Many gardeners can relate to harvesting yellow cucumbers. And it can be frustrating, especially when you’re supposed to be enjoying the fruits of your labor. Nonetheless, it’s a problem both veteran and newbie gardeners experience. But don’t worry there are some basic tricks to prevent it from happening.
But first, let’s consider why they turn yellow:
1. The specie is just different
The first thing to check when you notice yellow cucumbers is the specie of your seed. Go over the plant tag for indications that it’s a lemon, apple, Chinese yellow, or dosakaya specie.
2. There’s inadequate pollination
Pollination is essential for adequate fruiting. So, if the female flowers don’t get pollinated, the cucumbers fall off and turn yellow.
When pollination is insufficient, it causes yellowness or malformations.
3. It’s overripe
It’s a no-brainer that your cucumbers will start ripening when you leave them on the vine for too long. And they will taste bitter.
Pay attention to the appearance of the cucumbers. If they’re large and puffy or have wrinkles and inconsistent areas, that could cause the yellowing process.
4. Not watering properly
Too much or too little water can also interfere with the proper growth of your cucumbers. They have shallow roots that require an even distribution of water.
But again, if you overwater them, it may become tricky for the root system to absorb the moisture. If you live in an area with inadequate rain, you should consider watering deeply a couple of times weekly.
You can use a moisture gauge to determine if the plants are getting enough water.
5. Nutritional deficiencies
When your plants don’t get adequate nutrients, they won’t grow well. It’s a problem during fruit formation and ripening, and the yellow color is often the telling sign.
The problem may arise when you plant in the same area repeatedly.
How to prevent cucumbers from turning yellow
When your cucumbers threaten to turn yellow, you can prevent it by:
- Keeping them evenly hydrated; they should never be soggy or dry. Instead, ensure they maintain a balanced proportion of water.
- You need more bees in your garden, for pollination. Adequate pollination will help the female flowering plants produce quality fruits.
- Harvest your crops at the right time. Avoid delaying so that they don’t get too ripe and yellow.
- Rotate your crops annually to ensure an even distribution of nutrients. This also helps you avoid soil-borne diseases.
- You can also consider hand-pollinating female flowering plants for better produce.
What to do with yellow cucumbers
After dedicating all that time to your garden, it can be frustrating to be faced with the risk of losing it all. As such, it’s only natural to want to salvage what you can from a batch of overripe cucumbers.
They can be used to make relishes or salsa. They’ll be acidic enough to override any bitterness. However, they won’t work for making pickles because they’re too ripe.
You can also consider using the seeds for your next planting session.