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How and When to Harvest Cucumbers


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When you harvest cucumbers will depend in large part on the variety you are growing and what you will be using the cucumbers for. Here are some general guidelines:

Harvesting for Pickling

If you are harvesting cucumbers to make sweet pickles, or gherkins, you'll want to harvest them when they are about one and a half to two inches long.

If you are harvesting for making dill pickles, a good rule of thumb is to harvest when the cucumbers are three to four inches long.

Harvesting for Fresh Eating

If you are harvesting your cucumbers for fresh eating, you'll want to harvest when they are between seven and nine inches long, and have a bright dark green color. If they get much larger than this, they'll be bitter and won't have a pleasant texture at all.

>b>How to Harvest Cucumbers

When you pick your cucumbers, you should leave a small, one inch, section of stem attached to the cucumber. This helps prevent the stem end from rotting in storage if you won't be using the cucumber right away. The easiest way to do this, and the least stressful for the plant, is to simply cut the cucumber off the vine with a sharp knife or pruners.

If you notice that your cucumber has a lot of spines, those can be easily removed by rubbing a cloth or vegetable brush along the length of the fruit.

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How to Pick Cucumbers
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