My cucmbers are unedible! I have babied them and loved them for two plus months and they repay me with nasty bitter fruits! I have read it is because of the heat - it has been terribly hot here in east-central Illinois. I will try feeding them to see if it will make a difference but from what I'm reading my only real recourse is to pull them up and use them for compost. Does anyone have any other ideas? Recipes to make them more palatable? I have also read the bitterness can make a person ill. I'm pretty disappointed. If I replant chances are I won't see any fruit before the end of September or early October. Our weather is pretty unpredictable these days but I'm guessing it will probably stay hot through September.
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." -Thomas Jefferson
As I understand it, the chemical that makes them bitter is the same one that makes you burp cukes, so you might look into a burpless variety next time. I had the same problem with 2 of my pickling cukes this year. The only thing I can compare that bitterness to is Tea Tree oil. Anyone who has tasted that understands. Although I honestly think the cukes were worse. I pulled mine and planted amaranth.
Location: Pennsylvania, Zone 5B
posted 9 years ago
Try slicing one and cutting off the green skin and just eating the white part. I left a cuke on the vine too long and it was turning yellow, and it tasted awfully bitter, but we found that doing the extra slicing and just eating the white part in a salad made it taste just fine.
I planted Marketmore this year and they produced wonderful cucumbers. I am sure the variety plays a big part in the bitterness factor but I did have one that was very bitter just on one end of the cuke - makes me that environmental conditions may be another factor as others have suggested.
Even watering and partial shade will help. It's been 100-110f here and I set mine next to drip-irrigation and have had no bitters yet. Make sure calcium is present as well. Liming initially has surely helped my crop over time. Cukes are about 75% water, so it's definitely crucial to have a good watering schedule.