Cucumber plants are one of the easiest and most prolific crops to be grown in the home garden. Knowing when is the perfect time to harvest cucumbers and how to do it is important thing because it make sure that you will have yummy and ripe fruit. Keep reading the article to find out how and when harvest cucumbers.
Types of cucumbers
There are two types of cucumbers. Those types are small pickling cucumbers and rough, bumpy and large slicing cucumbers. Let’s talk a bit about both of them.
Small pickling cucumbers
Pickling cucumbers are about 2 inches long but some of the varieties can grow up to 6 inches long.
Pickling varieties have tight seed cavities and firm flesh. They are going to be also amazing being eaten fresh and straight out of the garden or in the salads. Yes, thats right pickling cucumbers are good to be eaten fresh and are flavorful.
Pickling varieties tends to stay fresh for longer than slicing ones. Those cucumbers doesn’t have to be kept in refrigerator. You can easily keep them in cool and dark place for even about 5 days before you will decide to pickle them.
Slicing cucumbers are the best when are about 6 inches long.
Slicing cucumbers aren’t good choice for pickling. Why? Well because of their high water content. Slicing varieties are the best for fresh eating!
Storage time of slicing varieties is about 3 days once they have been harvested.
How to grow cucumbers?
Cucumbers needs a long growing season – most cucumbers are ready for harvest in 50 to 70 days from planting them. It is very important to pick cucumbers when they are ready otherwise the fruit will have bitter flavor.
You should watch for the first female flowers to open. When you do notice them you should expect ripe fruit in about 8 up to 10 days. Check the vines everday after they start to produce because cucumbers grow quickly!
How to harvest cucumbers
When you will be harvesting your cucumbers remember to wear gloves. Why gloves? Because some of cucumbers are prickly. To harvest cucumbers you will need sharp knife or pruners to cut the ripe fruit of the vines.
Tip: if you won’t be using cucumbers right after they are harvested leave about one inch section of stem attached to the cucumber. Those actions prevent stem end from rotting.
Remember not to pull or twist the vines becaue the plant will be demaged!
When it comes to slicing cucumbers they will be ready for harvest when will be about 6 up to 8 inches long. Those burpless cucumbers are in fact the best to be harvested at 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. Those cucumbers should be dark green color and firm when you touch them.
Pickling cucumbers should be picked anywhere about 2 up to 6 inches long when are harvested. If you are thinking about making sweet pickles you should pick them when are about 2 or 3 inches.
Do cucumbers ripen off the vine?
If you were wondering if cucumbers ripen off the vine the answer is sad and short, no. Unfortunetely when you pick cucumbers it’s done then so pick them wisely!
Cucumber gardening tips
- cucumbers are warm weather plants so they can’t be sow outdoors early,
- to have different number of days maturity plant 2 or 3 varieties of cucumbers,
- if you notice any damaged fruit on the vine remove it so the plant won’t waste its energy on it,
- planting successive crops a few weeks apart will assure you fresh cucumbers all season long,
- do not let cucumbers turn yellow. If you do it will be over ripe,
- assess plants for those cucumbers which are stunted, have rotten ends or aren’t growing,
- durning off peak season, harvest cucubers daily this will prevent cucumbers to over grow,
- if you want to prepare dill pickles you should harvest cucumbers when they are 3 to 4 inches long,
- pick all of the cucumbers which are yellow and past their prime this will give more of nutrition to the healthy fruits.
- If you feel that cucumbers at the store are waxy the reason why is because commercial growers covers them with wax to prevent moisture loss and also to keep them fresh longer,
- pickling cucumber varieties require blanching or pickling to have the best flavor,
- most cucumbers can be storaged in refrigerator for up to three days just put them in perforated bags or loose plastic,
- picklers have indeed thinner skin and are crisper with crunchier flesh than most of the slicers,
- cucumber fruits ripen at different times on its vine.
Vegetables are very important part of human diets. Vegetables are full of needed vitamins and we should be eating them. Thats why growing your own cucumbers is very good idea. If you have your own garden there is nothing to stop you from growing your own cucumber fruits.