How To Prevent Yellow Cucumbers & When To Pick A Cucumber

Tender, warm-season veggies like cucumbers thrive in the right conditions.

There are a lot of shallow roots in cucumber plants, which necessitate a lot of frequent watering.

Due to their rapid growth, it is necessary to harvest frequently in order to avoid yellow cucumbers.

Why do my cucumbers turn yellow? We’ll discuss these questions and more in this article.

How to Know When a Cucumber is Ripe

Is cucumber picking an exact science? No, it isn’t! Generally speaking, cucumbers are suitable for picking 50 to 70 days after planting when they are fully ripe.

Ripe cucumbers are medium to dark green in color and firm to the touch.

When cucumbers are yellow, bloated, or have sunken parts or wrinkled tops, they should not be harvested.

These should be thrown away as soon as possible because they are past their prime.

When to Pick a Cucumber

Cucumbers that are still young are commonly consumed. Cucumbers can be picked whenever the seeds are soft or the seeds become too seedy.

Because thin cucumbers tend to have fewer seeds than thicker ones, you may wish to remove them from the vine and buy smaller ones instead.

Cucumbers are often picked based on their length, which ranges from 2 to 8 inches (5-20 cm) on average.

As a rule of thumb, cucumbers should be picked when they are about the right size for their intended use and type.

Cucumbers grown for pickles, on the other hand, are significantly smaller than those grown for slicing.

Cucumbers need to be harvested at least every other day due to their rapid growth.

Why are My Cucumbers Turning Yellow?

Why are my cucumbers turning yellow, is a common question. Cucumbers should never turn yellow. Yellow cucumbers are frequently overripe and should be avoided.

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Cucumbers lose their green hue due to fading chlorophyll content, turning yellow as a result of overripeness.

The larger the cucumber, the more bitter it becomes, and yellow cucumbers are generally considered unfit for human eating.

Any of these factors can cause the cucumber to become yellow, including viruses, too much water, or nutritional deficiencies.

Yellow cucumbers can be created by growing a yellow-fleshed cultivar, like the lemon cucumber, which is a petite, pale yellow type.

5 Reasons Why Your Cucumbers Are Turning Yellow

1.  Cucumbers Over-Ripening

A common cause of yellow cucumbers is over-ripening. Depending on the variety, cucumbers are ready to pick when they turn a deep to bright green color.

In most cases, cucumbers can be harvested 50 to 70 days after planting. It’s alluring to leave them on the vine so they’ll get bigger and bigger.

Because of this, the meat becomes soft, the taste becomes harsh, and the skin becomes tough and yellow when they’re too big.

Cucumbers are at their best when they are immature and have not begun to yellow.

Cucumbers should be sliced at a depth of around 8 inches. Pickling cucumbers should be harvested a lot earlier than normal.

Cucumbers should be picked every day or two to prevent them from rotting on the vine, as the fruit ripens at different periods.

Harvesting your cucumbers earlier has the following additional advantages:

  • They are less bitter
  • They are crisper
  • They have better nutritional value
  • It encourages new flower growth

2. Poor Soil Quality for Growing Cucumbers

If your cucumbers appear stunted and yellow early, poor soil quality may be at blame.

However, while cucumbers are generally resistant to a wide range of soil conditions, the plants do require nutrients from the soil in order to grow.

Soil deficiency is most likely to blame if you’ve been cultivating cucumbers for more than two years and have seen a decline in fruit quality.

The following are some suggestions for enhancing your soil:

  • Rotate crops – Planting the same crops in the same location year after year will deplete the soil of the nutrients that the crop needs the most. Rotating crops helps preserve soil quality.
  • Add compost – Compost adds nutrients to the soil.
  • Add fertilizer – Fertilizer, like 10-10-10, adds nutrients to the soil. Try this organic vegetable fertilizer here.
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3. Inconsistent Watering of Cucumber Plants

Because cucumber plants have a small root system, they are vulnerable to irrigation irregularities. When the soil is slightly wet, they thrive.

Every time the top inch of soil feels dry, water cucumber plants with 1-2 inches (25-50mm) of water.

Cucumber plants should be watered less if there has been raining. During fruit production, a gallon (3.7 liters) of water a day can be given to the plants.

Keeping an eye on soil drainage is a smart idea. Cucumber roots can become infected with fungal or bacterial diseases, such as root rot if drainage is inadequate.

If you’re unsure, you can use this watering gauge to keep tabs on the soil moisture.

4. Cucumber Plant Disease and Pests

Cucumber plants can be damaged by plant diseases, which can even lead to a loss of the entire harvest.

If you catch the illness in its early stages, you can remove the infected plants before it has a chance to spread.

Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) – Cucumbers infected with this disease develop pale, wrinkled fruit and yellow patches on their leaves.

Make sure to get rid of any infected plants as soon as you see any indications of the disease caused by aphids.

This virus does not infect seeds or persist in the ground, which is fortunate.

Floating row covers can reduce the danger of illness, but they must be removed when the plant begins to blossom so that pollination can occur.

Cucumber Beetles – Insect larvae feed on plant roots, while adults devour leaves, flowers, and fruit, producing bacterial wilt.

To reduce risk, floating row covers can be used, as they were with CMV. Before the beetles have a chance to spread the disease, get rid of any afflicted plants.

Vegetable gardeners can also employ horticultural neem oil, sticky paper, and trap crops to control the cucumber beetle population.

5. Yellow Cucumber Varieties

Because you have a yellow cucumber variety, the last reason why your cucumbers are yellow is Always verify your seed packets or nursery labels to make sure you’re growing the right type of plant.

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A selection of tasty yellow cucumbers includes the following:

  • Lemon Cucumber – round and yellow like a lemon when it is ready to harvest and has a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Chinese Yellow Cucumber – oval and dark yellow when it is ready to harvest and has a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Crystal Apple Cucumber – a pale yellow to white greenish fruit, oblong in shape with a sweet, mild flavor.
  • Dosakai Cucumber – small, long, and mostly yellow with hints of orange and green; it has a mild, tart flavor.

Is it safe to eat yellow cucumbers?

In a nutshell, it all depends. If your cucumber plants have been infected, they must be thrown away. For edible yellow varieties, they are safe to eat, and they are usually yellow in color.

You can still eat green cucumbers that have turned yellow, but the skin will be tough and the taste will be unpleasant if you leave them on the vine for too long.

It’s possible to use them in recipes where a little bitterness isn’t a big deal, like a relish, but they’re not ideal for slicing into a salad or eating on their own.

You should avoid eating cucumbers that have turned orange and squishy if they are over-ripe.

What else can I do with yellow cucumbers?

Cucumbers that have turned yellow due to being overripe can be saved as seeds for the next season.

Your garden will benefit from composting no matter what you plant in the spring or summer.


Don’t let yellow cucumbers get you down again. Identify the problem and take corrective action if you notice yellow cucumbers in your garden.

Pest control, cautious irrigation, or harvesting sooner may all be necessary. You’ll be harvesting crisp, green cucumbers before you realize it.

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