How to harvest cucumbers
Cucumber growing can be a great venture. Aside the profitability of this venture, it can also be a great hobby for gardeners.
The ultimate aim of every cucumber farmer is to harvest cucumber fruits from the cucumber vines.
Harvesting can also be an interesting activity for farmers and gardeners. What a joy seeing fresh and big cucumber fruits on your cucumber plants. It’s also a bigger joy for a farmer or gardener to harvest these cucumber fruits.
In spite of how interesting the harvest of cucumber fruits is, a lot of farmers and gardeners still do not know how to harvest their cucumber fruits.
Days to maturity of cucumber crop
The days to maturity of cucumber crop depends on its variety and other factors.
The days to first harvest of Darina F1 cucumber variety is 36-45 days. For Greengo F1 and Murano F1 cucumber varieties, the first harvest of cucumber fruits typically comes after 40-45 days of planting.
Monalisa F1 cucumber variety reaches the harvest stage typically after 45-50 days. Hybrid cucumber varieties often get to the stage of harvest earlier than open pollinated varieties.
Open pollinated cucumber varieties like marketmore and poinsett reach their harvest stage at around 55 days.
In temperate environments, days to harvest of cucumber can be delayed to as long as 70 days while in tropical environments like Nigeria, days to harvest is quicker.
Leaving cucumber fruits for a long time on the vines can make them bitter.
When to pick cucumber fruits
As explained above, cucumbers can be picked from the vines as early as 36 days for some varieties and as late as 55 days from some other varieties.
Cucumbers should be picked at the right time so that they will not turn yellow or get bitter. Yellow cucumber fruits are not marketable. Buyers do not generally buy yellow cucumber fruits, they prefer green cucumber fruits.
Buyers do not also like bitter cucumber fruits.
Cucumbers should be picked when they reach the right size. Cucumbers should also be picked every 2-3 days. Refusal to pick cucumbers often will harm the plant and lead to a reduction in the overall yield.
How to know when to harvest cucumbers
Cucumber should be picked before they turn yellow. Slicing cucumbers especially the varieties grown in Nigeria should be picked when they are 15-30 cm in length.
Please note that some varieties of cucumbers are short, in this case they should be picked before they reach 15 cm in length.
How to harvest cucumbers
Pruners and garden shears can be used to gently cut the matured cucumber fruits from the vines. A farmer or gardener can also use his hands to gently cut the cucumber fruits from the vine.
Stunted, infected and badly shaped cucumber fruits should also be removed from the plants. Failure to remove these bad fruits will make the cucumber plants yield optimally.
What to do after the harvest of cucumbers
Freshly harvested cucumbers should be stored in a cool and dry place. Some varieties can produce cucumber fruits that can keep fresh for 14 days when kept in the right environment.
Cucumbers will get bad if they are stored in a place with intense heat and sunlight.
Now that you know how to harvest cucumbers from their vines, you can go ahead to have a fruitful planting.