What is the best pickling cucumber brand?

lisa-regina(5)April 4, 2008

I want to do some pickling this year and was wondering what brand or brands of pickling cucumbers are best to grow in my summer garden for canning pickles. I want crisp, bitter free cucumbers if possible. I want something that will hold up well to processing and make great pickles, any suggestions?

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

There are several. Heinz is one, as is a Country Fair, r Pickler. I like to plant several types of pickling cukes and don't bother with regular cukes anymore. Once in a while, you will come across a bitter one, no matter how they are advertised. These few bitter ones are usually early in the season, and will not usually be reproduced on the same plants twice. Pickle Crisp added, helps to hold the firmness. Another option is to make half sour pickles in a salt brine, which takes a couple of days to ferment slightly. Then you add a little vinegar and refrigerate them. They cannot be home canned and will remain quite crisp for a long time. I still have a few left from last summer, and they are almost as crisp as the day they they were put in the fridge. Cukes MUST be VERY FRESH, like pick, clean, and pickle/can within hours. I don't like using a long processing time, as I use straight 5% vinegar full strength with no water added. I also like using pickle mixes like Mrs. Wages and Ball, and I add more spices to these to suit my taste.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:54AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

There's been a lot of research and debate on bitterness in cucumbers, whether it's too little water, too much water, or other causes. But basically it's connected to growing conditions, which we cannot always control.

Ken has mentioned some good pickling varieties and the importance of absolute freshness. One trick is planting enough cucumbers that you can pick sufficient for a batch of pickles and get them in the brine or pickling solution right away.

You might want to check with your local Extension agency or nearest agricultural university (horticulture) for recommendations on the best varieties for your particular area. A variety that does well here in western Oregon, for instance, may not be as suitable for Ohio.

Carol

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:04PM
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lisa-regina(5)

Thank you, I will try one of those brands. Last year I wanted to do some pickling and bought Sumnter (I believe was the name)and I put out tons of plants and seeds. One plant survived, it grew four inches high and I picked four cucumbers off the vine. Needless to say, I didn't get to do any pickling.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:32PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Here is a link for some decent cukes. Keep in mind two things. There are cucumber beetles (triped or spotted) that like to infest the cucumber leaves. These bugs carry downey and powdery mildew on their feet and contaminate every single plant leaf. I use two perventive measures for these, as well as for melons and squash. A sex lure that attracts them to yellow sticky traps, and spray fungicide that works extremely well, called Serenade Solutions. Its a powder, that is mixed with water and sprayed on the foliage. I only applied it once last summer, and it allowed my cukes to grow well beyond the begining of September. Without it, I would lose most of the cucumber plants to the mildew in early August. For me, about 15 plants is enough to give me about 5-6 quarts of pickling about once every week. I have them growing on 4 foot tall wire trellises.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pickling cuke types

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:23PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

The huge advantage of cucumber 'County Fair' is that it is the only cuke that is resistant to the wilt carried by the cucumber beetle. It also makes terrific pickles, is delicious fresh, and is the only cuke I grow because of its resistance.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 6:07AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

With the mildew fungus, even the County Fair will get a little of it. Some years ago, I read about a cucumber that was really resistant, as they had bred in a way to make the leaves much 'hairier', which the beetles hate to land on.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 10:16AM
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lisa-regina(5)

Thanks for the information. I just bought some seed yesterday. I bought the county fair and burpee pickler variety. Hope I get lots of cucumbers this year.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 1:03AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

About the best way to keep the plants healthy is to spray a fungcide like Serenade on the plants once they start to blossom. Because that little yellow and black beetle can destroy a cuke plant is a few days, be sure to be vigulent in controlling the insect and its eventual carrying of downey and powdery mildew which coats the leaves white, and suffocates the plants. My cukes will be maybe 4-5 types nf picklers, just for some variety. Most all pickling types work well in all pickling recipes.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:49AM
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annie1992

Well, I'm late to this thread, but I always like Miss Pickler, it does well in my short growing season and is predominately female blossoms, which is where you get the cucumbers. They do add a male "pollinator" seed to the packet.

The only time I've had an issue with my cucumbers not doing well is when it's hot and dry. They seem to take an inordinate amount of watering and wilt easily.

Annie

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 3:17PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I use two soaker hoses in my cuke area, as mentioned, if they are not getting plenty of water, you get little golf balls with a tiny end opposite the stem. Also, be sure to pick all you can find. If any are left and are hidden, they take a lot of the strength from the plant, and the plants stop producing well.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 8:03PM
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