Why are my cucumbers bitter?

I had a decent cucumber crop this year, but most of them have had a strong bitter taste on the stem side of the cucumber. If I cut away abut 1/3 of the length of the cucumber, the rest is usually very good. What makes them bitter?
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My cukes have been bitter when they/ve exhibited slow growth due to dry weather and/or inconsistent soil moisture.
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TQ wrote:

That's right, it's caused by stress. Fast growth on healthy plants will keep bitterness to a minimum. Of course there are several varieties that have been bred to eliminate bitterness. I like to grow "sweet success". It seems to be bitter free and quite seedless even if they get too big.
Steve
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Watering - water must be simmilar temperature as the enviroment where they grow - no way cold water. Periods of watering try to be aprrox. equal. That's the most. Cukes love water - air humidity and ground.
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male flowers should be pulled off to prevent pollination of the females, hence modern varieties bred to produce only female flowers.
Steve
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BFan wrote:

For what it's worth, my grandmother used to attribute this to over-handling/stepping on/etc. the vines and leaves, which seems in keeping with the stress explanation.
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Pick some when they are about half the size of the ones you see in a grocery store. If they taste alright, you are probably leaving them on the vine to long.
--
J.C.



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That is absolutely wrong, size doesn't determine bitterness.
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I tried picking them small and large, it made no difference. The water supply is steady in the garden. Although we had a very dry summer, I do have a sprinkler system, so the ground stayed consistently moist.

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Sounds like you/re doing everything right. What variety did you plant?

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BFan wrote:

Soil pH and mineral content does affect taste, though I never noticed it with cucumbers. Which soil type and pH do you have? I usually correct my acid soil with wood ash for selected vegetables, such as tomatoes, lettuce, greens and cabbage.
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Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I did not mean the size makes them bitter, I meant that they have stayed on the vine too long, or the plant is just too dang old.. Here, this is from Texas A&M
5. Q. What causes my cucumbers to become bitter tasting?
A. Any stress on a cucumber plant such as high temperatures, low moisture, low fertility or foliage disease can contribute bitterness. Bitterness is usually associated with fruit harvested late in the season from unhealthy, poor-yielding plants. Once a plant produces bitter fruit, remove it from the garden because all subsequent fruit will be affected in a similar manner.
--
J.C.





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The temperature is always high. Do they really mean that?
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Texas A&M wrote:

As if one can tell which cucumber came from which plant.
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TQ Texas A&M wrote:
5. Q. What causes my cucumbers to become bitter tasting?
A. [snip] Once a plant produces bitter fruit, remove it from the garden because all subsequent fruit will be affected in a simila manner.
As if one can tell which cucumber came from which plant.
hope this might answer a few of your questions and help u as well. http://tinyurl.com/h3a8v good luck ;), sockiecat
-- sockiescat
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I repeat from the last posts - don't use cold water, water temperature simmilar to enviromental temperature where it grows, leave water in some pots nearby cukes, it will be enough and use it in the evening - when sun goes down ( sunset). And always enough water, when they lack water also they could be bitter.
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