Cucumbers are a prevalent plant to grow in gardens. Most of the time, gardeners will expect their cucumbers to be similar in size to small, pickling cucumbers. However, this is not always the case, leaving many gardeners wondering, why are my cucumbers so large?
Most of the time, a large cucumber is just one that has become overripe. However, occasionally other problems like nutrition and pollination can cause a cucumber to become very short and fat in shape. Certain cucumber varieties are also naturally large.
This article will explain the top reasons for cucumbers becoming too large and how you can fix them. Additionally, we will be answering other commonly asked questions about growing cucumbers.
5 Reasons Your Cucumbers Are Larger Than Expected
Most of the time, cucumbers will be larger than expected due to overripening. However, in some cases, you may have misjudged how large the cucumber is expected to get.
If your cucumbers are very short and fat in shape, then there is likely another type of problem going on. Pollination, nutrition, and water issues cause cucumbers to grow misshapen. Below are five reasons for cucumbers being larger than expected.
1. Your Species Of Cucumber Is Larger Than You Realized
Different species of cucumber plants will grow in different-sized fruits. As a result, there is always the possibility that you have just misjudged the size of your cucumbers. The Japanese cucumber, English cucumber, and Korean cucumber are all examples of species of cucumber that tend to get quite large.
2. You Are Letting Your Cucumbers Get Too Ripe
If you let your cucumbers get too ripe before picking them, they are likely to be larger than normal. In many cases, these cucumbers may be discolored and taste bad. If your cucumbers are yellow and seem too large, this is likely the cause.
3. Your Cucumbers Are Not Being Pollinated
If your cucumbers seem to be growing very fat and short in shape, then pollination issues may be the cause. Planting flowers around your cucumber plants can help to promote good pollination of your cucumber plants by drawing in pollinators.
4. Your Cucumber Is Not Getting Enough Nutrition
A lack of nutrition in the soil around your tomato plants can also cause them to grow strangely shaped cucumbers. Of course, this can include cucumbers that appear very wide and short or very long and thin. The best fertilizers for cucumber plants are those that are low in nitrogen and high in potassium and phosphorus.
5. There Are Problems With Your Cucumber’s Watering Schedule
Issues with your watering schedule can cause cucumbers not to grow properly. This mainly includes underwatering, which will likely leave your cucumbers misshapen.
Overwatering cucumber plants can also cause issues. However, the damages from overwatering are mostly done to the plant itself and not its fruits.
Why Are My Cucumbers Giant And Yellow?
If you are getting cucumbers that are giant in size and yellow in color, then they are most likely overripened. This is a sign that you should be picking your cucumbers sooner.
It is a good idea to pick your cucumbers when they are still firm in texture. Similarly, most species of cucumber plants will have a bright green or dark green color when they are ripe.
How Do You Know When Cucumbers Are Ready To Be Picked?
You can tell when a cucumber is ready to be picked when they are of the right size for their species and are a bright or dark green color.
When you pick these cucumbers, they should also be firm and not soft to the touch. Cucumbers will usually become ripe between 50 and 70 days after the cucumber plant has been planted.
You can also tell if a cucumber is ready to pick by looking at the fruit around the stem. If the cucumber is starting to bulge at the top, it is a sign that you should pick it.
How Big Should I Let My Cucumbers Get?
The answer to this question depends entirely on the species of cucumber that you are growing. Here we will include a table on the most popular cucumber species and how large you should let them get.
|Species of Cucumber||Ideal Size|
|American Cucumber (Garden Cucumber)||Around 6 to 8 inches long|
|English Cucumber||Around 12 to 14 inches long|
|Northern Pickling Cucumber||Around 3 to 5 inches long|
|Kirby Cucumber||Around 6 inches long|
|Tyria Cucumber||Around 13 inches long|
|Japanese Cucumber||Around 11 inches long|
|Korean Cucumber||Around 17 to 18 inches long|
|Bush Champion Cucumber||Around 11 inches long|
|Persian Cucumber||Around 4 to 6 inches long|
|Lebanese Cucumber||Around 8 to 10 inches long|
As you can see, there is a wide variety in the sizes of cucumbers, depending on their species. Some cucumbers tend only to grow a few inches, while others can get to a little longer than a foot in size.
Larger cucumbers are better for salads and slicing, while smaller cucumbers are better for pickling. Most species of larger cucumbers can also be picked early on and used for pickling.
Are Very Large Cucumbers Good To Eat?
Overripe large and yellow cucumbers should not be eaten because these cucumbers will likely taste very bad and have a mushy texture.
Things To Consider
You may want to consider some additional things when it comes to growing cucumbers. For example, you might be wondering whether or not you can pick cucumbers too early and how tall you should let your cucumber plants get. Here are some other things to consider about growing cucumbers.
Can You Pick Cucumbers Too Early?
Yes, you can technically pick cucumbers too early. It is recommended that you allow a cucumber to grow at least a few inches before picking them. Otherwise, you will not likely have a good-tasting cucumber.
However, you can pick larger species of cucumbers before they reach their full size. For example, you can pick an English cucumber when it reaches five inches and use it for pickling instead of waiting for it to reach its full size.
How Tall Should You Let Your Cucumber Plant Get?
Like the size of the cucumbers, the height of cucumber plants will differ depending on their species. Typically speaking, the larger the fruits a species of cucumber plant will yield, the taller the cucumber plant will be. This means that English cucumber plants will likely be larger than Northern Pickling cucumber plants.
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!