Just Pickles

The cucumbers are really working out for me this summer, and I am dedicating lots of time to making pickles for my pickle loving family.  Typically my cucumber plants succumb to disease as a result of cucumber beetle infestation shortly after the first cucumbers are ready to be picked.  This year I got smart and planted a trap crop of Mayo Indian Amaranth, right next to my cucumber plants.  The cucumber beetles definitely seem to prefer the amaranth to the cucumber plants, and mine are still going strong.  I am growing Homemade Pickles pickling cucumbers, and so far I am very impressed with them.  I’ve been making my favorite pickle recipes from Canning for a New Generation:  honeyed bread and butter, and both quicker and quickest dills.  Some get canned, and some I just put straight into the fridge.

Happy as it makes me to watch those jars of pickles lining up on our pantry shelves, I am very glad that today is not a pickle making day.  I probably ought to work on getting my neglected house cleaned up.


  1. My first year to be successful….sort of. I got enough for one salad and two very small batches of pickles. Then vacation and death to the plant. Set up irrigation but just wasn’t enough. Pickles were fair. Way too salty though and not crisp. Made them same day as picked and iced them per dh’s gma instructions. Found out after buying canning pot and accessories, a full canning pot can crack a glass top range but good. Had to use pasta pot and 4small, as in short, jars per batch. I love salt, crave it, but even I couldn’t choke these salt licks down. dH has eaten the first batch. Don’t know how and not asking if disposal played a role. Second batch has more pickle to brine so crossing fingers for improvement. Love the amaranth tip. I use Earthboxes with the water wicking reservoirs and love them. Their suggested number of plants was too crowded for my limited experience so I cut # of plants per box in half and worked great. No bugs, except slugs during the May rains.
    I always talk too much. Sorry for running on
    Donna in tx

  2. Making pickles is so fun! My mom and grandma made them every summer! My husband and I want a canning pot so we can make some too. Currently we’ve just made refrigerator pickles.

  3. Great photos, wonderful colours
    Yummy pickles xx

  4. I’m in CT too, very late garden. My tomato plants are terrible. Hoping it blooms..

  5. Pickles are next on our list too. My family loves pickles, so we try to put by enough jars to save buying them. (So much tastier homemade and fermented!) Love the photos of your cucumbers thought – it looks like you enjoying that harvest for sure. 🙂

  6. That is interesting about the Aramanth. There are so many natural ways to keep the bugs at bay. I’ve never made cucumber pickle before as I’ve never been very successful growing them in the garden.

  7. Someday, we will have a garden. For now, we buy our cucumbers at the store and make our pickles 🙂

  8. That looks delicious, I have to try that recipe.

  9. Great tip on the amaranth! Thank you! I planted my cucumbers late, so I’m hoping to get just a few before fall, if the beetles don’t get them. Best wishes cleaning. I have to do that too.

  10. oh yay! wonderful to figure out a way through this to actually be able to have this crop for canning! all the best with the house clean up; I know how hard it is to accomplish even when greatly needed.

  11. Oooo nice! We are still waiting for our cucumbers here in Minnesota (though our zucchini are flourishing and we are loving freshly cooked zucchini with olive oil and a little salt and pepper) but I am hoping our crop comes through and we get plenty for pickling. Although my toddler prefers them in straight cucumber form so I will have to see how many I can steal for pickles 🙂 Now our strawberries have been sad because the squirrels keep stealing them. I have only gotten ONE so far. Any tips?

  12. Oh Ginny….thank you for the amaranth tip! I will do that next year. My family loves pickles too but I am always a bit disappointed in the crispness of them after they are on the shelf a while. Let me know how they stand up to shelf life so I can add them to my seed buying list in January.

  13. Thank you so much for the information about amaranth. This is the first year I planted cucumbers so we will see what happens here in CT. I will order some amaranth seeds next year even if this year proves to be ok. Everything is late this year and so far I only have buds. Maybe it will be a late fall. Only kale, collards, cabbages, carrots, chard, turnips and flowers so far.

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