See update 1/30/12 below
I started growing an heirloom called Lemon Cucumbers this spring. My seed package did not have a picture. I thought the cucumbers would have a hint of lemon, hence their name lemon cucumbers.
In the last month, my cucumber plants have been going wild with flowers and these yellow tennis balls have been emerging. Thinking that they will eventually turn green and elongate, I just left them on the vine.
Week after week, these tennis balls with facial hair kept getting bigger, but did not turn green. I finally picked on and cut it open. The rind was a little tough and there was a lot of seeds like a melon. The cucumbers did not have a particular taste. I thought they were kind of bland. Plus, they made me burp.
Thinking that I left these cucumbers on the vine too long, I looked up what should the cucumbers look like. There on the internet, plain as day, was my yellow hairy tennis balls.
Did I let them stay on the vine too long?
Again, I went back to the internet and found different stories of when to pick them. Some blogs said pick them when they are green and small. Others said yellow and small.
What should they taste like? Some said sweet but the skin will be tough if you leave them on the vine too long. Mine were definitely not sweet.
Readers, I need help. When should I pick these lemon cucumbers and how should they taste?
Update 1/30/2012: I have now been growing them for over 3 years and they are far the easiest cucumber to grow. You have to pick them when they are smaller or they will be too seedy. (See comments below.) For some recipes see here. I even pickled them. See here for the recipe.