Chicago Pickling Cucumber
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~35 ($3.50)
Bulk seeds per packet: ~150 ($9.50)
Germination tested 11/2020: 98%
Life cycle: Annual
This popular heirloom variety was introduced in 1888 by DM Ferry of Detroit, Michigan. It has since been the home gardener's standard pickling cucumber, used for pickles of all sizes (from tiny gherkins to oversize bread-and-butter slices). Its thin skin allows it to readily take in brine. Pickling cucumbers are bumpier and stockier than so-called "slicing" cucumbers, but they are equally good for fresh eating. Vigorous plants are resistant to cucumber mosaic virus and scab, but not to downy mildew, so plant somewhere with good air circulation and avoid getting leaves wet. Our seed was grown by Dylan Bruce of Circadian Organics in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin.
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed after danger of last frost or transplant healthy plant starts after danger of last frost. Plants should be 12-16 inches apart. 'Gagon' likes to climb and would prefer a trellis. However, they will eventually sprawl if they must. If you're trellising, rows could be 4-5 feet apart. If you're letting them sprawl, rows could be 5-7 feet apart. Prefers full sun.