[Arid_gardener] Question from Home-Hort WWW page

watsontl@mindspring.com watsontl@mindspring.com
Mon, 21 Jul 2003 14:59:12 -0600 (MDT)

Bitterness in cucumbers is a sign of stress.  Our hot desert summers are the usual cause of this bitterness (caused by a chemical the plant produces to defend itself - something that works with bugs but, obviously, not with heat!), though pests and diseases can also cause this reaction.  I've tasted the bitterness when I planted cukes too late, or in seasons when it got hot unusually soon, and the fruit matured in hot weather.  I've also noticed it when the vines were attacked by squash vine borers, or when cucumber beetles made an appearance.

There is, unfortunately, nothing you can do to the soil that will make the slightest difference.   If you have not already, try shading the plants to cool them off.   If you can keep the plants growing into Fall (and heat is the only problem) you might get sweeter fruit later.   The fruit that have formed to this point are a lost cause.

-------Original Message-------
From: casabigler@hotmail.com
Sent: 07/21/03 10:22 AM
To: arid_gardener@Ag.arizona.edu
Subject: [Arid_gardener] Question from Home-Hort WWW page

> My cucumbers are bitter.  Can I amend the soil somehow to sweeten them?  I
do not know the variety.  They are beautiful and crisp, just bitter.

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