Q. My cucumbers are often bitter. Why is that and what can I do to prevent it?
A. The most likely answer is lack of water and/or lack of proper nutrition. Properly fed and watered cucumbers grow fast and are crisp, tender, and taste very mild.
If the soil surface near your plant roots is dry, you can be sure your plants are not getting enough moisture to sustain even healthy growth and sweet-tasting fruit. The best solution is level beds, slightly higher than the surrounding aisles, with 4″ ridges all around to hold the water in the root zone, and watering every day in warm weather. Much less water is used as compared to sprinkling or flooding, and the plant roots receive a constant supply of essential moisture.
In addition, everbearing plants like cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and eggplant need continued feeding over the many months of their productive life. Small amounts of a balanced natural mineral nutrient mix, applied weekly and watered into the root zone, will keep them healthy and producing right up until the frost kills them.
Review the Gardening Techniques section of this website for complete instructions and a do-it-yourself mineral nutrient formula every plant in your yard will love and thrive on.