How to Plant Pickling Cucumbers


Pickling cucumbers are smaller than slicing cucumbers and have a thick skin. They are ideal for pickling, yet delicious sliced raw and served in a salad or alone. Slicing cucumbers are those typically found in the produce section of the supermarket, while pickling cucumbers are less common. Farmer's markets are a good source for finding pickling cucumbers, or grow your own in your vegetable garden. Plant cucumber seeds in small mounds, when all danger of frost has past, ideally in soil with 5.5 to 7.0 pH.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is approximately 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep. Prepare a series of mounds on the row in the vegetable garden intended for pickling cucumbers, spacing the mounds about 1 foot apart.

Step 2

Add about 4 inches of well-decomposed cow manure or compost into the hole. Return the dirt that was initially removed to form a mound that is approximately 4 inches high.

Step 3

Sow six seeds in each mound, planting them each ½ inch deep, equally spaced, forming a 12-inch circle on the top of the mound.

Step 4

Thin the mound, removing three of the less hearty plants when the seedlings are 3 inches high.

Step 5

Cover the plants with wax-coated paper cup protectors, available at gardening centers. Do this when necessary to protect the seeds from late frost, insects and rain.

Step 6

Scatter 1/3 cup of 5-10-5 fertilizer around the mound twice a month. Water the soil to keep the soil moist. Prepare to harvest cucumbers about two months after sowing the seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water overhead by sprinkling, as that encourages mildew. Gently apply water to the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Well-decomposed cow manure or compost
  • Cucumber seeds
  • Wax-paper paper cup protectors
  • 5-10-5 fertilizer


  • "Vegetables and Fruit"; James Crockett; 1972
  • "Vegetable Gardening"; Editors of Sunset Books; 1975
  • The Cook's Thesaurus: Cucumbers
Keywords: planting pickling cucumbers, pickling cucumber seeds, growing pickling cucumbers

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.