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Bitter cucumbers

I HAVE found this year that my apple cucumbers taste a little bitter. Is there any reason for this problem?

 

THE MOST likely reason is you could be leaving the apple cucumbers on the plant too long before picking them. Unlike telegraph cucumbers which are seedless, apple cucumbers need to be pollinated before any fruit will form, so the fruit has seeds in it.

The problem with seeds in cucumbers is they tend to make the flavour bitter and the longer you leave the cucumber on the plant the worse it gets So pick them early - they may be smaller but they'll taste better.

Picking early also encourages more flowers and fruit. Also, fertilise the plant regularly and make sure the soil stays moist, lack of water can affect the flavour.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 141, 2004, Page 22

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener


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