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    • Sweeter Cucumber Tip

      Cucumbers grown in the wrong conditions can become bitter or tasteless. Here is a simple tried and true tip for having the sweetest cucumbers in town . . .

      Want Sweeter Cucumbers?

      If you want your cucumbers to be sweeter simply plant them alongside sunflowers. As they grow, the cucumber tendrils will use the heavy sunflower stalks for climbing support and you'll have the sweetest cucumbers you've ever eaten.

      This is known as companion planting; When you plant and combine certain plants together they can benefit each other and impact the plants health, taste and yield. When planted using this method each plant then selects and rejects certain nutrients which can alter their flavors (aka make them sweeter by absorbing the nutrient that makes them bitter to begin with).

      For more Companion Planting tips on getting the most from your garden, check out our Companion Planting Page.

      If you've purchased cucumbers and want to avoid bitterness that they sometimes contain, try this simple Bitter Cucumber Cure.

      Can Stock Photo Inc. / fotostok_pdv
      Comments 13 Comments
      1. dct9000's Avatar
        dct9000 -
        gotta try this. Not only can you eat the cukes, but the sunflower seeds as well. Thanks
      1. debbiedh's Avatar
        debbiedh -
        I would never have thought a sunflower would hold up a cucumber plant. Now I know. Great. Thanks
      1. debbiedh's Avatar
        debbiedh -
        Love this site. I am an avid gardener but never thought to do this.
      1. HerbLady's Avatar
        HerbLady -
        I LOVE Companion planting. My cucumbers have never done well, but I don't feel so bad after talking to my Amish neighbors. Both summers I planted they had trouble with theirs as well.

        I'll give sunflowers and cucumbers a try now that we are in our new house. It will be fun to watch the ants "herd the aphids"

        Speaking of bugs, Braconid wasps are visiting my garden. I was so excited when I saw this on my tomato plant, lol.

        Attachment 5200
      1. paperpeople's Avatar
        paperpeople -
        I've found that planting cucumber seeds rather than transplants works so much better for me. This is true for any squash & melons, too. I've never tried using sunflowers for support... What a Great idea!
      1. Jenlhk's Avatar
        Jenlhk -
        Nice - I'll give this a try this year. I planted cukes last year that were so bitter I pulled up the plants. I hope this works.
      1. catnap82's Avatar
        catnap82 -
        what does planting cucumbers next to sunflowers and having them trail do for "sweetness". I plant my cucumbers in the garden and use poles and garden twine. I dont understand the "sweeter" part of this story.
      1. my4mainecoons's Avatar
        my4mainecoons -
        Quote Originally Posted catnap82 View Post
        what does planting cucumbers next to sunflowers and having them trail do for "sweetness". I plant my cucumbers in the garden and use poles and garden twine. I dont understand the "sweeter" part of this story.
        It's called Companion Planting- when you plant and combine certain plants together they can benefit each other and impact health, taste and yield. Each plant selects and rejects certain nutrients which can alter their flavors (aka make them sweeter absorbing the nutrient that makes them bitter to begin with); they create in their structure and the environment, complex chemical compounds, such as perfumes, pollen, essential oils, growth inhibitors, hormones, enzymes and some minute trace elements.

        Here's a beginners guide to companion planting to help you understand how it works:

        Budget101.com - - Beginners Guide to Companion Planting
      1. sue1313's Avatar
        sue1313 -
        I'd like to know what size containers to plant squash and cucumbers in. Would like to do containera as I feel I would save on water, just not sure what sizes for things.
      1. Sally Gordin's Avatar
        Sally Gordin -
        What a great idea. I want to grow cukes to make dill pickles. So I will try this.
      1. Tag2013's Avatar
        Tag2013 -
        Can't wait to try some of these ideas!

        Can cukes be grown in a cage like tomatoes, if the cage is made taller?
      1. onceburnt's Avatar
        onceburnt -
        I can't wait to try this next year!
      1. julesvaughan's Avatar
        julesvaughan -
        I have grown cukes and wrapped them around the outside of tall tomato cages as they grew. I just have a small garden area, and am trying to cram in as much as possible. I have everything in cages, tomatoes and peppers, and the cukes around the outside of the cages, I put them on the back side of my garden where I can reach around them. There is a hill/drop off at the back of my garden to the neighbors yard. I tried cantalope this way twice, but the plants have died off two years in a row. (It was only 3 plants each year) This year I am trying to extend my garden lengthwise, but it will end up with afternoon shade in the new area. Any suggestions for afternoon shade plants that will still provide? I figure some tomatoes might like some afternoon shade, and a late lettuce crop?

        Jules


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