We've been waiting for weeks for our cucumbers to come in, and they're finally here! While this heirloom variety is easy to consume straight off the vine, we've assembled a few suggestions for harvesting and storing.
Tips for harvesting and storing cucumbers:
1. Cucumbers are ripe and ready for harvesting anywhere from 50-70 days after planting, depending on the specific variety. A general rule is better too soon than too late--younger cucumbers usually have better flavor and texture. Once your vines are producing ripe cukes, remember to harvest every 1-2 days as they'll grow quickly.
2. To harvest, look for fruit that are about the size of a meyer lemon, covered in small, harmless spines. Use either your hands or garden sheers to sever the fruit from the vine. Take caution not to damage the vine as this will hinder continued growth. Gently adjust the plants to avoid missing any hidden fruit.
3. If you spot rotted or overly mature cucumbers, immediately remove them. This will signal the plant to send more energy to younger, tastier cucumbers.
4. Cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. To preserve the sweetness and extend the shelf-life, soak them in a tub of cold water for 20-30 minutes right after harvesting.
**Some ol' fashioned pickling will preserve your cucumbers for up to one year if kept in a cool, dry location.