How to Harvest Cucumbers

Check your cucumber vines regularly for a consistent harvest. image by Helene Samson/


Cucumbers are harvested when they are immature, before they turn yellow and the seeds harden. Different varieties are grown for different purposes and harvesting times are unique for each. Whatever your purpose, you should be able to pick cucumbers by hand. But you may need a pair of clippers or knife to cut the vine at the base of the cucumber.

Step 1

Harvest cucumbers for slicing. Wait until the cucumbers are completely green and crisp. They should be at least 1 inch in diameter. If the cucumbers start to yellow, you have waited too long.

Step 2

Harvest cucumbers for pickles. You decide the length. Think about what size store-bought canned pickles are in the store. Generally, harvest cucumbers when they are 1 to 2 inches for miniature pickles, 4 to 6 inches for dill and a little bit longer for sliced pickles, about 6 to 8 inches.

Step 3

Check your crop every other day for cucumbers that are turning yellow. Pick those off so new cucumbers can grow, which can be ready to pick in the same season. Toss out the yellowing cucumbers.


  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Texas A&M University

Who Can Help

  • How to Pickle Cucumbers
Keywords: harvest pickles, yellow cucumbers, picking cucumbers

About this Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo by: Helene Samson/