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How do I know when cucumbers are ready to pick?

Cucumber    OH Zone 6

How can I tell if my cucumbers are ready to be picked? I’m a first time cucumber grower and my plants have several fruits about 2” long so far. From what I understand I want to avoid them turning yellow as this means I have waited too long. Is there a foolproof way of telling when they are ready for eating - clearly mine have a bit to go yet but what should I look out for?


Posted by: Rosemarie (2 points) Rosemarie
Posted: July 10, 2013




Answers

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Non pickling cucumbers are usually mature at about 5-8" long depending on the variety and they will have nice green color. There are other special varieties that are different, but your seed packet or transplant label should tell you what the ripe fruits are like. To harvest, turn the cuke parallel to the vine and give it a quick snap to remove.


Posted by: Joan Allen (2 points) Joan Allen
Posted: July 10, 2013




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Many varieties will grow to their full length and then start getting wider when they are ready to pick. I grow vegetables close together (to try more varieties -- at least a dozen types of cucumbers this year), so my vegetables sometimes don't get as big as they're supposed to. Trial and error is a good method, and it will train your eye. If a cucumber "looks" ready, try it. Does it taste right? Sometimes I pick a cucumber a little too early because I can't wait (or won't be able to get to the garden for the next day or two), and it's obvious that it could have stayed on the vine a day or two longer. It's still edible! And it's better than letting it get overripe.

You can even take daily photos of your developing cukes so you'll have a visual record of how long they take to ripen (which also depends on temperature and watering), and what they look like a day or two before they're ready.


Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: July 10, 2013




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