The Q&A Archives: Bitter Cukes

Question: I always plant Burpless Hybrid Cukes, and always the first cuke from each plant is so bitter it is impossible to eat. All the following cukes are perfect.

Answer: The keys to sweet cucumbers are growing varieties adapted to your area, keeping the plants healthy and stress-free, and maintaining consisten soil moisture. Protect plants from "pest stress" such as cucumber beetles and diseases such as powdery mildew from infecting the plants. Finally, mulch cucumbers with a 4 inch layer of hay mulch in early summer to maintain soil moisture, and water as needed to keep soil moist. Maturing cucumbers need moisture to sweeten up. Also, enough sunlight is important to give that sweet taste, so be sure they are planted in full sun and pray for clear weather!

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