What is the solution to bitter cucumber? - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Roberta Miller
Grandview, Wa
Question by roberta_mill
July 21, 2005
How do you keep cucumbers from becoming bitter? I have kept them watered, but they still are bitter. my son gave me Armenian plants and they are flourishing, but they are bitter.


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Answer from NGA
July 21, 2005

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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. You can cut off the ends to remove the bulk of the bitterness, but there will still be some under the skin of the cuke. Some people believe that if they peel a cucumber from the stem end to the blossom end, they'll remove more of the bitterness. There have been scientific studies, and the direction of peeling doesn't really make any difference in the amount of bitterness in a cucumber.

Although you keep your plants well watered, there may be enough of a fluctuation of soil moisture to accentuate the problem. Try mulching over the soil around your plants to help regulate soil temperatures and moisture content.

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