We’ve all experienced a bitter taste when eating the cucumbers we have grown in our garden. Few things are as frustrating as when the cucumber you’ve pampered all season is not at all edible when it arrives on the table because of its bitterness.
But why do garden cucumbers go bitter?
Cucumbers are a relatively easy vegetable to grow, either in the garden or in a window box. Here are some useful tips for growing tasty cucumbers.
– Choose the right spot: cucumbers need a sunny spot and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7. If the soil is clayey or too compact, compost or manure can help.
– Plant the seeds directly in the garden, about 2.5 cm deep and 30-60 cm apart, depending on the type of cucumber you are growing. Alternatively, you can buy cucumber seedlings.
– Watering. Watering is usually done so that the water reaches the roots. Avoid overwatering or wetting the leaves as this can lead to disease.
– Fertilizers. Before planting seeds or seedlings, fertilize the soil with compost or organic fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer can also be applied after the plants have started to grow.
– Protect the plants.
– Harvest cucumbers regularly to encourage a continuous crop.
In general, growing cucumbers in the garden is an easy task that can be done successfully with a little attention. But then why do some crops turn bitter?
There are several reasons for the bitter taste of cucumbers
– Over-ripening: cucumbers ripen quickly, so it is important to pick them before they over-ripen, as this can lead to bitterness.
– Extreme temperatures: high or low temperatures can cause cucumbers to taste bitter.
– Insufficient hydration: cucumbers need adequate water to grow and remain sweet. Make sure that cucumber plants are properly watered.
– Soil that is too acidic: If the soil in which cucumbers are grown is too acidic, this can cause bitterness. Before planting cucumbers, make sure that the soil pH is right for them.
– Herbicides and other chemicals.
Excessive use of herbicides or other chemicals can spoil cucumbers, so try to avoid using these substances and opt for natural pest control methods.