Skip to Content

Can Cucumbers Grow Too Big

Cucumbers grow fast and will continue to grow when you don’t pick them, which can lead to huge cucumbers you’ve never seen before. Can cucumbers grow too big?

Even if you’re growing a wide variety, cucumbers can reach a point where they are too large, leading to a more bitter taste and harder seeds. 

If you’ve wondered about cucumber size and the types of varieties, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll discuss some common cucumber sizes and answer some of the most sought-after questions regarding large sizes.

Can You Eat a Very Large Cucumber?

When you first lay eyes on a huge cucumber, you may wonder if it’s okay to eat. Many times, fruits and veggies that appear different get a bad rep, and cucumbers are no exception.

However, just like other veggies, the size that cucumbers grow to is fine, though you may notice some unpleasant tastes if they are left to grow too long. As long as the cucumber has a uniform green color and is firm to the touch without any signs of rotting, it should be safe to eat.

Though it’s safe to eat, you may want to test the seeds and flesh before taking a big bite, ensuring that it’s not too bitter.

How Big Should You Let Cucumbers Grow?

Cucumbers grow fast and will start to produce more and more once they get started. It can be challenging to know when to pick them, though there are a few things you can check for like:

  • Color – Choose those that are dark to medium green
  • Feel – You want them firm with the slightest bit of give
  • Size – Anywhere from 6 to 8 inches

The size you should allow your cucumber to grow to will depend on the type of cucumbers you have. Some varieties grow much larger than others, making that a key factor in picking time.

Common Cucumber Sizes

If you’ve ever browsed the market, you’ll find many cucumber varieties out there. For the most part, they are separated by sizes, including ones that can grow up to 12 inches long and others that can get up to 6 inches long.

While there are many more varieties than listed below, we’ve selected a few of the most popular by category of large and small.

Cucumber Type  Cucumber Size (in.)
Burpless 10 to 12 
Bush Champion 8 to 11
Straight Eight 8
Ashley 6 to 8
Muncher 4 to 5
Sugar Crunch 4 to 5
Boston Pickling 3 to 6 

What Can I Do With Large Cucumbers?

It’s not always clear when to pick cucumbers, which can sometimes result in overgrowing. If you’ve got cucumbers that seem much too large, you don’t have to throw them away unless they show a few signs. One sign that you’ve let them grow far too big is if they start to turn yellow, Cucumbers with a yellow color tend to be over-ripe and will taste awful no matter what you try to do with them.

You can do some things with them, as long as they are not rotted or overly ripe. For some inspiration, check out our list below.

Eat Them

Of course, you can always eat them! Larger cucumbers are not always bad; sometimes, they taste as good as those of average size. You want to make sure to peel the skin and remove the seeds, cutting them into slices so that you can enjoy them on the warmest of days.

Tasty Tip: Add a bit of salt and douse with lime juice for a tangy treat when the sun is shining.

Pickle Them

Pickles are not just for normal-sized cucumbers. Large cucumbers are perfect for pickling. Make sure to peel them and then cut them up into larger chunks or thin slices, depending on your preference. When pickling, use vinegar and your favorite herbs and spices, even throwing in a few hot peppers for a tangy, spicy, and delicious crunch once they’re done.

Try A Refreshing Recipe

There are so many things that you can do with cucumbers. Besides peeling and eating them as is, you can also slice them up and add them to salads, blend them into your favorite smoothy, or create a lovely cold soup like gazpacho. These recipes pair well with large cucumbers, as long as they are still tasty and good to eat.

How To Keep from Growing Cucumbers Too Large

Cucumbers that have grown too large are often referred to as gardener’s blindness, as it’s something that one can easily prevent. Though it’s simple, it’s not always easy to know the right time to pick, especially as a new grower. To keep cucumbers from overgrowing, here are a few things that you can do.

#1. Prune Often

Keeping the vines of your cucumber plant nice and trimmed will keep your cucumbers growing strong all season long. To prune them, all you have to do is follow the main vine and cut off any hanging down too low or with a yellow tint.

You want to try and prune at least every 1 to 2 weeks, as vines start to sprout pretty fast once the season begins.

#2. Check them Daily

Once cucumbers start to grow, there is no stopping them. They grow fast and will get ripe quickly, so it’s recommended to check on your cucumbers every day. Make it a habit to walk around the garden in the morning, doing so twice a day if you notice rapid growth.

#3. Give Them a Feel

Just like most fruits and veggies, each cucumber is different. Even on the same plant, some cucumbers ripen faster than others. To choose the best time to pick them, feel them and choose the firm ones that give a bit when squeezed.

Don’t Overgrow your Cucumbers

Bigger fruits and veggies are not always better as some have tastes that are not so fresh. When it comes to cucumbers, keeping an eye on them and knowing what to look for is key to keeping them from overgrowing and ensuring that you harvest when they are a perfect size. While some varieties of cucumbers can grow very large, it’s not recommended to grow them that way, thereby keeping them fresh and crispy.