How To Get Rid Of Bitter Taste In Cucumbers

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How do I get rid of the bitter taste in my cucumbers?

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Answer #1 · Maple Tree's Answer · Hi James-The cucumber plant contains a bitter compound called cucurbitacin which is mostly in the plants foliage, stems, and roots. There seems to be some disagreement as to what actually causes this bitterness to move into the fruit but a few things that would stress the plant seem to play a role in this problem. A plant stressed by heat or plants going through times of drought and overwatering may produce a more bitter fruit. Drastic fluctuations in temperatures for a period of time can also produce more bitter fruit. Unfortunately at times tress caused by nature can't be controlled but there are some things we can do to help the plant under unfavorable conditions.

Periods of hot, dry weather that may cause stess can be helped by making sure the plant is continually moist but not too wet or dry. Mulching around the plants will help to keep the soil cool and moist and keep it from drying out more quickly.

Cucumbers like a rich soil with plenty of organic matter. They are heavy feeders so soils with plenty of organic matter or fertilization every 4-6 weeks will help to keep the plant healthier with less stress that may affect the bitterness of the fruit.

Another factor that seems to add to the cucumbers bitterness is lack of sunlight. Again we can't control the weather but making sure the plants are located in an area that recieves as much direct sunlight as possible will help to produce a healthier plant with less bitter fruit.

You may have noticed your cucumbers are more bitter at the stem. This of course is where this bitter compound and nutrients enter. Peeling the cucumber first will usually inprove its flavor as the bitterness is concentrated at the stem end and the area just under the skin. Slicing your cucumber towards the center of the fruit, you should find it sweeter and able to salvage enough to use in your salads and other dishes. The cucumbers are easily grown but with a little extra attention towards these things that may cause the plant stress you should hopefully get a sweeter fruit. There are some varieties of cucumber that are known to be less bitter. Your quality local nurseries may be able to help you with obtaining these varieties. Many less bitter varieties are labeled 'non-bitter' or varieties with 'sweet' in their name such as 'Eversweet' may be varieties that will do well in your location.

Hopefully this has helped to answer your question.


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