Okay, we know cucumber is technically a fruit (a berry, to be more specific), but we grow it in our vegetable gardens and tend to prepare it like a veggie. Each little green cucumber cylinder is packed with hydration (they’re about 95% water), soluble fiber, Vitamin K, and antioxidants.
Low in calories, cucumbers are easy to add into your diet. You can eat them raw, you can pickle them, you can toss them into a salad, or you can infuse them in water alongside some refreshing mint.
Types: slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, and burpless cucumbers
Growing Tips: Cucumbers grow on creeping vines that need a trellis or some type of support structure to wrap their spiraling tendrils around. These sun-lovers will grow quickly as long as they receive enough water and warmth.
Make sure to add a top layer of compost in your garden bed before planting your cucumber seeds about two inches deep. For continued harvests, plant cucumbers successively. They’ll ripen in about six weeks. Increase your watering schedule once fruit forms from the yellow flowers.
Make sure to look out for powdery mildew, a fungus that grows on the leaves when they get too cool and wet.
Harvesting: It’s best to harvest cucumbers before they get too large and bitter-tasting. Slicing cucumbers should be about six to eight inches long, with green flesh that’s firm to the touch. To pick, use clippers to cut the stem just above the fruit. Keep picking fruit to encourage the plants to continue producing.
Storing: Cucumbers will keep for 10 days in your refrigerator if you wrap them in plastic wrap to hold in their moisture. You can extend their shelf life by pickling them with some brine, sugar, vinegar, and whichever spices and herbs you prefer. Give cucumbers an ice bath to lock in their crispness before pickling.
Cucumber Pasta Salad Recipe
Nothing says warm weather to me like this refreshing cucumber pasta salad.
1 package rotini pasta
1 cucumber, diced
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 jar sliced green olives, drained
1 package feta cheese, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup vegetable or olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp fresh parsley
½ tsp garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp oregano
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Cook pasta as directed and drain. Rinse under cold water to cool.
Toss in other dry ingredients.
Whisk dressing ingredients together. Immediately pour dressing over noodles (mixture will quickly separate).
Chill before serving.
If you're ready to try your hand at growing your own cucumbers and other tasty veggies, CLICK HERE TO GROW WITH US. We'll have you harvesting greens in no time!