National Pickling Cucumber was developed many decades ago by the National Pickle Packers Association as the standard cucumber variety for pickling. This open-pollinated, heirloom variety produces heavy yields of blunt, thick cucumbers that are dark green with black spines. The ends are slightly tapered so that they fit and pack into a pickle jar extremely well. This is a prolific variety with continued production and many harvests throughout the growing season. National Pickling Cucumber can be harvested at 2-3″ for gherkin-style pickles, or allowed to reach 4-5″ for fresh eating. At their peak quality and size, cucumbers are about 6″ long. This is a great variety for making cucumber salads or fresh vegetable trays, but it is known for the high-quality pickles that can be made with them. Slice them to make traditional hamburger chip pickles, or quarter them to make delicious pickle spears that fit perfectly into a jar.
Cucumbers perform best when direct seeded. They do not perform well when transplanted. Cucumbers may be direct-seeded by hand or with a walk-behind seeder. To obtain a good stand of plants, we suggest planting seeds every 6-8″ inches and thinning to one seed per foot. Cucumbers are a vining plant and grow best when provided a trellised structure to climb. Use a strong trellis that is well-supported with deeply driven stakes. Keeping plants off the ground will reduce the potential of plant diseases like mildews and other diseases that can result from excess plant moisture. Trellising will also keep the fruits cleaner and save time with harvest and processing, in addition to reducing fruit discoloration or yellowing from sitting on the soil surface.
National Pickling Cucumber Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 12″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 60
Disease Tolerance: Scab, Cucumber Mosaic Virus