With improper care, untimely watering, cucumbers have a bitter taste. Sometimes it is so pronounced that it is impossible to eat vegetables without preliminary processing. Modern varieties and hybrids of cucumbers are genetically free from bitterness, so novice gardeners need to choose planting material wisely.
Bitterness in cucumbers and the latest achievements in breeding
Cucumber is an unpretentious vegetable crop, but under stressful growing conditions, bitterness is formed in the fruits, which is due to the production of a biochemical compound cucurbitacin (a saponin from the group of glycosides). This is a genetic feature of the pumpkin family. Historically, it served as a kind of protection from being eaten by wild animals before the onset of biological maturity of the fruit.
Cucurbitacin begins to accumulate from the moment of seed germination in stems and leaves, and then in fruits. Different varieties of cucumbers have different tendencies to bitterness.... It is believed that any new hybrids and varieties are free from bitterness, and in most cases this is true. Breeders are constantly working to improve the taste characteristics of the fruit and the removal of the gene responsible for the impairment of taste is a top priority for them. But before buying seeds, it is better to further study the information on the package. Manufacturers usually indicate this, if we are not talking about the most common hybrids, the characteristics of which are already known to many.
Bitterness in cucumbers is a genetically determined trait. When the bitterness gene is present, stressful off-flavors can appear in the fruit. The presence of such a gene can be easily checked by tasting the cotyledons of young plants. If they taste bitter, it means that the plant has a bitterness gene and the fruit can be bitter. If the cotyledons are sweet, the fruits will never, under any circumstances, be bitter.
Bitterness-free varieties and hybrids
Breeders have bred many varieties and hybrids that are free of bitterness. Thanks to the achievements of modern science, it was possible to isolate 9 genes responsible for the production of saponins. So that cucumbers do not taste bitter with improper care, you need to choose the right planting material. Hybrids are considered genetically free from bitterness:
- Mother-in-law F1;
- Shchedryk F1;
- Crunchy F1;
- Courage F1;
- Square dance F1;
- Zyatek F1;
- Goosebump F1;
- Masha F1;
- Garland F1.
The "F1" designation indicates that the culture is a hybrid. It is worth paying attention to this, since both a cucumber variety and a hybrid can have the same name, but their taste characteristics and appearance will differ.
Bitter-free cucumbers can be grown both in the greenhouse and in the open field
Some new varieties are not genetically free from bitterness completely, but produce cucurbitacin in small amounts:
- Russian fun;
- Parisian gherkin;
Cucumbers with elongated fruits
Cucumbers with long fruits are well suited for growing in greenhouses. They are called Chinese. Among them there are also hybrids that are genetically free from bitterness:
- Chinese snake F1;
- Chinese Emperor F1;
- Emerald Stream F1.
Cucumbers of the Emerald Stream variety are genetically free from bitterness
For many years in a row, I have been growing on the site only new parthenocarpic hybrids without bitterness. This makes the job much easier. It is not always possible to water the garden, and cucumbers do not like drought. With new hybrids, I am no longer afraid to ruin the harvest. Such seeds are more expensive than the usual varietal ones, but it's worth it. I plant "Chinese" cucumbers in the greenhouse. The yield is excellent and not bitter.
Most of the new varieties and hybrids of cucumbers are free of bitterness, which greatly facilitates crop care. Even under stressful growing conditions, the fruits will remain tasty.
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The best varieties of cucumbers for 2021 for the Moscow region
In order to harvest a good harvest of cucumbers in the Moscow region in 2021, it is important to find the best varieties for planting. Consider where they will be planted - in a greenhouse or in the open field and select options with the highest yield. If possible, use self-pollinated varieties that do not need insects to form ovaries.
Cucumber Fun Dwarfs F1®
Ultra-early maturing parthenocarpic hybrid Funny gnomes F1 amateurs prefer to collect only small cucumbers. Perfect for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. The zelents of this hybrid do not exceed 8-9 cm in length and never outgrow. The first fruits can be harvested as early as 38-40 days after germination. In each node, a whole bunch of cucumbers is formed, from 3 to 5 pieces. Zelentsy are homogeneous, small-tuberous, white-thorny, with a thin skin, juicy and crunchy pulp, with excellent taste. It is these fruits that are very popular with our summer residents. Cucumber Merry Gnomes proved to be excellent in different climatic regions, resistant to sudden changes in weather conditions and easily adapts to any growing conditions.
What caused the bitterness in cucumbers, and what to do now?
What caused such annoying troubles? Why cucumbers bitter or prematurely yellowed? How to prevent the appearance of yellow or bitter cucumbers in the future and can such fruits be used somewhere? You will find detailed answers to all these questions below. Don't despair, your cucumber-growing efforts won't go to waste!
In appearance, bitter cucumbers are no different from ordinary ones - the same bright green color, crispy crust, fresh aroma. Who among the housewives has never spoiled a salad with bitterness, deceived by the usual appearance of a cucumber! You can, of course, just cut off the peel, which accumulates the most bitterness, but after all, it is in the peel of the cucumber that the main amount of useful trace elements and vitamins is contained, you should not constantly neglect it.
In appearance, bitter cucumbers are no different from ordinary ones.
I grow cucumbers like that! AND HOW ARE YOU?
METHODS FOR GROWING CUCUMBERS
Today I will tell you about all the methods of growing such a crop as cucumbers. My message is, according to all the rules of the order, it would be necessary to start with the traditional method, which is used by most gardeners. Cucumbers are sown in wide ridges, grow without support, whips lie on the ground.
But, let me today make a small exception to the general rules, and first show an unusual way of trellis growing.
Trellis growing of cucumbers (picture)
I really liked the trellis growing option! The simplicity of the idea amazes and surprises at the same time! Two completely different plants, cucumbers and salads, are planted in the same garden. A very good solution! Such a neighborhood is very beneficial for planted plants! The cucumber scourge found an inclined support.
Know yourself, they crawl along the net, reach for the sun, and at the same time shade the plants planted under the net. With such a reasonable planting, the scourge of cucumbers is certainly not affected by diseases.
Trellis cultivation (photo)
The fruits will always be clean - pluck a cucumber from the garden, and eat it to your health! Plants that are planted under an inclined grid are also not the losers! They are hidden from direct sunlight. Being under a lace tent, the sprouts do not experience a lack of moisture, the soil after watering remains moist for a long time.
If, you arrange several structures in a row, and plant young strawberry seedlings under the net, then it will all be safely accepted, and it will grow quickly. Strawberry seedlings in the summer always suffer greatly from the heat, the weak root system of young plants is unable to extract moisture from the soil.
Shading each plant is often problematic! Burdock leaves, sorry, not enough for everyone! I'm kidding, of course!)))
I got off topic a bit! I'll fix it now!
A wonderful way to grow a great harvest of cucumbers in barrels. Our hardworking summer residents quite often plant cucumber seedlings in barrels. And rightly so! It is the planting of seedlings in barrels that gives them the opportunity to get the first harvest of cucumbers two to three weeks earlier than when planting and sowing seeds in ordinary beds.
The soil in the container is fertile, the soil is prepared in advance, it is best to prepare it in the fall. The soil mixture consists of compost, leaf soil, plus mineral fertilizers. The barrel, with the first spring warmth, quickly warms up, gives warmth to the plants, which is very important.
Now about all the advantages of this method. The benefits are clear!
Second, there is no need to tie up the lashes of plants.
Third, the planting does not need weeding.
Fourth, the plants do not get sick, which means that the treatment with chemicals and stimulants is not required! There are many advantages, isn't it?
Trellis growing with a slope - double trellis.
This landing method, as you probably noticed, is similar to the option that is at the very beginning of the message. The only difference between the landings is that the trellis is double. The frames are set at a 45 degree angle.
Not a bad solution. The only drawback I see is that weeds will grow between the installed frames, which will be difficult to reach! But, with good development of plants, and with a large harvest, you can not pay attention to this drawback!
Growing melons and gourds on a pyramid
I suppose that many of you who saw this photo will notice: What such pyramids are usually used when planting strawberries, flowers, greens! I totally agree with you! I also held this opinion. But after reading an article by one gardener, I decided that this method also has the right to coexist.
The author of the article described in great detail how he prepared the pyramid ridges, indicated all the dimensions of the structure. He was very pleased with the results of his labors. Who questioned my words, then read the original message here. I will not write my opinion on this topic, since I have never tried to use this idea.
Growing melons and gourds in a greenhouse.
What can be said here? This is an old tried and tested way to get a crop regardless of weather conditions. In my opinion, this is the best, most reliable way to grow vegetables. Judge for yourself! Every year the ecological situation is deteriorating, weather conditions force us to acquire the skills of a meteorologist.
In the greenhouse, you can create all the conditions for the growth of plants - regulate the temperature regime, maintain the required air humidity, and so on. Watch this helpful video.
The only drawback is the cash costs for the purchase of materials, which, however, then more than pays off.
How do you like the landing examples? I liked a lot too! All five methods make it possible to get an excellent harvest!
Where is my sixth landing method? Here it is! Before you!
Traditional planting of cucumbers
The old "grandmother's" way! Where, and the cucumbers are dirty, because they lie on the ground. There are a lot of diseases here, and a big piece of work - weeding the garden in the "hook" position!
Do you still grow cucumbers this way?
Then you should read the message again! I wish everyone only "light" cucumbers, no chemicals and no back pain!
How do external factors affect the vegetable?
Not a single summer cottage can do without cucumbers. Anyone will be happy to eat a delicious crispy cucumber plucked from the garden. However, there are situations when suddenly the cucumber has become bitter. The question immediately arises: why are cucumbers bitter and how to deal with this problem.
Why are cucumbers a bitter reason
Studies have shown that the bitterness of cucumbers is given by the substance cucurbitation, the production of which depends to a large extent on many factors, and in particular on the weather.
Going deeper into history, we know that cucumber grew wild in tropical forests in the shade of giant trees practically without direct sunlight, without experiencing temperature changes and without suffering from heat. Therefore, hot sunny summers with nighttime drops in temperatures cause stress in the plant, provoking the formation of cucurbitacin, as a protective agent concentrated at the peduncle.
So what causes bitterness?
- Weak or too bright lighting. The plant prefers a middle ground.
- Weak watering and waterlogging, cold water is also not to the taste of a cucumber, in the shade of trees, a wild brother always grew in warm, loose and moist soil.
- Sparse clay or sandy soil or oily over-fertilized soil can also lead to stress. During the fruiting period, it is necessary to supply the cucumber bushes with a balanced diet.
- Thickened planting, tightness and twisting of the lashes, poor access to fruits. All parts of the plant need space.
- Plants prefer neutral soil; on acidic soil, it is uncomfortable and uncomfortable.
- Poor quality seeds or improper harvesting leads to an unpleasant taste. Gardeners who prefer to harvest the seeds themselves make the main mistake: you cannot take seeds close to the stalk, but on the contrary, only in a third of the cucumber at the spout.
In the open field
It is recommended to locate cucumber beds in the open field from tall shrubs to the north. However, you should not plant plants near any pumpkin crops, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. These plants are aggressors and cucumbers survive, and they, in turn, become bitter.
For cucumbers, make a high bed, be sure to lime it, if the soil is acidic, cover it with a film, when the soil warms up to 15 degrees, sow seeds. Warming up the earth to 20 degrees allows the surface to be mulched with sawdust or straw.
If the bed is not mulched, then you need to loosen it weekly. Loosening is equivalent to dry watering and allows you to evaporate excess moisture and add air to the root system.
Watering must be carried out regularly and the plants must be fed with complex fertilizers, but be careful to use organic matter so as not to overfeed with nitrogen, which leads to the bitterness of the fruit.
A thin film is stretched over the garden in hot weather or, conversely, in rainy weather to save the bushes from bright sunlight or excess moisture.
Guide the lashes so that they have enough light, spaciousness and no shadows.
In the greenhouse
Growing and caring for cucumbers in a greenhouse is not much different from open ground. In dry and hot summers, the film or glass should be made opaque, that is, whitened with chalk.
The ventilation flaps are opened if the temperature and humidity outside are about the same as in the greenhouse. Otherwise, the cucumbers are cold, they will respond with the appearance of bitterness.
How to remove the bitterness of the fruit
So, you have grown bitter cucumbers, is there an opportunity to rectify the situation? There are several ways to remove bitterness:
- the main bitterness is concentrated at the stalk and in the peel. Therefore, if you cut off the "ass" and the peel, then the fruit can be eaten
- cucumbers cease to taste bitter during heat treatment, that is, when canning
- you can soak the fruits in water for a while, they will taste much less bitter.
Although cucurbitacin brings bitterness to the fruit, it is not only harmless to human health, but also able to bring benefits. It improves the activity of the liver, pancreas and promotes the resorption of malignant tumors. Sometimes bitter fruits are specially grown for treatment.
Bitterness resistant varieties
The breeders have managed to create varieties in which the risk of bitterness is minimal. These are hybrid varieties F1: Grasshopper, Buyan, Boy-with-finger, Green Wave, Maryina Roshcha, Kozyrnaya Karta, Chistye Prudy, Ant. Salad varieties have been created that never form bitterness: Harmonist, Shchedrik, Quadrille, Lilliput, Egoza, Berendey.However, they are not recommended to be preserved.
So, we have analyzed the reasons why are cucumbers bitter... The main thing is to take good care of the plants, water, loosen, feed, and the harvest of delicious cucumbers during and correctly.
Mistake # 12: they decided that quantity is a synonym for quality
Some vegetable growers mistakenly believe that seedlings on the windowsill need to be grown as long as possible and should be transplanted into the ground only after it is as strong as possible and almost ovaries appear on it. Oh, how deeply the apologists of this point of view are mistaken! The larger the seedling, the more powerful and voluminous its root system. The more powerful the root system, the more roots are injured in the process of planting seedlings in open ground. The more injured roots there are, the more difficult it will be for the plant to take root in a new place. Simply put, a powerful and strong-looking seedling takes much longer to adapt than a small and seemingly very flimsy plant.
Several years ago, gardeners even experimented. Some sowed seeds directly into the open ground, while others at the same time began to grow seedlings on the windowsill. While the seeds hatched in the ground and turned into seedlings, the seedlings grew to a serious size and looked more than viable. She was planted in the ground later than usual, waiting for her to become even larger and stronger. So what happened? Powerful seedlings recovered for so long due to the change in growing conditions that the plants grown in the open field managed to catch up with it and even overtake it. So you shouldn't overestimate the importance of growing seedlings on the windowsill. Late transplanting seedlings into the garden can devalue and multiply to zero all your efforts.