What Causes Bitter Cucumbers?

comments (5) April 11th, 2010

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ChrisMcLaughlin Chris McLaughlin, contributor
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Water your cukes!
Photo by Oakleys Originals under the Creative Commons Attribution License.Click To Enlarge

Water your cukes!


Photo by Oakley's Originals under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Lately I've run into a lot of talk about cucumbers and why some gardeners end up with bitter fruit while others don't.  Unfortunately, many gardeners are putting the blame on one of my favorite practices of all-time; hand-pollination. So, I'm here to set the record straight. Hand-pollinating your plants will not make your cucumbers bitter.

Bitter cucumbers are all about cultural influences not pollination. More specifically, letting your plants dry out instead of keeping them evenly moist while the fruit is in production. Even if you apologize to them and promise never to miss watering again - it may already be too late. The soil fluctuating between very dry and wet again really messes with their heads and your salad will pay the price. Stressing your cucumbers out will cause them to become bitter. Now why does that sound familiar?

posted in: cucumbers, hand-pollination

Comments (5)

lesterneal32 writes: I like this process.
Posted: 6:19 am on October 15th
mondray writes: i like it...
Posted: 3:16 am on December 4th
KimberlyAWood writes: I had a friend water my garden when I was gone and am paying the price with bitter cucumbers. I came home and it looked like my garden was dead! I'm so upset! Can I save my cucumbers? My husband had one yesterday and said it was so bitter he had to take it out of his salad!
Posted: 8:28 pm on August 11th
Salad_Days writes: After trying several kinds of cucumbers and always having bitter ones, (and I mean always) I found the lemon cucumber which is NEVER bitter. They are always delicious. Never have to peel 'em. I suggest trying these!
Posted: 8:19 am on April 14th
VeggieMann writes: I have noticed that the cucumbers neighbours have given us over the years definitely have different levels of bitterness. Even though they looked the same I just thought they were different varieties of cucumbers.

Last year was our first year as vegetable gardeners but we didn't grow any cucumbers. I am going to have them this year and I will do my best to keep them from drying out.

Always love great vegetable gardening tips as they help us to grow as gardeners. :)
Posted: 7:54 am on April 12th
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