Skip to Content

The Bush Pickle Cucumber

Are you looking for something new to liven up your garden this year? Look no further than Bush Pickle cucumbers!

Although any cucumber can be pickled, the Bush Pickle variety is one of the most popular cucumbers to eat or grow for that purpose, and for good reason.

Keep reading to learn about the Bush Pickle Cucumber. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll want to plant seeds to enjoy homegrown cucumbers from your garden!

A pickling cucumber on the vine resembling a Bush Pickle cucumber.

History of the Bush Pickle Cucumbers

Cucumbers likely originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, becoming popularized throughout the Middle East and eventually Europe. Christopher Columbus introduced them to the Americas.

In the late 20th century, the Bush Pickle cucumber was developed to enhance the fruit’s crunch and give home gardeners something easy to grow.


Characteristics of Bush Pickle Cucumbers

If you want to try a Bush Pickle cucumber, how will you know it from other pickle cucumbers? Read on to find out!

Appearance

Dark green pickle cucumbers.

Bush Pickle cucumbers are about five inches long, look like elongated cylinders with rounded ends, and are rich, dark green green, like most other cucumbers. However, they’re also speckled with white or green bumps, resembling small pimples or warts! The inner flesh is pastel green and stuffed with seeds in the center.

The vines grow anywhere from 18 to 36 inches long on average, so plants don’t tend to overcrowd small home gardens.

Taste

When ripe, Bush Pickle cucumbers have a mild and sweet taste. If you slice them up and preserve the pieces in vinegar, you’ll have some refreshing, crispy pickles to make your food even more luscious.


Recipes

A salad with pear and cucumber.

Bush Pickle cucumbers are a common choice for making dill pickles, which you can do by slicing at your preferred thickness and then preserving them in jars of vinegar. You could also add herbs for some extra flavor. If you’re looking for more unique ways to use your cucumbers, though, consider these recipes!

Mojito Mocktail

Mojito mocktails are a go-to choice when you want a rejuvenating drink without alcohol. The sweetness of Bush Pickle cucumbers adds a delightful sweetness to the tangy lime and cool mint! If you prefer harder drinks, however, check out our post on cucumber vodkas!

A cocktail with cucumber and mint.

Smoothie

Hydration is important for your health, and Bush Pickle cucumbers can make that extra fun and tasty. All you have to do is mix them with mangos and lime juice to make a delicious smoothie! You could even make popsicles by pouring the smoothie into molds or cups and freezing them.

Pear and Apple Salad

Like others of its genus, Bush Pickle cucumbers are usually treated like vegetables in the kitchen, but they’re scientifically classified as fruit. This scrumptiously savory pear and apple salad will remind you of that!


Health Benefits

A young cucumber plant in the garden.

Besides being tasty, Bush Pickle cucumbers can make you healthier. With every bite, you’ll be giving your body lots of essential nutrients, most notably the following.

Water

Since they’re 90% water, Bush Pickle cucumbers are great at keeping you hydrated. That way, you’ll enjoy a healthy amount of moisture in your skin, better blood flow, comfortable body temperature, efficient digestion, lubricated joints, and numerous other benefits.

Beta Carotene

You’ll find more than one antioxidant in Bush Pickle cucumbers, but beta carotene is the most prominent. Known for converting to vitamin A, beta carotene neutralizes free radical cells so that they don’t turn into cancer or other diseases. Vitamin A also supports health for your eyes, immune system, cell growth, reproductive organs, and–in pregnant women–fetuses.

Vitamin C

Though vitamin C is best known for strengthening the immune system, it’s also an antioxidant, ridding your body of dangerous free radicals. It lowers your chances of dementia, heart disease, and high blood pressure as well. You’ll find plenty of this vitamin in Bush Pickle cucumbers.

Manganese

If you want better metabolism and reliable bone, tissue, and blood formation, then consume more manganese. It’s found in lots of green vegetables, but it’s especially notable in the Bush Pickle cucumber.


How to Grow Bush Pickle Cucumbers

Although Bush Pickle cucumbers have a reputation as a garden-friendly fruit, you still have to know how to grow them. Just follow our advice!

Cucumber Seedling in a garden.

Planting

Wait until early spring when there’s no chance that frost will return. The soil should be around 50°F with a pH between 6 and 6.5. Look for a spot with full sunlight and space the seeds four to five feet apart. Ideally, plant them on a hill, which is more likely to have well-drained soil.

Trellising your cucumber plants will keep them healthier and make it easier to harvest fruit.

Cucumber Care

To keep the soil warm and deter weeds, mulch the soil around your Bush Pickle cucumbers and provide them with at least one inch of water per week.

They’ll also need liquid fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium and a moderate amount of nitrogen. Apply it one week after the vines start blooming and every two or three weeks after that.

Cucumbers and blossoms on plant.

Pests and Diseases

Luckily, Bush Pickle cucumbers are famously resistant to pests and diseases. However, they are susceptible to powdery mildew and beetle damage.

Row covers are helpful for keeping beetles out. Alternatively, surround the cucumbers with plants that beetles like even better, such as zinnias, alyssum, and even pumpkins.

Mildew growth is preventable simply by watering only during the day when the water will dry quickly, and/or by using milk spray after rainstorms. Mulch is known to prevent the onset of mildew, too.

Since cucumbers, in general, need warmth to survive, have some plastic sheets, old bed sheets, tarp, or similar materials on hand as well. Use them to cover the cucumbers if outdoor temperatures are expected to drop below 55°F for more than a day or two.

Harvesting

Bush Pickle cucumbers are typically ready to harvest about 45 to 55 days after planting. Once they’re firm, dark green, and roughly 18 to 36 inches long, grab a bucket, basket, or wheelbarrow and pruning shears. Clip the stems about a quarter inch above the fruit and then drop them in the container you brought.


Where to Buy Seeds

Planting Cucumber Seeds

Not sure where to find the seeds? We can help!

Bush Pickle Cucumber seeds are sold online by one of our favorite seed retailers, True Leaf Market. Order yours in time for spring planting!


Enjoy Your Bush Pickle Cucumbers!

Pile of short pickling cucumbers.

Now that you know the basics of growing Bush Pickle cucumbers, add them to your garden and your meals!

For more reading about cucumbers, visit the Cucumbers page on our website. You’ll find blog posts about different varieties and the best ways to showcase their flavor, plus helpful growing and care guides.