One of the joys of expanding a summertime backyard is slicing up a cucumber straight off the vine and savoring that very first crisp, amazing chunk. The aim: to increase a bounty of cucumbers with sweet, refreshing taste. But occasionally, no matter how challenging you consider, they’ll flavor bitter.

Stressed vegetation are much more probable to acquire this unlucky flavor, but the diploma of bitterness depends on the severity of the anxiety. Frequently talking, anxiety is normally brought on by insufficient and uneven humidity, but temperature extremes and lousy nourishment can also play a section. Decrease anxiety and improve taste by subsequent these ways when expanding cucumbers:

1. Hold Your Cucumbers Hydrated

Offer cucumber vegetation with a lot of humidity, in particular through the flowering and fruiting approach. Any water anxiety through this period of time of swift expansion results in degrees of bitter-tasting compounds to increase. Cucumbers are vigorous growers and thus will need among 1 and two inches of water for every 7 days, depending on the temperature and form of soil. The vital is to maintain the soil slightly moist at all moments. Water deeply about the moment or two times a 7 days — and much more normally if you might be gardening in sandy soil.

two. Incorporate Mulch to Your Cucumber Bed

To even further lower water anxiety, encompass cucumber vegetation with mulch to preserve and average humidity degrees whilst blocking out weeds. Just wait around till summertime or soon after the soil has warmed higher than 70°F just before applying natural mulches this kind of as straw.

3. Regulate the Temperature

Cucumbers like heat conditions, but expanding amazing and delicious cukes in the heat can occasionally be a challenge. In truth, large temperatures not only have an effect on fruit good quality, but they can bring about vegetation to produce much more male bouquets. FYI: Woman bouquets produce fruit male bouquets generally show up very first and then drop off.

“Cucumbers are truly delicate to large heat,” suggests horticulturist Emily Gatch, greenhouse and pathology coordinator with New Mexico-dependent Seeds of Change. “It can be truly challenging on vegetation if temperatures are continuously in the mid-90s.” If you might be expanding cucumbers in a hot weather, Gatch suggests providing vegetation with filtered afternoon shade to enable amazing things down, either by strategically planting taller crops at the southern conclude or by incorporating a shade cloth to block 40 to 50% of the sunlight.

four. Give Cucumber Vegetation Sunlight and Superior Soil

For the very best-tasting fruit and ideal yields, increase vegetation in a sunny place and in heat, fertile, and nicely-drained soil rich in natural matter with a soil PH among 6 and 7. If feasible, plant cucumbers in a elevated mattress or container backyard to make certain that soil drains appropriately. Hold out to sow seeds or established out transplants till soon after all risk of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to at the very least sixty levels — generally two weeks soon after the last frost. You can start seeds indoors 3 to 4 weeks just before your predicted planting day outside.

five. Fertilize Cucumber Vegetation

Vegetation are major feeders, so be certain to feed the soil with rich compost or aged manure. Following the vines acquire runners and the very first bouquets show up, comply with up with a facet dressing of compost, aged manure, or fertilizer the moment a thirty day period.

A cl0se-up of the bouquets on a cucumber plant.

Maryna IaroshenkoGetty Pictures

When your plant’s leaves switch yellow, it is a sign that they will need much more nitrogen. To do so, give cucumber vegetation more house — actually. FYI: Trellised vegetation ought to be planted 8 to twelve inches aside, house bush varieties ought to be planted 3 feet aside in all directions, and hills with a person or two seedlings ought to be planted about 3 feet aside, with rows four to five feet aside.

6. Get Rid of Weeds

The very best way to guard your cucumbers from pests, like cucumber beetles, is to regularly weed the bordering space. Weeds can be hosts for bacterial wilt disease, which is unfold by cucumber beetles. About time, these beetles can eliminate a cucumber plant, in particular if it is previously stressed because of to lousy water, sun, or soil conditions.

7. Use Row Addresses

Row handles, hotcaps (or plastic milk cartons with the caps eliminated), and plastic tunnels are great for finding your cucumber backyard up and jogging. Not only do row handles enable vegetation increase speedier and flower faster, but they also guard vegetation from pests. Just be certain to clear away any covering the moment vegetation start to flower.

8. Increase Bouquets Close by

Like people today, vegetation get by with a tiny enable from their friends. Cucumbers will need to be pollinated to produce, so plant pollinator-welcoming bouquets nearby. If you really don’t entice pollinators, you will probable get cucumber bouquets, but no fruit or oddly-formed fruit.


Distinct Cucumber Versions to Plant

Some prevalent cucumber varieties contain compounds regarded as cucurbitacins that bring about fruit to flavor bitter. When positioned below anxiety, cucurbitacin degrees enhance, triggering an unpleasant bitter flavor. Here is some fantastic news: You can avoid bitterness completely by picking out several cucumber styles that contain a specific gene that stops cucurbitacins from forming. These prolonged, really slender, seedless specimens, which may perhaps be marked as “burp-less,”are generally sold shrink-wrapped with plastic to guard their slim skins.

Hold in brain that different cucumber varieties increase very best in specific conditions. For instance, Choose-a-Bushel, Parisian Gherkin, and Salad Bush are all compact bush varieties, so they ought to be planted in elevated beds or mulched gardens. Diva, Martini, and Straight Eight are vining cucumbers that creep along the ground or climb a trellis.

Not certain which assortment to plant this calendar year? Consider some of our most loved picks in your backyard:

  • Holland Hothouse (64 times from planting to maturity): A Dutch greenhouse form that can be developed outside these bitter-free and burp-less cukes have a amazing and sweet flavor. For straight fruits, trellis the vines.
  • Marketmore ninety seven (55 times): Produced at Cornell College, it is a bitter-free slicer and disease-resistant.
  • Tyria (fifty six times): Another Dutch greenhouse form, producing flippantly ribbed, dim inexperienced fruits up to 14 inches prolonged. Harvest among 10 and twelve inches prolonged for very best taste.
  • Amira (55 times): Center Eastern form sweeter taste than most with a crunchy texture slim-skinned fruits very best harvested at four to five inches.
  • Interesting Breeze (forty five times): A French cornichon form (small cucumbers meant for pickling) clean skins sweet and crunchy flesh with great taste harvested when four to five inches prolonged sets fruit without pollination.
  • Diva (55 times): Clean, slim, no-peel skin distinctly tender, crisp, and delicately sweet very best picked at four to five inches.
  • Orient Categorical (64 times): Flavorful, Eastern form with slim-skinned, dim inexperienced fruits vines really tolerant to disease.
  • Sweet Marketmore (62 times): Disorder-resistant vines produce continuously in hot or amazing temperature great taste without the burp.
  • Tasty Inexperienced (sixty five times): Incredibly delicious with sweet and juicy dim inexperienced, slender fruits can be developed inside of or out.
  • Armenian (sixty times): Also regarded as snake melon does nicely in hot temperature. Extended, slender light-weight inexperienced fruits are spineless and almost normally curved, until developed on a trellis and harvested when twelve inches prolonged. The fruit is rather sweet, with a moderate, slightly citrusy taste.
  • Socrates (fifty two times): Does nicely in cooler conditions can be developed indoors in locations that remain among 50 to 82°F dim inexperienced, slim-skinned fruit are sweet, tender, and seedless.

    How to Harvest Cucumbers

    harvest cucumber

    TommLGetty Pictures

    Dependent on the assortment, cucumbers are completely ready for harvest 50 to 70 times soon after planting. You can count on for a longer period harvests of prime-good quality cukes if you pick the fruits regularly and just before they get also huge.

    The size at which you harvest depends on the assortment developed. For ideal flavor and texture, American slicers are commonly very best when harvested at 6 to 8 inches prolonged Center Eastern styles this kind of as Amira ought to be picked at four to 6 inches most picklers at 3 to five inches and Asian varieties at 8 to twelve inches.

    To harvest, merely grasp the fruit and minimize the stem with a pruning or kitchen shears a quarter-inch higher than it. You can maintain harvested cucumbers in the fridge for 7 to 10 times. But it is not a a person-and-performed offer: The much more you harvest, the much more fruits your cucumber plant will item, so maintain finding ’em!

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