Why are cucumbers bitter?
Our cucumbers are one of the most popular, truly popularly loved vegetables. Perhaps it is impossible to find such a dacha or village garden, wherever there are beds of cucumbers. A young, dimpled, crispy cucumber is the best addition to any summer breakfast or lunch. One has only to cut it, as a unique fresh aroma spreads in waves through the kitchen, causing an overwhelming desire to immediately crunch the juicy green flesh. But what a shame it happens when, instead of the desired gentle, slightly sweet taste, your tongue suddenly feels intolerable bitterness. It is doubly insulting that it is impossible to distinguish the renegade from his tasty “sweet” fellows by their appearance. All of them, as on selection, are equally beautiful and green.
Why cucumbers are bitter
About why bitter cucumbers, scientists argued until recently. It has now been reliably established that the bitterness of cucumbers is due to the presence in them of a special substance cucurbitacin produced by the plants themselves, and not only cucumbers, but also by some other members of the pumpkin family.What stimulates the production and accumulation of cucurbitacin in the fruits of cucumbers and how can this be dealt with?
First of all, it should be noted that the ability to produce cucurbitacin is fixed at the genetic level in cucumbers. Consequently, in different varieties it manifests itself in varying degrees, and modern hybrids of cucumbers are completely devoid of bitterness, it is blocked from them in the course of purposeful selection. Growing such hybrid forms, you solve this problem for yourself once and for all.
How to get rid of bitterness in cucumbers
But not everything is as simple and straightforward as we would like. Hybrid seeds are quite expensive, and they need to be re-purchased every year, since the seeds of the second generation, collected by you yourself, will no longer have all the positive qualities inherent to their parents. In addition, many gardeners love old, kind, time-tested varieties of cucumbers and do not want to part with them in favor of fashionable novelties. For them, the question of why cucumbers are bitter is still relevant.
What can they advise? The people have long noticed that the taste of cucumber depends on the conditions in which it grows.Often the bitterness in cucumbers appears because of watering with too cold water. They do not like cucumbers and cold wet weather, at this time it is better to close the bed with film. Even careless picking of cucumbers, sharp turning over and wringing of the lashes can add bitterness to the fruits. Excessive lighting with low humidity is also very harmful for cucumbers. Under direct scorching sunlight in cucumbers, cucurbitacin begins to be intensively produced. A few bright sunny days in a row are enough to make your cucumbers inedible bitter. There are several ways to solve this problem. Grow cucumbers on the trellis - this will reduce the illumination. Cover “Spunbond” cucumber beds during the sun or plant corn between the rows - it will add to your cucumbers and they will only be sweet and tasty.
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