Cucumbers are in demand in many vegetable markets. They contain potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and iodine.
Also, there are essential vitamins like carotene, B2, B1, PP, pantothenic acid, B6, and C, among others. In terms of beneficial and medicinal properties, cucumbers are not inferior to carrots, tomatoes, onions, and even citrus fruits.
If they are bought when packaged or taken from the garden, special care should be considered. This is to make sure no cucumber has gone bad. It is imperative to check the date of packing.
How to Tell If Cucumbers Are Bad
- Dark spots on the surface indicate cucumber is bad
- Light marks on the skin where the flesh taste bitter
- If visually no defects are visible, but the rot is felt in the smell
- Too many sharp pimples on the fruit, which indicate overuse of chemicals in the cultivation that makes it bad
- The presence of wrinkles or slight punching in the area of the stalk. This means that the cucumber is bad
- If there are cracks on the cucumber surface, which become a place for the accumulation of harmful microorganisms
How to choose fresh cucumber?
Cucumbers are in different categories. They vary in color, shape, application, and size. According to their use, you can use fresh cucumbers as salad, universal, and canning.
Salad cucumbers are used when fresh, canning cucumbers are distinguished by their density and hardness, making them suitable for pickles, and universal types can be used for any purpose.
- In shape and size, fresh cucumbers can be:
- Large, medium, and small
- elongated, curved, oval, and round
The skin of fresh cucumbers can be almost smooth, with pimples or thorns. It is believed that cucumbers with spots and dark thorns on them are ideal for canning.
These vegetables will be crispy and moderately firm. If the thorns are white, then the cucumbers will not have a crunching effect after salting. It is better to choose cucumbers with a green skin and a small size (maximum 10 cm) for canning.
- By color, fresh cucumbers can be:
Fresh cucumbers, which are red, yellow, and white, are rarely seen on store shelves. They are larger than the green species, and in shape, they more resemble zucchini.
The taste of these varieties also differs from the traditional version and can be sweetish. Soak the yellow cucumbers in water before eating or salting because of the bitter taste.
How to Increase The Harvest of Fresh Cucumbers
- Comply with the landing pattern
The optimal distance between cucumber bushes should be 30-40 cm, and between rows being at least 50 cm. Thickening plantings means limiting the supply of light to the plants. As a result, instead of fruits, only barren flowers will appear on them.
- Strengthen the root system
Strengthening the root system is essential, especially for those cucumber bushes that are sick with downy mildew. The lower leaves are removed, and the stem is pinned to the ground and covered with humus. Such bushes will begin their second youth.
- Help with pollination
You can’t always rely on bees. Sometimes you have to connect to pollination yourself, transferring pollen from male flowers to female flowers with a soft brush. This procedure is especially useful in wet rainy weather.
Mulch protects cucumbers from sudden changes in temperature, which are especially harmful to this crop. Soil covered with mulch retains moisture longer and depletes more slowly. And weeds do not grow under it, which means that it does not need weeding.
Cucumbers need to be pinched periodically to increase the number of female flowers on plants, and hence fruiting. In addition, this procedure, along with proper watering, helps to get rid of the bitterness in the fruit. Pinching cucumbers in the greenhouse and the open field has its characteristics.
- Proper watering
It is most optimal to a cucumber the plants after planting twice a week with warm water. The temperature should not exceed +25-27 °С. Grown cucumbers are watered daily before flowering in sunny weather.
On cloudy and cold days, watering is reduced. It is necessary to pour water under the plant with a weak stream not to injure the roots.
- Top dressing
Carry out top dressing of cucumbers several times over the summer. Two weeks after planting the seedlings, after the beginning of flowering, and during the period of ovary formation. For feeding, chemical and natural fertilizers are used, particularly bird droppings, mullein, and ash solution.
Uses of Cucumber
For beauty: cucumber has similar effects to aloe vera. It helps to regenerate, moisturize, nourish, soothe, rejuvenate and smoothen the skin. Also, it removes fine wrinkles around the eyes.
The content of silica and other minerals helps to heal the skin and strengthen the nails. Salted cucumber juice fights eczema, psoriasis, hives, and acne.
For weight loss and anti-cellulite: Add cucumber to your diet if you have decided that now is the right time to lose weight. It contains 95% water. If you also want to get rid of cellulite, rub the problem areas with cucumber slices. The skin will then become elastic.
For fresh breath: Are you going to an important meeting and are afraid that your mouth smells bad? Place the cucumber slice in your mouth for about 30 seconds. The substances contained in it destroy unwanted bacteria that cause odor in the mouth.
Treat diabetes: Cucumbers can also be used to treat diabetes. This vegetable contains a hormone that helps the body to produce insulin. In addition, cucumber has a glycemic index of 0, which is ideal for people with diabetes.
Reduce high blood pressure: Substances found in cucumbers, such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium, help to reduce blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, make it a habit to eat a couple of cucumbers daily.
Cucumbers are the most common vegetable in our beds. Many gardeners desire to grow than to get a good harvest because of their advantages.
They should keep a close eye on some factors to ensure maximum yield and remain fresh. Unfortunately, there are times when cucumbers can go bad. You need to consider the above ways to tell if they are bad.