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Dordogne Damsel

Just had a quick check of my outdoor cucumber and it sort of looks ready. Nice and fat, good dark green colour about 30 cms long. The skin is smooth until about last 4 cms where it becomes a bit prickly. It just feels a bit hard though. Quite a few of the others are obviously not ready, but not sure about this one - any advice welcome. 


hollie hock

I would love to know the answer to this one DD, had some plants given to me and they are doing so well. There's one that I'm itchy to pick but OH keeps saying it's not ready!

I'ts still got some prickly bits on it so I'm assuming that means that it's not ripe or can you pick them and ripen them off in a window maybe?

I grow Masterpiece and Marketmore, ridge varieties with spiky skins, outside along with Crystal Lemon, in the poly I grow Piccolino,
I pick the ridgecrape out the middle containing the seeds. cucs when they are around 6 ins long and 1 to 1.5 in dia. At this stage they are sweet and crunchy and the seeds haven't gone hard.
If they get too large they hollow inside and the seeds start to develop, they can still be used but you may find you need to s
hollie hock

Thanks scroggin, think I'm going to pick it tomorrow and see what it's like


Cucumbers don't need to be 'ready' they are edible from any size, but before they start to ripen


Dordogne Damsel

Oh thank you, cucumber sandwiches for tea then!


Hi hollie hock, don't worry about those prickly bits - they're a feature of a certain type of cucumber, but they just rub off under your fingers or when you wash them. 

DD – I always feel with cucurbits (cucumbers, courgettes etc) it's best to get picking so the plant starts to pump out more fruit - even if the first fruit you pick isn't quite the best quality. So just go for it!

My plants are now in overdrive – anyone got any good cucumber glut recipes to share?

Thanks, Lucy

Editor, BBC Gardeners' World Magazine

hollie hock

Thanks lucy, I picked the one in question and it was very tasty. I grow courgettes but somehow didn't know to apply the same principle. There's another one on there for picking too

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