bitter cucumber and pickle - Knowledgebase Question

santa ana, Ca
Question by linda0586
April 15, 2010
Hello! Sir,
I planted cucumbers and pickles last year. Last year some of my cucumbers and pickles had bitter taste instead of sweet taste. This year,I plant both cucumbers and pickles again.Can you please tell me what is the casue of this bitter taste and how to prevent it from happening again.
Thank you.

Answer from NGA
April 15, 2010


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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