Bitter Cucumbers

Horticultural Crops


Bitter Cucumbers

Sep 6, 2002 | 07:07 1 What makes a cucumber bitter?I have had a couple, but the rest off the same plant is fine. Reply With Quote
Sep 16, 2002 | 07:50 2 A bitter taste in cucumbers is the result of stress that can be caused by a number of factors including heredity, moisture, temperature, soil characteristics and disease. Most often this occurs during the hot part of the summer or later in the growing season.

Two compounds, cucurbitacins B and C, give rise to the bitter taste. Though often only the stem end is affected, at times the entire fruit is bitter. Also, most of the bitter taste is found in and just under the skin. Bitter fruit is not the result of cucumbers cross pollinating with squash or melons. These plants can not cross pollinate with one another.

Recommendations: Often newer varieties are less likely to become bitter than older ones. Proper cultural care is also often helpful. Make sure your plants have the following.

Well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Plenty of organic matter also helps.
Mulch. A mulch helps conserve moisture and keep roots cool during hot, dry weather.
Adequate water especially during the fruiting season.
Disease and insect control. Reply With Quote
Feb 20, 2003 | 16:20 3 Moisture stress (uneven watering, cool temps or variation of 20 degrees, and proximity to other ripening fruit can influece bitterness.

Solutions may include siting in uninterrupted, sunny location, monitoring soil moisture content, and trellis training vines to avoid wandering. Bitterness usually results when the growth of fruit is interrupted, so the above solutions will contribute to a normal quick, steady production.

Mulching is a definite moisture preserving practice. Abundant organic matter addition to the soil will increase soil retention. Reply With Quote