We are not in a hurry to throw it away: what to do if the cucumbers are bitter

Sometimes cucumbers plucked from the garden sometimes taste very bitter. This is the reaction of the fetus to unfavorable conditions: drought, watering with cold water in the heat, very low or too high air temperature. If the whole cucumber crop is bitter, do not rush to get rid of it. There are many uses for such fruits.


The largest amount of cucurbitacin (a special chemical compound that causes bitterness) is found in the peel and grains. Therefore, try cutting off 3 cm of pulp from both ends of the cucumber and gently peeling the vegetable, removing all the skin. If it is large, cut it in half additionally and remove the seeds with a spoon.

After that, the bitterness will remain very light, which will give the salad a peculiar piquancy.


Cucurbitacin is destroyed at high temperatures. Therefore, pickled cucumbers that have passed the pasteurization process or scalded with boiling water three times will not be bitter.

It has a destructive effect on bitterness and a shock dose of salt.


Even a couple of hours spent with bitter cucumbers in salted water can significantly improve their taste. To use in salad, soak them in brine for 2 hours. If the bitterness is strong, leave them for a long time and change the water every hour.

If you add a couple of sprigs of dill, black peppercorns, a few cloves of garlic and dry mustard to the salted water, you can taste crispy and aromatic salted cucumbers the very next day.


Cut off the tops of the vegetable by 1 cm, rub with the cut off hat in a circular motion along the cut for a minute. A white foam will begin to appear at the cut site, which contains all the bitterness. Rinse it off with water and the vegetable will taste much better.

You can cut the cucumber lengthwise into two halves, add a little salt and also rub until white foam around the edges. It will taste better after rinsing.


It moisturizes and mattifies the skin, tightens pores, removes oily sheen, whitens freckles and dark age spots. You can use both vegetable mugs and gruel grated on a fine grater in the form of a mask for 20 minutes on clean skin.

To take care of your face skin daily, you can also prepare a cucumber lotion: pour half a glass of grated vegetable to the top with vodka, insist in a dark place for 15 days, strain through cheesecloth and dilute with water in a 1: 1 ratio. And most importantly, it doesn't matter whether the cucumber is bitter or sweet, the effect of the procedure will be the same.

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Why are cucumbers bitter

The question of why cucumbers are bitter has long been of concern to gardeners. If earlier it was believed that the main reason for the bitterness of cucumbers is solely in their insufficient watering, now the exact reasons have been identified, namely:

- sharp temperature changes

- depleted clay soil

What to do so that cucumbers do not taste bitter

Everyone knows that cucumbers love moist fertile soil, which is why they must be watered in a timely manner, and with exceptionally warm water. On hot and dry days, you should arrange sprinkling with the help of special. installations.

To grow sweet cucumbers, you must also monitor the temperature regime, try to maintain it at the same level of 22-25 degrees. In the daytime, it is necessary to open the greenhouse (if the cucumbers are grown there), and close it at night.

It is worth remembering that cucumbers prefer to grow in the shade, which is why you should not plant them under the scorching rays of the sun. A great option is in the shade of trees.

Now at the expense of seeds. Cucumbers grown from old seeds can taste bitter. As for seeds that are harvested on their own, they can also produce bitter offspring if the seeds are taken closer to the tail of the vegetable.

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Why cucumbers can taste bitter

What causes bitterness?

All cucumbers contain the substance cucurbitacin, but only an excess of it gives the cucumbers a bitter taste. Excess cucurbitacin appears in fruits under unfavorable growing conditions. This can be a lack of moisture, nutrients, sudden temperature changes, as well as too low or high temperatures and dry sunny weather.

The appearance of bitter cucumbers can be triggered by improper watering, when after hot weather the plants are watered with cold water. This delays the ripening of the fruit and makes them bitter. This can happen when the weather changes, when cold and rainy weather sets in after a long heat.

In hot sunny weather, the cucumber saves itself from heat and burns by delaying the development of fruits, and instead of 10-12 days from the moment of pollination, ripening is delayed for a much longer period. For this reason, cucumbers have a bitter taste.

Many gardeners like to feed the plants with fresh manure. It is better to use rotted fertilizer for this purpose, because in the process of decomposition of fresh manure, gases poisonous for the root system and a pathogenic putrefactive microflora are formed. All this does not in the best way affect the taste of cucumbers.

What to consider and how can the situation be corrected?

First of all, when choosing seeds, pay attention to the variety. Most often, bitter cucumbers are found among those varieties that have smooth fruits and a dark green color.

Neutralizing bitterness is difficult, but possible. To do this, the fruits are soaked for several hours in water, after cutting off the tips. The water, if necessary, is changed several times.

The bitterness from cucumbers completely disappears when preserved, therefore, in any case, the harvest will not be lost.

There is also such a way to remove the bitterness from the fruit: cut off the "butt" and rub the cut with the resulting cap in a circular motion. In this case, foam is formed, with which the unpleasant taste leaves.

The benefits and harms of bitter cucumbers

It is interesting how the composition affects the human body. It would seem that a vegetable consists practically of one water - where does it come from useful properties.

But no, cucumbers contain:

  • vitamin PP - useful for stress and nervous disorders
  • vitamin C - for strengthening immunity
  • vitamin B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 - for the organs of vision, normal functioning of the nervous system, to maintain youth, beauty and health
  • vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant. Allows you to keep your youth. In bitter fruits, its content is several times higher than in ordinary ones. Also, the vitamin is useful for those who are experiencing mental overload. For example, students when writing their graduation work, school graduates when passing entrance exams
  • iodine
  • molybdenum
  • phosphorus
  • sulfur - there is very little of it in the bitter fruits
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • iron
  • copper
  • manganese
  • fluorine
  • sodium.

Almost the periodic table turned out! And all this is in those vegetables that are often sent to the trash bin because of the bitter taste. Experienced and experienced gardeners know that everything can be used.

Healing properties

What are healthy bitter vegetables:

  1. Pain relieving effect. The bitter vegetable can relieve pain in the head, abdomen and back. A noticeably beneficial effect on the female body during menstruation.
  2. Against radiation radiation. If you live in an area with high radiation levels, these vegetables will help to avoid negative effects on the body. Eat them as often as possible.
  3. Choleretic property. Common cucumbers also have this property, but in bitter ones it is most pronounced.
  4. Benefits for the gastrointestinal tract. Bitter cucumber is good for both the stomach and the small intestine. However, they cannot be eaten during an exacerbation of gastritis. If you do not have such a problem, then the vegetable will improve the work of your digestion.
  5. Revealed a positive effect on the heart and blood vessels.
  6. From burns, abrasions and wounds. For such purposes, the cucumber is dried without a peel, crushed, and then used as a powder.
  7. It is useful for diabetes mellitus.
  8. Antineoplastic property. Bitter vegetables slow down the division of cancer cells. As a prevention of the appearance of various tumors, bitter cucumbers are a good remedy. In this case, they need to be eaten whole, preferably without salt and oil.

So, the spectrum of beneficial effects is wide enough. For summer colds, it is also helpful to eat slightly bitter vegetables. They have anti-inflammatory properties, prevent bacteria from multiplying.

As far as harm is concerned, no negative impacts were noticed. Overeating can lead to diarrhea, frequent urination, bloating, and aching stomach pain. Don't eat more than three vegetables at a time.

Note! Avoid overgrown cucumbers. Useful properties are seen only in those vegetables whose length does not exceed 10 cm. Further, with each millimeter, the degree of usefulness decreases.

What to do so that cucumbers do not taste bitter

If the gardener knows the reasons why cucumber fruits can taste bitter, then it is much easier to prevent the problem. Timely measures taken can prevent such an unpleasant phenomenon as the accumulation of cucurbitacin.

What to do to make cucumbers in the open field or in the greenhouse grow tasty and not bitter? If you perform the following activities, then the problem will bypass your greens:

  • Watering cucumbers correctly. This issue includes compliance with the scheme, frequency, procedure standards. If you provide your cucumbers with full watering, then they will surely grow tasty and not bitter. Fundamental rules:
    • The water should be extremely warm (within + 20-24 ° C). Do not use cold water!
    • Watering frequency also plays an important role! In hot weather - every day, in normal, cool or cloudy weather - once every 2-3 days.
    • It is optimal to perform the procedure after 18-19 hours, but during the day it is undesirable. And if the nights are cold, then it is better to do it in the early morning.
    • The watering rate (that is, the rate of applied water) is 2-5 liters per plant. More water is added in hot weather than in cold weather. Also, more moisture should be applied on sandy soil, and less with clay soil.
    • In general, you need to water regularly, abundantly, but not swamp the garden!
    • At elevated temperatures, it is useful to water the plants not only at the root, but also on the leaf by sprinkling.

Note! This article explains in detail how to properly water cucumbers.

  • Correct feeding... Nutrient deficiencies can negatively affect the yield and the quality of the fruit. It is important to produce the cucumber subcrust on time. However, the procedure must not be overused! Cucumbers can grow bitter due to excess nitrogen fertilization, and do not feed them with fresh manure.

By the way! Here it is described the rules and schemes for feeding cucumbers.

  • Greenhouse ventilation... When growing cucumbers in greenhouse conditions, try to adhere to optimal temperature conditions. To do this, you need to often ventilate the greenhouse; in hot weather, you need to open doors and windows. If it is still very hot in the greenhouse (t above 28-30 degrees), then you should pull the shading mesh over it. You should also put containers with water in the greenhouse.

  • Prevention of temperature differences in the greenhouse. To avoid sudden temperature changes that can make cucumbers bitter, be sure to close the greenhouse door at night.
  • Choosing the right place for planting cucumbers:
    • The site should be well lit by the sun, but at noon it should be in light partial shade with diffused light.
    • The soil should be fertile and fertilized.
  • Shading cucumbers. If the plants were nevertheless planted in a very hot and sunny bed, then a small canopy should be made (for example, from a shading net) so that the plants are protected from the scorching midday rays of the sun. This is all the more important if the temperature drops significantly at night, otherwise the plants will face a sharp temperature drop, which will cause stress.
  • Gentle loosening of the soil and weeding. Loosening the surface of the soil is a very useful procedure that prevents the formation of an earth crust after watering. In order not to damage the root system of cucumbers, it is necessary to loosen the soil and weed the weeds very carefully, no deeper than 5 centimeters.
  • Compliance with the landing pattern. Density has a negative effect on plants, therefore, when sowing seeds or planting seedlings, you must observe a distance of 20-30 cm between plants, 50-60 cm between rows.

Note! As you can see from the listed reasons and solutions, a universal solution to the problem of bitter fruits is the proper care of cucumbers in the open field and in the greenhouse.

Cucumber hybrids that are not bitter

As noted above, bitter cucumbers can grow from old bee-pollinated varieties. However, parthenocarpic (self-pollinated) hybrids can also taste bitter under poor growing conditions and lack of proper care.

Therefore, it is optimal to plant new bee-pollinated varieties, or even better - parthenocarpic cucumber hybrids. In addition, now on sale you can find parthenocarpic hybrids that are not subject to bitterness (this information must be indicated on the seed package!). For example, hybrids: Ginga, Libelle, Herman, Claudia, Ekol, Ajax and others.

Tips from seasoned gardeners

If the first cucumber plucked in the garden is bitter, then the next ones will probably taste bitter. Finding out the cause and correcting it allows you to restore balance and return sweetness to the fruit.

Experienced gardeners know that the look and taste of the fruit depends on the quality of the soil. Dense or sandy soil is a common cause of the appearance of bitter cucumbers in the beds. Before planting cucumbers, the soil must be prepared by adding the necessary components to it.

To preserve moisture, the soil after irrigation is mulched with cut grass, hay, straw, sunflower husks. At the same time, the soil evaporates less moisture, which reduces watering, protecting the plants from bitterness and possible diseases.

For top dressing, fresh manure cannot be used, since the fruits from it are bitter. When fresh manure is used, it is embedded in the soil in advance during the autumn digging. By spring, it becomes less concentrated and serves as a good top dressing for cucumbers.

Because cucurbitacin is in the skin, the bitter cucumber can be peeled or cut off from the butt. The bitterness will come out and only the sweet pulp will remain. If it is bitter, lightly sprinkle the slices with lightly salt. An effective way to get rid of bitterness is to soak the fruits in warm water or heat them. Bitter fruits are suitable for preservation, pickling and pickling. When processed, they lose their bitterness.

Observing the rules of caring for cucumbers and preventing all possible negative environmental influences, the harvested crop is tasty and not bitter.

Watch the video: How to Make Perfect Bitter Melon 2 Ways l 这才是苦瓜最好吃做法!

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