Gardeners explain how to grow cucumbers without bitterness

Bylim Olena

Gardeners explain how to grow cucumbers without bitterness
Cultivation of cucumbers

Bitter cucumbers can spoil any dish. However, there are many ways to prevent bitterness in the cucumbers growing in your beds.

The bitter taste of cucumbers is caused by the organic compound cucurbitacin. It is found in all cucumbers, but some varieties have more of it than others. The amount of cucurbitacin can increase under the influence of stress factors, especially when cucumbers are attacked by pests. Then the plant actively produces cucurbitacin to protect itself, Better Homes & Gardens writes.

Also read: To have a record harvest: wen to transplant cucumbers to the open ground

Cucurbitacin migrates into fruits during stressful growing conditions. The bitter compound may not spread throughout the cucumber from the stem, which explains why half of the fruit is bitter and the rest of the fruit is extremely tasty. Cucumber skin often contains more of the bitter compound than the flesh. Removing the skin also helps remove much of the bitter taste.

To prevent bitterness, choose varieties with a lower ability to produce cucurbitacin for planting. Plants with lower levels of cucurbitacin are less prone to bitterness in unfavorable growing conditions.

When you grow cucumbers, make sure they get enough water. The cucurbitacin compound accumulates in the plant as it tries to grow. Over time, cucurbitacin penetrates the fruits, forming bitterness. When natural rainfall is scarce, water the plants deeply. Try to water them in the morning or late afternoon so that the leaves can dry quickly. Fungal diseases are more likely to develop on leaves that remain wet for a long time.

Cucumbers also need mulching. Spread a 2cm layer of shredded bark, straw or grass clippings around the base of the plants to help maintain soil moisture and moderate soil temperature. Stressful growing conditions, from drought to heat and cold, can cause cucumbers to become bitter. Mulch combats dry conditions by creating a barrier to limit moisture loss through the soil.

Earlier, we told you what to put in the hole when planting tomatoes so that they grow twice as fast.

If you want to receive the latest news about the war and events in Ukraine, subscribe to our Telegram channel!