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All About Picklebush Cucumbers

Searching for a new cucumber to add to your garden? Look no further than the picklebush cucumber! This is the perfect pickle cuke for small garden spaces and fresh, healthy meals.

Continue reading below to see why you need to add the picklebush cucumber to your home garden.

A pile of short pickling cucumber, similar to the picklebush cucumber.

What is the Picklebush Cucumber

Characteristics

The picklebush cucumber looks very similar to many other cucumber varieties with its deep green coloring and knotty bumps and ridges. Its flavor is mild and slightly sweet, a refreshing taste you expect in a cucumber.

These cucumbers only grow to about 4-5 inches in length, making them an excellent choice for pickling! They are shorter and thicker than their slicing cucumber cousins.

The picklebush cucumber plant is also quite pretty, with lush green foliage and small yellow buds. The vines are compact and form a bush shape, but this doesn’t mean the plant lacks fruit! You can count on a large abundance of cucumbers in a small space with this plant.

These cucumbers also grow in pairs — very cute!

Immature cucumbers growing as a pair.
A pair of immature cucumbers.

Eating Picklebush Cucumbers

The bush pickle is a versatile fruit to use in the kitchen. Add it to fresh salads, slice it up as a sandwich topper, or enjoy it alone as a snack. Its refreshing flavor and nutritional qualities make it an excellent choice for an extra crunch in your meals.

A bowl of short pickling cucumbers.

Recipes for Your Picklebush Cucumbers

Take a look at the ideas below to showcase your bush pickles!

The picklebush cucumber was practically made to be pickled. This Homemade Refrigerator Pickle recipe is perfect for a quick and tasty snack with a garlicky, zesty twist. Try them on your favorite sandwich!

Woman making homemade pickles.

You can’t go wrong with a crisp and cool cucumber salad. This Pickled Cucumber Salad is an easy sweet and sour side dish for your summer barbecues.

Looking for some protein? This Teriyaki Chicken with Pickled Cucumbers dish offers a blend of unique flavors that are irresistible.

These cucumbers are addictive! You’ll eat them straight from the pickle jar or off the vine!

Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Slices of cucumber fanned out.

Cucumbers are a stellar addition to your diet! They’re low in calories but high in nutrients – cucumber skin is especially high in vitamin C, which your immune system will thank you for. They’re also made up of about 95% water, so they’ll hydrate your body while flushing out toxins.

Eating cucumbers can also aid in lowering blood pressure. They are packed full of fiber, potassium, and magnesium. They can also regulate the uric acid in the body, which could reduce the risk of kidney stones.


Growing Picklebush Cucumbers

Cucumbers growing in pairs.

This cucumber variety is ideal for small gardens or containers due to its compact size. If you have limited garden space, this is the cucumber for you.

How to Plant and Care for Your Cucumber

Because it’s a bush variety, you can grow this cucumber indoors. However, cucumbers grow better outdoors, so if you can go that route, you’ll have the best results.

The best planting site for your picklebush is a sunny location with fertile, well-drained soil. Adding organic matter to your soil and providing good drainage are great ways to ensure a healthy plant. The soil should be about 60°F.

We’ll go over the basics here – for more information, read our blog post, How to Plant Cucumbers.

Outdoor Planting

Closeup of a emerald green cucumber on a plant.

Cucumbers prefer the summer months when the risk of frost has already gone. Planting in May and June is ideal. Direct sunlight and heat are key!

When planting your seeds, it is best to create small hills of soil spaced out about 4-5 feet apart in a sunny part of your garden. The hills should be about 5 inches high. You can plant a few seeds on each hill, pushing them about an inch down into the soil.

Water your seedlings every five days or so. Give them a good soak, and don’t water them again until the soil feels dry. The best practice is watering less frequently but more deeply.

Indoor Planting

A cucumber plant indoors.

If sowing your seeds inside, you can begin in early March.

Like sowing seeds outdoors, you want to start and grow your cucumbers in a sunny place in your home. Seedlings can be grown in plastic containers and kept on the windowsill. Plant a couple of seeds per every square foot of soil.

Keep in mind that growing cucumbers indoors requires hand pollination and temperature regulation.

Harvesting

Short, dark green pickling cucumbers.

You can begin harvesting your picklebush cucumbers at 48 days. To cut the cukes, shear the stems about 1/4th of an inch away from the fruit.

Be careful not to let the cucumbers grow too big! Bush pickles taste the best when they’re still immature. Leaving them on the vine too long will cause cucumbers to turn bitter and bland-tasting.

Disease

While cucumbers are easy to plant, they aren’t disease resistant. Powdery Mildew, Angular Leaf Spot, and Bacterial Wilt are among the top diseases common in cucumber plants.

These diseases can affect the leaves and fruit of the plant. Poor conditions, pests, and poor care cause common cucumber diseases.

The best way to prevent this is to maintain good upkeep of your plants. Don’t overcrowd them, remove debris from the plant beds, and keep up with crop rotation.

You can treat your plants with chemical fungicides to help keep them safe.

Cucumber leaves infected with powdery mildew.
Cucumber leaves with powdery mildew.

Pests

Cucumber plants can be attacked by a few annoying creatures in your garden. Aphids, cucumber beetles, and spider mites are all common pests.

To help control these unwelcome guests, practice the same upkeep you would to prevent disease. I also suggest keeping the soil rich and staying consistent with watering.

You may want to consider introducing natural predators to your garden. Beneficial insects will target pests.

When in doubt, insecticides that attack these specific pests will do the trick!


Where to Buy Seeds

Cucumber Seedlings

You can find picklebush seeds at most local garden centers, or you can buy them online. We recommend the picklebush cucumber seeds available on Amazon!


Pick the Picklebush

Homemade pickles.

The Picklebush cucumber is a reliable and delicious addition to any vegetable garden. It’s easy to grow, and its bush growth means indoor gardeners can also enjoy homegrown cucumbers. The crisp, refreshing taste and health benefits are sure to have you using it to add flavor and texture to dishes.

For more cucumber information, check out our Cucumbers page, where you’ll see more blog posts about the varieties of different cucumbers and how to use them!