Picking green beans and cucumbers is an almost daily game of Hide and Seek.
I circle around and search through each bean and cucumber plant two or three times before feeling reasonably confident I've found all that are the right size for picking, and a couple days later I almost always find a giant cucumber I missed. When this happens, they are always so large (like 7 inches or more), I wonder how on earth I must have missed it several times. It starts to feel like the plant is playing pranks on me.
While I try to harvest the pickling cucumbers before they get over 5 inches long, it's important, I've learned, to never let a cucumber grow so large it turns yellow. At that point, the plant will likely stop producing fruit and think it's time to die. So evidently, as long as I keep picking while the fruits are young, the plants will keep producing. But if I let just one go too long, and get too old, it's Game Over!
I have to say when I decided to plant cucumbers, this was not a game I anticipated.
I also have to say... the Bread and Butter Pickles I canned earlier this week are worth it all. Mmmmm. I was so happy with them, I gave some to friends who came over for supper last night who'd never tasted Bread and Butter Pickles. I hope they like them as much as I now do!