Cucumber are fruits (berries, to be more specific) that we grow in our vegetable gardens and tend to prepare like a veggie. Each little green cucumber cylinder is packed with hydration (they’re about 95% water), soluble fiber, Vitamin K, and antioxidants.
Low in calories, cucumbers are easy to add into your diet. You can eat them raw, you can pickle them, you can toss them into a salad, or you can infuse them in water alongside some refreshing mint.
The Different Types of Cucumbers to Grow in Your Garden
You can choose between slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and burpless cucumbers.
Cucumber Growing Tips
Cucumbers grow on creeping vines that need a trellis or some type of support structure to wrap their spiraling tendrils around. These sun-lovers will grow quickly as long as they receive enough water and warmth.
Make sure to add a top layer of compost in your garden bed before planting your cucumber seeds about two inches deep. For continued harvests, plant cucumbers successively. They’ll ripen in about six weeks. Increase your watering schedule once fruit forms from the yellow flowers.
Look out for powdery mildew, a fungus that grows on the leaves when they get too cool and wet.
How to Harvest Cucumbers
It’s best to harvest cucumbers before they get too large and bitter-tasting. Slicing cucumbers should be about six to eight inches long, with green flesh that’s firm to the touch.
To pick, use clippers to cut the stem just above the fruit. Keep picking fruit to encourage the plants to continue producing.
How to Store Homegrown Cucumbers
Cucumbers will keep for 10 days in your refrigerator if you wrap them in plastic wrap to hold in their moisture. You can extend their shelf life by pickling them with some brine, sugar, vinegar, and whichever spices and herbs you prefer. Give cucumbers an ice bath to lock in their crispness before pickling.
Cucumber Pasta Salad Recipe
Nothing says warm weather to me like this refreshing cucumber pasta salad.
1 package rotini pasta
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 jar sliced green olives, drained
1 package feta cheese, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup vegetable or olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp fresh parsley
½ tsp garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Cook pasta as directed and drain. Rinse under cold water to cool.
- Toss in other dry ingredients.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together. Immediately pour dressing over noodles (mixture will quickly separate).
- Chill before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
Central Texas Monthly Planting Guide
Take all the guesswork out of your seasonal planting.