The Q&A Archives: Cucumbers

Question: Some of my pickling cucumbers taste very bitter and some of them taste great. What causes the bitterness?

Answer: Cucurbitacin B and Cucurbitacin C are the names of the compounds which cause bitterness in cucumbers. These compounds are found in all plant parts, but are concentrated in the stem end of the fruit. There is some in the blossom end, as well. Different varieties of cucumbers seem to contain more bitterness than others. It is important to keep your plants well watered. If there is enough of a fluctuation in soil moisture it will accentuate the problem. Try mulching over the soil around your plants to help regulate soil temperatures and moisture content.

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