The first freeze warning of the season can be concerning, especially when it comes earlier than expected! You immediately start to worry about your crops and if they will survive the dip in temperatures. If you haven’t picked your cucumbers yet, then you’re probably wondering, are cucumbers still good if they freeze?
Cucumbers are still good if they freeze. Your cucumber plant may not survive the frost, but your cucumbers will be edible even after a frost at night.
While your cucumber plants will not fare well in a freeze, your cucumbers will still be good to eat. If you want to learn more about your cucumber and freezing temperatures, keep reading to prepare for lower temperatures!
At What Temperature Do Cucumber Plants Need To Be Covered
You should cover your cucumber plants any time the temperature drops below freezing.
You do not want your cucumber plants to develop frost on the stem, leaves, and roots, which can easily happen when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or lower.
You will need to worry about covering your plants during the night more than during the day.
If you’re unsure how to cover your cucumber plants or what to use, stick around to the end of the article because I’ll give you some solutions!
Even if the temperature isn’t low enough for frost, it doesn’t mean that your cucumber plants are out of the woods either. They may struggle in temperatures lower than 75 degrees too!
How Cold Is Too Cold For Cucumber Plants
Even though freezing temperatures are the worst for your cucumber plants, anything below 55 degrees is not good for your cucumbers.
Cucumber plants thrive in temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees, which is the average temperature in the height of the summer!
Once you get into September, you’ll start to see temperatures slowly trend lower than in July and August.
By the time you get to late September and early to late October, the temperature will most likely be low enough that your cucumbers will begin to struggle to fight the cold.
Will Cucumber Plants Recover From Frost
Some other vegetable and fruit plants can survive the cold, even at least for a time.
On the other hand, cucumber plants are not cold-tolerant plants, so they cannot withstand freezing temperatures at night.
Frost damage is easy to see on cucumber plants because the leaves will turn dark brown to even black and begin to fall off. It does not make for a pretty plant!
You can try to save your cucumber plants by cutting away the dead or dying foliage, but that is only if the frost damage isn’t severe.
If the frost reaches the root system of the cucumber plants, then it is almost guaranteed that your cucumber plant will die.
Can You Eat Cucumbers After Frost
Yes, you can still eat cucumbers after a frost.
You may not know to cover your cucumber plant and see that the cold has ravaged your cucumber plants.
Your cucumbers, however, are still safe to eat! The frost doesn’t destroy the cucumber crop itself.
While your plant may be destroyed, the same is not true for your cucumbers. Know that you can pick your cucumbers and use them as usual.
- Some people even freeze cucumbers on purpose! You can use frozen cucumbers for:
- A type of face mask when you peel the cucumber
- A frozen treat for extra hot days
- Frozen cucumber chips
- Add to salads or other dishes for some interest
Do Cucumbers Lose Nutrients After Freezing
Cucumber plants don’t lose nutrients after freezing.
Don’t think that freezing will squeeze out the nutrients from your cucumbers.
Freezing helps cucumbers retain their nutrients so they don’t lose them, which is great! You may not be able to pick your cucumber plants immediately after frost, but you don’t have to worry that your cucumbers will turn into useless logs.
Even though the nutrients are still in the cucumber, you may not be a fan of the texture of the cucumbers. The cucumbers will be a little less crisp than usual, and the taste won’t be as fresh either.
If it’s the dead of winter and you’re longing for a cucumber, then a frozen cucumber is still enough to scratch that itch, right?
5 Ways To Protect Cucumber Plants From Freezing
Freezing temperatures do not have to be a death sentence for your cucumber plants, even if cucumber plants do not handle low temperatures very well. There are numerous solutions to save your cucumber plants from freezing.
The following five methods are some of the easiest and cheapest.
Bring Potted Cucumber Plants Inside
Cucumber plants usually grow large and wild, so they may not be potted, but if they are, you should bring them inside when temperatures begin to dip low at night.
The plants may take up a lot of space inside your home, but you can drag them outside during the day because it is warmer.
You can bring in any potted plant that will not easily survive the frost inside.
Add Additional Mulch To Your Garden
Mulch won’t save the leaves on your cucumber plants, but the additional mulch will help insulate the ground and keep the plant roots from freezing.
If you see that temperatures are going to drop low and stay low, then adding more mulch to your garden may be a great line of defense.
You do not need to rush out and purchase expensive mulch.
You can use dry leaves or straw as your mulch since it may be close to fall when you are experiencing your first frost; you can use dry leaves or straw as your mulch!
Cover Your Cucumber Plants
Use tarps, blankets, or towels to cover your cucumber plants when you think there may be a freeze. You can use whatever you have lying around your house to cover your plants, so don’t go out and purchase anything!
These coverings will trap some heat in the plants, but this is used to protect your plants from the frost itself.
Simply drape your covering of choice over your crops to protect them. Make sure to use enough to cover all of the green, but do not use so many that it crushes the plants beneath.
Trap Daytime Heat In Your Plants
Upgrade to a solid bucket or container to protect your cucumber plants. Solid containers will trap any daytime heat.
More or less, this is the same covering method as using blankets or tarps, but you will go one step further by trapping some heat under the container.
Use a big container to meet the soil and the roots of your plants to get a nice seal going.
Pick Cucumbers Before Frost
While this may seem like a cop-out solution, it is one of the best ways to freeze your cucumbers.
Your plant may not be saved from the frost, but you should get your harvest while still can. This will ensure that you get your crop and use them without worrying that something will happen to the vegetables.
Do your research and find some recipes for all those cucumbers you’ll have!
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!