Knowing when to pick pickling cucumbers will help you harvest good-quality ones for your purposes. However, this is not as easy as when you plant them in your garden.
You must consider various factors to get the best time to collect your pickling cucumbers.
You can’t receive cucumbers with the complete size and desired yield if you pick them too early. Also, this taste will not be good when you harvest them too late.
Thus, this article suggests useful information to help you know the best time for this task. Scroll down for details!
What Are Pickling Cucumbers?
Pickling cucumbers are one of the common cucumbers grown to make pickles. These cucumbers are light green with shorter sizes than cucumbers of slicing.
They are great for pickling due to a few reasons.
First, they are shorter than slicing types of cucumbers, so they are perfect for bonding to glass jars, either in stick form or as a whole.
Besides, their seeds develop slower than other cucumbers, including slicing ones.
This makes them crunchier and tastier. Also, pickling cucumbers are thin-skinned, allowing the brine flavors to penetrate the pickles more easily.
When To Pick Pickling Cucumbers?
50 – 70 days are the best time to harvest pickling cucumbers. After this time, they can continue their germination and production throughout the season.
Yet, this time also varies with some factors, such as their taste, color, or size, with your caring way.
Below are other signs you can refer to:
Cucumbers Get The Right Size
This is one of the clear signs telling you when to pick the pickling cucumbers. Consider harvesting them to receive the best yield when they reach the right size.
The proper size varies greatly depending on your care or other conditions, such as weather or environment.
Normally, pickling cucumbers have the smallest size. Thus, pickling cucumbers harvest should start when their thickness reaches about 1 – 1.5 inches for the best taste.
The Flower Dropping
Besides considering the right size, how to know when to pick cucumbers? You should notice some common signs for picking these fruits.
This is necessary because you may find it difficult to choose cucumbers by proper size alone.
You can decide when to pick your crop of pickling cucumbers through several additional considerations.
One of the most obvious signs you must keep in mind is the drop of the pickling cucumber flowers.
If they got the right size, but their colored flowers are still on top, it is not ready to harvest yet. When their blossoms fall off or wilt, it is the most suitable time to collect your cucumbers.
The Color Of Cucumbers
Another way to determine when to harvest pickling cucumbers is to observe the color of their fruits. If your cucumbers are still completely green, they are not ready to harvest.
Also, they may have a bumpy texture.
Yet, cucumbers ready to pick will often turn dark green and give you tasty pickles. In addition, check under their leaves and possibly under the neighboring plants.
Pay attention to their color to pick them at the right time and avoid missing a great harvest.
The Cucumber’s Taste
The taste is also important when picking your pickling cucumber in your garden. You must harvest your cucumbers on time to enjoy the delicious pickles with great flavor.
I made a mistake when harvesting my crop too late. Thus, my pickles tasted terribly with a bitter flavor. Remember that your cucumbers may be bitter for a long time on the vine.
So, try to double-check if their taste is better when you see they get the right texture and color.
Feeling Cucumbers For Harvesting
Aside from feeling the taste of pickling cucumbers, some other additional considerations are helpful to determine how to know when to harvest cucumbers.
When picking them, hold each cucumber firmly to feel them better and check if they are crips or firm. If so, it’s the right time to pick them. If the cucumbers are quite small, it may be too early.
Yet, you have missed harvest time when you find your cucumbers overlarge, soggy, or limp. In this case, it is better to discard the poor-quality cucumbers.
Check Your Garden Every Day
Checking your pickling cucumber fruits on the vine daily is necessary to help you know the best time for picking. You should do this when you find your cucumber fruits beginning to grow.
A general thumb rule is that you may get the right time to harvest your crop if cucumber flowers have fallen off the fruit’s end.
Pickling cucumbers are powerful and fast-growing plants. Thus, you may have cucumbers ready to harvest daily when growing in your garden.
How Often To Harvest Pickling Cucumbers?
You can pick them up daily or every other day until autumn, when they produce fruits. It’s also best to frequently harvest them to boost production further.
The regular harvest also improves the yield of pickling cucumber plants and the quality of fruits, like taste or texture.
When harvesting, consider the fruit’s deformation, damage, and underdevelopment. Remove such cucumbers to receive the ripening ones with the best quality for your flavorful pickles.
How To Harvest Pickling Cucumbers?
Follow a full guide with useful tips to pick your cucumbers without any hassle:
- Wear gloves to harvest your pickling cucumbers. This will help protect your hands and the cucumber’s texture.
- Cut each pickling cucumber that reaches the harvesting time from the vine with a pruner or sharp knife. Leave a small section about 1 inch to help prevent the cucumber’s stem ends from getting rotten during storage when you do not use them immediately.
- Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the pickling cucumbers from the vine without twisting them. This helps you avoid damaging the vine and the harmful diseases, pests, and flying insects attacking your plants.
- Carefully place the ripe fruits in a container. Unlike tomatoes or some other types of vegetables, pickling cucumbers do not continue to ripen after harvest.
How Can You Grow Pickling Cucumbers?
You may grow pickling cucumbers from seeds. Below are the detailed steps to help you prepare pickling cucumber seeds and grow your plants properly.
- Plant seeds of pickling cucumber in hills or rows and sow them 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Cover these seeds with the right soil.
- Also, plant the seeds indoors for about two to four weeks before starting the last frost.
- Sow from 2 to 3 seeds in a peat pot or pellet and thin out 1 – 2 seedlings per pot before transplanting them into the garden.
- Water them on the day of planting. If it is not raining, water every 2 – 3 days until germination. The time for germination may be within 3 – 10 days, depending on soil or weather conditions.
- Keep 8 – 10 inches between plants. Space the cucumber rows 5 feet apart.
Note: You should grow your cucumbers in a sunny location with well-drained soil, and remember to feed them nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
What Should You Do With Pickling Cucumbers After You Pick?
You may taste the pickling cucumbers straight from the vine after washing them off.
Or else, you can cut cucumbers and pickle them to add tastier meals. It is great to enjoy pickling cucumbers with delicious salads, water, or light zoodles for summer meals.
How To Store The Picked Pickling Cucumbers?
After harvesting pickling cucumbers, store them in the refrigerator for about 3 days to one week. You may utilize aluminum foil to wrap each cucumber to avoid moisture accumulating on the outside.
Besides, keep them in the dark or cool places instead of storing them in the fridge because pickling cucumbers may be in good shape longer than other cucumber types.
This way may allow you to keep your cucumbers for about 5 days.
The above is useful information to help you know when to pick pickling cucumbers. You may harvest your pickling cucumbers after 50 – 70 days.
Yet, to identify the best time for harvesting, notice some typical signs when your cucumbers are growing on the vine.
Observing the right size and color or checking the taste of your cucumbers is necessary to know when to harvest your crop.
Also, feeling each pickling cucumber helps determine when they’re ready.
Once you get these useful tips, it’s time to check your pickling cucumbers daily to pick them at their best condition for your tasty pickles.