When and The way to Harvest Cucumbers

After months of caring for cucumber vegetation, the day you’ve been ready for has arrived: it’s time to reap! However precisely how do you choose these crunchy fruits? Whereas harvesting cucumbers isn’t tough, studying how one can choose them the proper manner will result in scrumptious and crunchy cukes and wholesome vegetation.

I’ll cowl when you possibly can anticipate to see mature fruits in your vegetation and how one can decide once they’re prepared to choose. Then, I’ll share some insider recommendations on how one can harvest and retailer your cucumbers for optimum enjoyment.

How Lengthy Do Cucumber Crops Take to Mature?

A blooming cucumber plant showcases bright yellow star-shaped flowers and a young, green fruit forming at the base of one flower.
Plan your cucumber harvest by understanding their days to maturity.

Whereas cucumber seeds can develop into foot-tall vegetation in a number of weeks, the vegetation take longer to start producing flowers and fruits. The precise time between the seeding date and your first mature cucumber relies on the cucumber selection you’re rising in addition to environmental situations.

You’ll be able to work out when to anticipate your first ripe cucumber by trying on the plant’s days to maturity (DTM). This time period refers back to the variety of days it takes a seed to germinate and develop right into a mature crop. You’ll find the DTM on the seed packet.

Most cucumbers have a DTM between 50 and 70 days. Since these are warm-weather vegetation, it is best to sow cucumber seeds someday in late spring or summer time, relying on the place you reside. This implies the vegetation will mature someday in the summertime.

For instance, in the event you plant cucumber seeds on Might 15, you possibly can anticipate to start choosing someday in July. Nevertheless, in the event you sow your seeds on July 1, don’t anticipate to reap till someday between mid-August and mid-September.

When Are Cucumbers Able to Harvest?

A plant features sprawling vines with large, lobed leaves and produces elongated, smooth-skinned green fruits.
Choose when fruits attain their selection’s perfect measurement and texture.

As soon as your vegetation begin producing fruits, it’s time to find out once they’re prepared to reap. Since every cucumber selection has a novel mature measurement, I can’t let you know to choose your cukes once they’re 5 or ten inches lengthy. As an alternative, it is best to have a look at your seed packet and be aware of the variability’s mature measurement.

For instance, ‘Tasty Inexperienced’ cukes have the very best style and texture once they’re between seven and 9 inches lengthy. Nevertheless, ‘Do-it-yourself Pickles’ are greatest once they’re one-and-a-half to 6 inches lengthy.

Together with trying on the selection’s mature measurement, you need to use a number of elements to find out if the fruits are prepared to reap. First, have a look at the fruit’s rigidity. If the cucumber simply bends in your hand, it’s not fairly prepared to choose. Nevertheless, a agency cucumber doesn’t essentially equate with a mature cucumber! Many begin out small and onerous, then transition to a versatile stage earlier than turning into inflexible round harvest time.

You can even use the fruit’s form to find out maturity. Immature fruits typically have distinct ridges and/or bumps. As they develop, these bumps and ridges flatten out and fade into the background. Many mature cukes nonetheless have some texture, however it isn’t as pronounced as it’s on immature fruits.

The way to Harvest

Close-up of a gardener's hand picking a ripe cucumber, oval oblong in shape with dark green skin covered in small pimples.
Reduce the stem fastidiously to keep away from injury.

When you’ve discovered a mature cucumber, it’s time to reap! A very powerful factor to bear in mind when choosing your cucumber is to chop the stem fairly than the fruit. Every cucumber is hooked up to the plant with a brief, fleshy stem that’s a number of inches lengthy. Harvesting includes slicing or pinching the stem so you possibly can separate the cucumber from the remainder of the plant.

Many individuals harvest by holding the bottom of the plant after which pulling the fruit till the stem breaks. Whereas this technique is ok, it is best to be sure to don’t rip the cucumber off of the stem. In the event you do that, the cucumber’s inside will likely be uncovered to the air and prone to rot.

If you wish to restrict the chance of pulling the stem off of the cucumber, you possibly can lower the stem with a knife or pair of pruning shears. Reduce the stem about half an inch above the place it attaches to the cucumber.

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How Typically Ought to You Harvest?

A close-up of a farmer's hands holding about eight ripe, freshly picked cukes with bumpy skin and dried, faded flowers at the ends.
Choose regularly to make sure fruits keep tender and flavorful.

Cucumbers develop shortly, particularly in heat and sunny situations. Within the warmth of summer time, it is best to harvest not less than each different day.  This ensures you harvest your cukes earlier than they cross the purpose of maturity. You might be able to get away with harvesting the fruits each three or 4 days throughout cool and cloudy intervals.

Whenever you’re harvesting, make sure that to totally look at all components of the plant. Cukes are masters of camouflage and readily cover below or behind leaves. In the event you miss a cucumber for only a few days, it will possibly shortly flip into an inedible balloon!

Cucumber vegetation left to sprawl throughout the bottom are particularly prone to cover their fruits. I like to recommend gently shifting the leaves on one aspect of your plant to test for ripe fruits after which repeating the identical course of on the opposite aspect.

So long as they continue to be wholesome, cucumber vegetation can proceed producing new flowers and fruits for a number of months. Nevertheless, most vegetation sometimes succumb to illness, insect strain, or environmental stress after a few month of fruit manufacturing. Subsequently, it’s a good suggestion to plant a number of successions if you wish to harvest these crunchy fruits all summer time lengthy.

The way to Retailer

Close-up of elongated, smooth, shiny, dark green skinned cukes in a plastic bag on a wooden surface.
Retailer your recent harvest within the fridge.

Cucumbers received’t ripen off the vine, so it is best to choose them at precisely the stage you wish to eat them. Though they received’t develop any bigger as soon as picked, they’re prone to rot and different forms of decay. You’ll be able to sluggish this course of by storing your recent harvest within the fridge. Not solely will preserving them within the fridge assist them last more, however it additionally makes it straightforward to take pleasure in a cool and crunchy snack!

Though cukes will maintain longer within the fridge than they are going to on the counter, take word that their perfect storage temperature is 55°F (13°C). Since these fruits are prone to wreck at temperatures beneath 35°F (2°C), test your fridge’s temperature earlier than inserting them inside.

Moisture can result in rot, so dry fruits totally earlier than storing them. You can even wrap them in plastic wrap or place them in an hermetic plastic bag to preserve moisture and forestall them from drying out. When picked on the proper time and saved correctly, they need to final for not less than ten days.

What Occurs to Overripe Cucumbers?

An overripe cucumber appears bulbous and yellowish in color, with smooth skin.
Fruits left unpicked develop outsized with easy, pale skins.

In the event you miss a cucumber on a harvest day or skip harvesting altogether, your cucumbers will seemingly develop previous the best harvest stage. They turn out to be bulbous with discolored skins. Many change from deep inexperienced to gentle inexperienced or yellow as they mature.

Whereas these cucumbers are suitable for eating, they’re not scrumptious. Overripe fruits have a smooth fairly than crunchy texture and infrequently include a bitter aftertaste. In addition they have bigger seeds that make consuming them disagreeable. In the event you spot one among these in your plant, choose it and place it in your compost pile.

Closing Ideas

If you wish to take pleasure in crunchy and candy cucumbers, bear in mind to reap the fruits each few days. Search for agency but full fruits and harvest them by slicing their stems.

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