cucumber was bitter now it's not

TrishcuitAugust 10, 2011

About two weeks ago my parents had the first cucumber off the Suyo Long plants I gave them and found it extremely bitter. I was disappointed because I had plans to save the seeds and was scared it was a genetically unfortunate bitter plant. Tonight I picked one off the same vine, washed, removed the prickles, cut off the ends and peeled from the center out to the ends. It was outstanding! Could it be that the later blossoms to set missed our erratic temperatures we had earlier or was it the way I peeled it or maybe because I stuck out my tongue 'just so' while doing it?

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Usually, the most common reason for bitter cucumbers is lack of adequate moisture in the soil. Cucumbers prefer to have the soil constantly moist (not dripping wet, but moist). During heat waves and droughts, it may be difficult to give the plants enough water.

The developing fruit requires water. If there is not enough water coming into the roots of the plant, which is then passed onto the fruit, the plant will "sacrifice" some of its own sap to feed the developing cucumber. The sap of the cucumber plant contains cucurbitacin, which is very bitter. When the plant gives some of its sap, which contains cucurbitacin, to its developing fruit, the fruit becomes bitter.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 3:55PM
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So if I can weather a few more weeks of 100 degree weather and it cools down, will i get non bitter cukes again? Somewhere else i read that once they turn bitter there is no going back, so your post is very encouraging that I could have fall cucumber salad again

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Yup, they need steady water. It won't hurt to keep standing on one foot while peeling both ways from the center and whistling "Dixie". JK

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 7:25AM
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