There are many ways to enjoy cucumbers, including fresh or preserved as pickles. Newer varieties of cucumbers that are compact allow the vegetable to be grown in small areas.
Varieties: There are several varieties of cucumbers that can be grown based on the intended use.
- Slicing: Suyo, Sweet Slice, and Salad Bush
- Pickling: Carolina and Calypso
- If slicing types are picked young, they can also be used as pickling cucumbers.
Planting: Cucumber vines can reach 6 to 8 feet long!
- Cucumbers should not be planted until the danger of frost has passed and soil is warm.
- This vegetable is a vining crop that requires space. By training them on fences, trellises or cages, you can limit the amount of space required.
Fertilizing: Cucumbers need plenty of fertilizer to produce at their full capacity. Watering: If it is not raining regularly, soak plants well with water weekly. Harvesting: Timing is important when harvesting cucumbers.
- Cucumbers should be harvested when they reach the desired size and are green in color.
- If cucumbers are not harvested before they turn yellow, they are over mature and will a strong flavor.
When buying cucumbers, check for firmness, shape and color. The vegetables should be firm and well-shaped with a dark green color.
Cucumbers can be refrigerated in a plastic bag up to 1 week.
Cucumbers are great as a raw snack but they can also be added into a variety of recipes! Check out the Salad in a Jar recipe below from Dinner Tonight. When building your salad in a jar remember to work upside down!
Salad in a Jar:
Dressing: Add 1-2 Tbsp of dressing to provide flavor and help you feel fuller
Non-Absorbent (Hard) Vegetables: To prevent the salad from becoming soggy, add hard veggies that will not absorb the dressing.
Absorbent (Soft) Fruit and Vegetables: To customize the flavor to your liking, load up on layers of vegetables and fruits.
Protein and Cheese: Protein is an important building block for muscles and cell regeneration, while also helping to increase our immune system.
Grains, Seeds, and Nuts: Whole grains can be added to your salad to help you feel full longer. Nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Greens: Dark, green leafy greens offer plenty of beta-carotene and Vitamin C!
Now that your salad in a jar is complete, tighten the seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready, pour out onto a plate and enjoy!
They are usually eaten raw, but cucumbers can be sautéed and served as a side dish. Cucumbers are also a low calorie option and a recommended source of Vitamin C. In addition, they are free of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol.