Homemade Cucumber Relish

My homemade cucumber relish recipe has been in the family for generations. I’ve been eating it for as long as I can remember. This relish is the reason I eat hot dogs in the summer. It’s sweet, and slightly crunchy. Everything you need for the perfect cucumber relish.

Jar of homemade cucumber relish sitting on a patio table

See the recipe now!

I remember as a child going to my Aunt’s camp and having this amazing homemade cucumber relish with my hot dogs. I mean I was 6 years old and it left that much of an impact on me, that’s how good it is. As an adult, my Aunt was kind enough to share the recipe with me. She told me that when she makes this recipe, she has to make jars and jars of the stuff, as each of her children wants some.

This year I was a little greedy. When my garden started producing cucumbers I didn’t share them like I usually do.  I horded them all to myself. I even took extra ones from my parents when they offered them.  Then I turned all those lovely cucumbers into this homemade cucumber relish.

I did share my relish with my parents. I returned their cucumbers back to them, only in the form of relish.

I had a beautiful crop of cucumbers this summer and my garden is still producing cucumbers. I did a lot of research before the gardening season started. Here are a few the tips I’m using.

cucumbers growing on a garden trellis

Tips for Growing Cucumbers

Cucumber seeds should be planted in doors to start the germination process. Cucumbers are very susceptible to frost damage so they should be planted in the ground after the last frost. Start seeds about 4 weeks before you transplant them into the ground. You can also purchase seedlings from your local greenhouse.

Cucumbers like a place with lots of sun. I have mine planted along a fence and I’m still having great success. I made sure the spot was nice and sunny for the majority of the day.

cucumbers growing on a garden trellis

Mix compost or manure into the soil before planting the cucumber plants.  The plants should be put in the ground about 12 inches apart if you are using a trellis.

The trellis I built were only four feet tall, I plan on making taller ones for next year. I had to train the vines up the trellis as they grew. I used garden twine to hold the vines in place. The tendrils eventually grabbed hold of the chicken wire.  The trellis helped increase the growing capacity of my garden and also encouraged the cucumbers to grow straight and long since they were not laying on the ground.

cucumbers growing on a garden trellis

Cucumber plants need to be watered often. You can test the soil by putting your finger in the soil. If it’s dry past the first joint of your finger, you should water them. You can even mulch around the base of the plants to hold in the soil moisture.

I added extra compost around the base of the plants about a month after planting. Water soluble fertilizer is also a good idea to add extra nutrients to the soil. It’s suggested you add fertilizer when the plants start to flower and every 3 weeks after that to help encourage production.

How do I Hand Pollinating Cucumber Flowers?

Do have tons of cucumber flowers but no cucumbers? Maybe help your plants by hand pollinating your cucumbers. Here’s a quick video on how to do it.


How to Harvest your cucumbers

Cucumbers taste best if they don’t grow too large.  Cucumbers grow quickly so keep a close eye on them and pick as needed. A cucumber is best picked when it is uniformly green, firm, and crisp. Use a knife or scissors to cut the stem above the fruit. Pick your cucumbers often to encourage the plant to keep producing.

I grew long English cucumbers as I wanted to make this relish. Most of these tips are good for the small pickling cucumbers as well.

How to Store your Cucumbers

Wrap your cucumbers tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge up to 10 days. Or use your cucumbers in this delicious homemade cucumber relish recipe or to make pickles.

Using all these tips, I feel I’ve had an extraordinary growing season for my cucumbers. I’ll definitely be able to make another batch of this homemade cucumber relish before the end of the season. How do you enjoy preserving your cucumbers for the cold winter months?

Jar of homemade cucumber relish and hot dog on a patio table

4.15 from 7 votes

Homemade Cucumber Relish

Course Side Dish
Cuisine North American
Keyword Relish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups


  • 6 cucumbers 6” shredded and drained
  • 2 ½ cups Onions shredded
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 2 cups White vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 ½ cup White sugar
  • 3 ½ teaspoon Mustard seed


  1. Soak the cucumbers for at least half an hour before scrubbing them to ensure they are clean. Cut them into quarters lengthwise, then in eighths crosswise (remove the seeds if the cucumbers are big). Place them in the food processor. Once chopped, drain for 5 minutes through colander. Measure cucumber bits. You should have about 5 cups. Place into a bowl and add chopped onions and salt. Mix well and let stand 1 hour. Drain off liquid.
  2. Place the prepared vegetables into a large pot. Add vinegar, turmeric, sugar, mustard seed, and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 hour stirring often. Veggies should be crisply tender.
  3. Ladle the relish into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Remove from the water to a tea towel or bakers rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid.
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Diana L.