How to harvest cucumbers? The time for picking melon yellows and the method of harvesting are all exquisite.
The process of cucumber harvesting is actually a process of adjusting vegetative growth and reproductive growth.
Picking root melons and melons with dwarf plants properly early can promote plant growth. For plants with more open nodes and overgrown plants, pick fewer cucumbers, and late picking can control plant growth.
Harvesting cucumbers is never a matter of picking them when they bear fruit, nor is it a matter of picking them only after they have been raised into large melons. (Don’t make cucumbers too big or they will become bitter)
But when the young fruit grows to a certain size, it must be picked accurately and timely. Picking too early or too late will affect the increase in yield.
To achieve the above goals and increase the yield without being affected, it is necessary to grasp the picking period and method according to the cucumber fruit growth law, and harvest cucumbers scientifically.
Cucumber growth pattern
Studies have shown that in the daily growth pattern of cucumbers, the growth of the fruit is the least at 13-17 o’clock in the clock, and the average length is only 0.3~0.6 mm per hour, but within 1 hour of the clock from 17 to 18 o’clock, the average expansion suddenly occurs. It is 2.7 mm long and is the most vigorous period of fruit growth.
After that, the amount of growth gradually decreased over time, and almost stopped growing at 6 o’clock the next day.
Therefore, cucumbers are generally not recommended for harvesting in the afternoon.
The time it takes for cucumbers to ripen
The number of days required for cucumber to mature from flowering to commercial melon is related to the variety, cultivation season, cultivation method, and temperature changes.
Under normal circumstances, the growth of cucumbers within 3 to 4 days after flowering is small, and the growth of cucumbers is rapid from 5 to 6 days after flowering, and the weight of the fruit increases approximately twice a day and slightly slows down about 10 days;
But it also increases 30% weight every day. When the average daily temperature is 13 degrees, the average number of days for the growth of the yellow reverse is 20 days, when the temperature is 60°F, it is 16 days when the temperature is 65°F, it is 14 days, and when the temperature is 75°F, it is 6 to 8 days.
Period of harvesting commodity melons
It is generally recommended to pick cucumbers in the morning, not in the afternoon.
Picking cucumbers in the afternoon, the temperature is high, the fruit stalk wound loses much water, which affects the quality, the yield is reduced, the economic benefit is poor, and the bacteria are easy to invade from the wound.
It is harvested every 2 to 3 days in the initial stage, and every 1 to 2 days in the fruiting period.
The market price of cucumbers grown outdoors is rising day by day. In this period, the harvesting frequency should be reduced, and the harvest should be delayed appropriately to maintain a part of the normal-growing cucumbers to delay the harvest to obtain higher economic benefits.
Standards for harvested commodity melons
Generally, mature commercial melons are picked, but deformed melons, falling seedling melons, and thin fruit melons are also picked.
In the early stage of harvesting, due to the short size of the plants and the small nutrient area of the leaves, generally about 100 grams per melon, early harvesting can promote vegetative growth and make the peak period of melon picking come early.
In the heyday of fruiting, a melon is generally about 200 grams. At this time, the plant grows vigorously, and the fruit grows larger if possible, and the plant will not grow vigorously after picking the melon.
In the later stage of fruiting, the plants gradually age, the absorption capacity of the root system is weakened, and the assimilation of the leaves is reduced. The commercial melons harvested are smaller, generally weighing about 150 grams.
Regardless of the harvest period, the uniform standard for commercial melons should be that the fruit has fresh skin, smooth strips, no seeds, and a certain weight.
How to store cucumbers
Cucumbers are more than 90% of water. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to retain moisture.
After they are properly stored in the refrigerator, they will keep for a week to 10 days.
If you store cucumbers, I will recommended you this article for “How to store cucumbers”
Recommend you to read “How to keep cucumbers fresh for a longer time“
Matters needing attention
At the peak of harvest, you should pick cucumbers every two days. They will grow quickly!
When cucumbers are about 6 to 8 inches long (sliced varieties), harvest regular sliced cucumbers.
Harvest dill is 4 to 6 inches long, and pickled cucumbers are 2 inches long.
Large cucumbers can reach up to 10 inches in length, and some are even larger.
Cucumbers are best picked before the seeds harden and eat when they are immature. Don’t let them turn yellow. Cucumbers are of the highest quality when they are uniformly green, firm, and crisp.
Leaving the cucumber on the vine for too long will also harden the skin and reduce the productivity of the plant.
How to choose? Use a knife or clipper knife to cut the stem above the fruit. Pulling on the fruit may damage the vine.
Keep choosing. If you don’t do this, as the plants mature, they will stop producing.