Best Plants You Can Grow For Home Pickling

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / Sentelia

Home gardening is an amazing way to have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Gardens often yield a plethora of crops, and some fruits and vegetables even yield all their bounty all at once. While it is amazing to have tons of fresh vegetables, you often find yourself wondering what to do with the surplus of vegetables you can’t eat right away. This is why it is a good idea to grow foods that you can pickle for later use.

If you are interested in pickling the food that you grow in your home garden, begin with the most popular choices like cucumbers, various types of cabbage, onions, and beets. You can also easily pickle asparagus, green beans, radishes, carrots, and cauliflower by quick-pickling them or taking a traditional pickling approach. For exotic pickling, consider jalapenos and even lemons.

Pickling is an amazing way to enjoy your fresh-grown foods throughout the year. When cold weather settles in, it is nice to know you have a stash of zesty pickled foods you can add to salads and other dishes to bring a little breath of freshness to your winter cuisine. The key is growing fruits and vegetables that are easy to pickle and taste delicious even months later. Keep reading to uncover our full list of the top items to plant in your home garden that you can grow and then pickle for later use.

Top 11 Plants You Can Grow In A Garden For Home Pickling

1. Cucumbers

When one thinks of pickles, there is a good chance a pickled cucumber is the first image that comes to mind. Cucumber pickles are a staple in the North American diet, layered on sandwiches, burgers, and all sorts of dishes. So it should come as no surprise that one of the ultimate vegetables to grow in your garden for home pickling is the cucumber.

Not only is cucumber a popular item to pickle, but it is also a very easy plant to grow. Additionally, cucumbers tend to produce a large yield in a short period. This makes them a great candidate for pickling, as you can only eat so many fresh cucumbers in a day before you grow tired of them. Kirby and mini-English cucumbers are both great cucumber varieties to grow for pickling.

2. Cabbage

Another vegetable that is pickled in great abundance throughout the world is cabbage. From delicious and spicy Korean kimchi to European sauerkraut, there are endless ways to flavor pickled cabbage.

In addition to the different flavors and methods of pickling cabbage, there are also various types of cabbage you can use for pickling. For Korean-style pickled cabbage, a Napa cabbage or a more leafy variety works best. European-style pickled cabbage works great with the firmer green cabbage. Make sure you decide on your method of pickling before choosing your specific cabbage.

3. Beets

Beets are another hearty vegetable that people have been pickling for generations. These purple or yellow root vegetables might last several weeks after pulling them from the ground, but you need to pickle them if you want to enjoy them months later.

You can opt for whatever beets you like best. These pickled vegetables are delicious on top of salads, and in other cold dishes like pasta salad, and even on sandwiches. Remember, you will need to cut larger beets into smaller peices to fit them in a mason jar, so if you want to pickle your beets whole, then opt for a smaller variety.

4. Asparagus

Fresh asparagus is divine, and sometimes canned asparagus can be mushy and downright awful. This is why many people are apprehensive about pickling asparagus, but when done right, pickled asparagus can be crisp and fresh - not like the mushy junkkind you get in the can.

For crispy pickled asparagus, rinse and then cold pack the vegetable. If you like a softer pickled asparagus, give it a longer blanch. Either way, pickling the leftover asparagus from your vegetable garden is a great way to enjoy it later on, without having to resort to the disappointing frozen or canned alternatives.

5. Carrots

Carrots are another delicious and nutritious root vegetable that you can grow in your vegetable garden and then pickle for later use. You can do a quick pickle or a traditional pickling of these delicious orange veggies, and both are delicious.

Pickling carrots make for an amazing and healthy garnish for a bloody Mary as well. It also adds a lovely flavor, thanks to the brine. This makes them a tasty snack on their own — no hummus needed.

6. Jalapenos

If you love Mexican food (and who doesn’t), then you should without question grow jalapenos in your garden. For anyone who has cooked with jalapenos, however, you know that a little bit goes a long way.

Jalapenos grow easily and robustly, meaning you are bound to have a lot of spicy peppers lying around. Pickled jalapenos take on a new flavor that is popular and essential to many Mexican and other Latin American recipes. You can add them to salsa, and ceviche, and have them on the side of any taco bar.

7. Onions

Onions are used in almost everything. They also grow easily in most gardens. Onions are great fresh, but take on a whole new flavor when they are pickled. Once pickled, they don’t need to be sauteed or fried. They can easily be tossed into salads, deviled eggs, or added to wraps and tacos.

Best of all, a pickled onion is one of the healthiest ways to eat an onion. There is no oil and frying involved, yet there is tons of flavor and none of that unpleasant burning sensation you get from some raw onions.

8. Green Beans

Green beans, Haricot Vert, and any thin green crisp bean make for a great pickled vegetable. Similar to asparagus, canned green beans are often mushy and lack fresh flavor. But pickled green beans have the snap that you know and love these vegetables for.

Green beans are easy to grow, and when grown correctly, they can produce thousands of beans for many weeks. They make for a fantastic healthy snack on their own and are also great as a side at brunch with any baked or poached egg dish.

9. Cauliflower

Cauliflower and broccoli are fairly easy to grow in any garden but are both vegetables that you can get sick of. The good news is if you like raw cauliflower, then you are going to love the way pickled cauliflower tastes.

Pickled cauliflower has added flavor and some moisture -— two things lacking in raw cauliflower. You can quickly pickle this vegetable or take a more traditional approach. Either way, pickled cauliflower is a great item to have in your pantry or fridge for when you want to snack on something healthy that you don’t have to cook.

10. Radishes

Radishes are a polarizing root vegetable, but there is no debate that they are flavorful and full of health benefits. They are also simple to grow in your garden and don’t take up a ton of space. Similar to spicy peppers, a little radish goes a long way, which is one reason why pickling them is a great option.

Not only do radishes take well to pickling, but it also helps to numb some of their spice. Just like with onions, raw radishes can have a bite to them. Thanks to pickling, much of that bite is muted, but the fresh flavor remains. Those who don’t love radishes but enjoy growing them should give pickling them a try.

11. Lemons

If you are thinking about growing a lemon tree, but are on the fence, know that there are many uses for the fruit from just one tree. In addition to making lemonade and all sorts of dressings and cocktails, you can also pickle the lemons you grow for future use.

Pickled lemons are great in many Mediterranean pasta dishes, especially recipes that include a bit of seafood or beans. They are also great on their own or added to soups.

Final Thoughts On What Plants To Grow For Home Pickling

Pickling is a fun hobby that results in delicious and nutritious food you can enjoy for months. If you are interested in both gardening and pickling, then it makes sense you should want to grow fruits and vegetables that you can also pickle for later use.

While there are dozens of fruits and vegetables you can pickle, some of the best and most popular options that easily grow in most home gardens include cucumbers, beets, cabbage, carrots, radishes, asparagus, and green beans. You can also try pickling radishes, onions, and jalapenos to keep their flavor but diminish some of their spice.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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