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How to Harvest and Store Cucumbers

Cucumbers come to harvest quickly.  Six to seven weeks after planting, small cucumbers will begin to form. Pick the first cucumbers small; this will encourage the plants to produce more.

Cucumber harvest
Harvest cucumbers when they are bright green and firm.

When to Harvest Cucumbers

  • Cucumbers can be harvested as soon as they are edible size.
  • Harvest slicing cucumbers when bright, green, and firm and 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) long. Harvest pickling cucumbers when 2 to 4 inches long–6 to 7 inches long for big pickles.
  • Harvest lemon cucumbers just before they turn fully yellow. A yellow lemon cucumber will be seedy.
  • Cucumbers will be edible any time after the flower drops off the end of the fruit.
  • Don’t leave cucumbers on the vine too long; an overripe cucumber will be dull, less crisp, seedy, and bitter tasting. Yellowing at the blossom end of the fruit is a sign the fruit is overripe. Remove all overripe fruit from the vine.

Harvest cucumberHow to Harvest Cucumbers

  • Cut the fruit from the vine with a knife or pruner. Pulling fruit from the plant may damage brittle vines.
  • It is important to harvest cucumbers frequently to keep the plant producing new fruit.

Read more at Cucumber Harvest Tips. Also How to Grow Cucumbers That Are Not Bitter Tasting.

Keep cucumbers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How to Store Cucumbers

  • Store cucumbers at 50°-54°F  (10-12°C); a cool spot in the kitchen is best, not warmer than 59°F. Cucumbers will turn yellow and decay rapidly if not kept cool.
  • You can refrigerate cucumbers for about a week in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. Do not refrigerate cucumbers below 40°F (4°C). Dunk fruit in cold water or wipe them clean with a damp cloth then place the fruit in a perforated plastic bag; this will keep the fruit from drying out. (Refrigerators are dry, not humid.)
  • Sliced cucumbers should be refrigerated in a bowl covered with plastic wrap to keep slices crisp and to prevent dehydration.
  • Cucumbers stored below 40°F will become pitted, yellow, and start to decay.
  • Avoid storing cucumbers with apples or tomatoes; ethylene (a natural plant hormone released in the form of a gas) given off by those fruits will cause cucumbers to yellow.

Best cucumber growing tips at How to Grow Cucumbers.

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5 Comments

  1. I never store cucumbers in the fridge , they keep perfectly well on the counter .i once kept a cucumber on the table over winter until spring as an experiment . It still looked like a normal cucumber on the outside , inside it was hollow and I saved the seeds . A cucumber in the fridge however would have turned to mush in a short time .

  2. Hey it’s a valuable information; Every time I stored the cucumber under freeze & it suck. I didn’t knew why.. You have described it perfectly thatdon’t store below the 40F & above the 55F. I hope the cumerber will now stay for longer time under the refrigerator.

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