. Pickling cucumbers are usually shorter, about 1-1/2 to 6 inches. Their shape allows them to fit tightly in jars, whether whole or cut into spears.

Thin Skin

The thin skin is crucial for pickling cucumbers. It lets the brine soak in well, making the pickles more tasty and crunchy.

Firm, Dry Flesh

Firm, dry flesh matters a lot for pickling cucumbers. It means they keep their crunchy bite, even after soaking in brine for a while.

Small Size

Pickling cucumbers are shorter, around 1-1/2 to 6 inches, and have a wider shape. This makes them perfect for fitting into jars neatly. It helps create the best pickles.

Boston Pickling Cucumber

Boston Pickling is a top choice for gardeners. It keeps producing Boston pickling cucumber all season long. The firm, crunchy flesh is perfect for pickling, says Angela Gerace. It holds a lot of flavor from the brine.

Boston Pickling has been a favorite of gardeners for more than a century because it produces cucumbers continuously throughout the growing season.

Bush Pickling Cucumbers

This bush pickling cucumber is perfect for sun-loving. It thrives in small spaces, like containers. Its growing season is shorter than others, but you can overcome this by planting more often.

Compact Growth Habit

Seeds of the bush pickling cucumber turn into small plants that spread out 24-36 inches. They are great for small space gardening. These plants yield 4 to 5 inch cucumbers in just 54 days.

Ideal for Small Spaces

Bush pickling cucumbers have vines that are perfect for small areas. They are ideal for small-scale gardening in containers. You can find these seeds in different packet sizes to match your garden.

bush pickling cucumbers

Calypso Pickling Cucumbers

The Calypso Pickling Hybrid cucumber is a great pick for those wanting a lot of pickles. It grows 4-inch cucumbers that are crunchy and perfect for pickling. They are also good for eating fresh or fermenting.


The Calypso Pickling Hybrid is very generous. There are about 16,000 seeds in a pound. They start giving cucumbers in just 51 days, so you can harvest many times in a season. This makes both pros and home growers happy.


The Calypso Pickling Hybrid is strong against diseases. It fights off angular leaf spot, anthracnose, cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew, and scab. You can plant it with peace of mind, even in tough spots.

Calypso Pickling Cucumbers

Pickling Cucumbers

H-19 Little Leaf

The H-19 Little Leaf cucumber is perfect for tiny gardens or pots. Its small leaves and many vining branches make picking easy. Even though it’s small, this plant gives you lots of 3- to 4-inch cucumbers. Plus, it fights off diseases like angular leaf spot and cucumber mosaic virus.


This cucumber grows its fruit on several branches. This means you won’t have to hunt for cucumbers in a mess of vines. You can easily find and pick them all season long.

Compact for Small Gardens

If you have a small garden, the H-19 Little Leaf is for you. It fits well in containers or little garden plots. This makes it great for city dwellers or anyone with limited space.

h-19 little leaf cucumber

National Pickling Cucumber

The National Pickle Packers Association created a special type of cucumber. It’s known as the heirloom variety of the national pickling cucumber. It gives a lot of cucumbers that are perfect for jars. These cucumbers are about 5 inches long and look just right for pickling. The plant can climb or grow on the ground. This makes it simple to pick the cucumbers, which are short and thick, just what you need for jarring.

Developed by Pickle Packers

The National Pickling Cucumber was made by the National Pickle Packers Association. It was designed for people who pickle for a living. Its shape and size are great for making top-notch pickles. This includes everything from small, crunchy hamburger chips to big, tasty dill spears.

Short and Thick

These cucumbers are about 5 inches long, short, and thick, perfect for jars. You can use them whole in pickling or slice them into spears. They’re crunchy and hold their flavor after pickling well. Plus, the plants are tough. They don’t get sick easily, which makes them good for gardens at home.

national pickling cucumber


Are you looking for the best pickling cucumbers for your homemade pickles? We’ve discussed nine top types, from classics to disease-fighting kinds. There’s a pickling cucumber for all spaces, large or small. Pick the right type and use good harvesting methods to get tasty pickles right from your backyard.


What makes a cucumber good for pickling?

The best pickling cucumbers have thin skins, dry flesh, and are small. They are usually 1-1/2 to 6 inches long. Their blunt ends help the brine soak in well, keeping them crispy after pickling.

What are the characteristics of Boston Pickling cucumbers?

Boston Pickling cucumbers are an heirloom type known to keep producing. They have firm, crunchy flesh that tastes good in the brine. This makes them a top pick for pickling.

What are the benefits of growing bush-type pickling cucumbers?

Bush-type cucumbers are great for small gardens or containers. This is because they don’t spread much. They also grow quickly. You can plant them one after the other for a steady supply.

What makes Calypso pickling cucumbers a good choice?

Calypso cucumbers are popular for their high yield and disease resistance. Their 4-inch size and firmness are perfect for slicing or pickling.


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