Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

Anyone can grow a peach or plum tree. The cure for bitter cucumbers.

July 14, 2020 Fred Hoffman Season 1 Episode 28
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Anyone can grow a peach or plum tree. The cure for bitter cucumbers.
Chapters
00:00:51
Growing peach and plum trees. It's easy!
00:22:06
Taking the bitterness out of cucumbers.
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
Anyone can grow a peach or plum tree. The cure for bitter cucumbers.
Jul 14, 2020 Season 1 Episode 28
Fred Hoffman

Looking for easy-to-grow fruit trees, loaded with tasty  fruit, every summer? It’s hard to beat peaches and plums. Today we talk with fruit tree expert Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery about the delicious choices available. For peaches, try the O'Henry, Harken, the Donut Peach, Red Baron, Contender, Elberta, Babcock, Garden Gold. For plums, it would be the Weeping Santa Rosa, Burgundy, Emerald Beaut. And we touch upon the plum crosses,  pluots and pluerries. For best results, especially to maintain tree vigor, use organic fruit tree fertilizers because of their lower dosages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Control peach leaf curl with dormant season sprays. For more fruit tree selections, how-to videos and where to find the nursery nearest to you that carries Dave Wilson Nursery fruit trees - visit DaveWilson.com.

Also: our favorite college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, takes the bitterness out of cucumbers. Grow them in full sun and choose hybrid cucumber varieties such as Diva, Sweet Success, Cool Breeze, Summer Dance, Improved Long Green, Eversweet, Ashley, Sunnybrook, Saticoy Hybrid, and Lemon.

We are burp-free on this, episode 28 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it all in under 30 minutes.
p.s. That's the Garden Gold peach in bloom in the picture.

More episodes and info available at Garden Basics with Farmer Fredhttps://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Looking for easy-to-grow fruit trees, loaded with tasty  fruit, every summer? It’s hard to beat peaches and plums. Today we talk with fruit tree expert Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery about the delicious choices available. For peaches, try the O'Henry, Harken, the Donut Peach, Red Baron, Contender, Elberta, Babcock, Garden Gold. For plums, it would be the Weeping Santa Rosa, Burgundy, Emerald Beaut. And we touch upon the plum crosses,  pluots and pluerries. For best results, especially to maintain tree vigor, use organic fruit tree fertilizers because of their lower dosages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Control peach leaf curl with dormant season sprays. For more fruit tree selections, how-to videos and where to find the nursery nearest to you that carries Dave Wilson Nursery fruit trees - visit DaveWilson.com.

Also: our favorite college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, takes the bitterness out of cucumbers. Grow them in full sun and choose hybrid cucumber varieties such as Diva, Sweet Success, Cool Breeze, Summer Dance, Improved Long Green, Eversweet, Ashley, Sunnybrook, Saticoy Hybrid, and Lemon.

We are burp-free on this, episode 28 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it all in under 30 minutes.
p.s. That's the Garden Gold peach in bloom in the picture.

More episodes and info available at Garden Basics with Farmer Fredhttps://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube


Farmer Fred :

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information well you've come to the right spot. Are you looking for easy to grow fruit trees that are loaded with fruit year in and year out? Well, it's hard to beat peaches and plums. today we talk with a fruit tree expert about the delicious choices available, how to care for them and how to battle the few problems that they get. Also our favorite college horticulture Professor Debbie Flower takes the bitterness out of cucumbers for us. We're burp free on this episode 28 of Garden Basics with Farmer Fred and we'll do it all in under 30 minutes. Let's go. It's always great to talk with Phil Purcell from Dave Wilson nursery. Dave Wilson nursery is a wholesale grower of fruit and nut trees and they sell those trees to retail nurseries in your area, your independent retail nurseries. and two of their best selling varieties of fruit trees, As you might imagine, peaches and plums and Phil, I guess one reason they are so popular is well, they're easy to grow and they're tasty.

Phil Pursel :

They are I mean, summertime favorites, right? When you think of fresh fruit, this time of year, think peaches and plums. That is summertime fruit eating.

Farmer Fred :

So what are the popular peach varieties and I imagine every region of the country has their own favorites.

Phil Pursel :

Yeah, they do. And then kind of different cultures have their own you know, favorites, too. There's the old time O'Henry's, Alberta's, you know in the yellow peaches, Red Baron for Southern California. Contender for out in the East Coast is a big time favorite. Then there's white varieties. So Babcock, you know, everyone's familiar with that one. Donut Peach which is a white doughnut peach. You find in all the specialty stores that when the Asian culture loves that doughnut peach is because it's very high in sugars. problem with that is a lot of times you don't see in your regular grocery store, because it's so high in sugars, it bruises. So the best way again to get a donut peach is just go ahead and growing it yourself.

Farmer Fred :

And one reason is called a donut peaches. It's kind of flat. It's not necessarily globular, like you might imagine peaches. It's kind of flat like a doughnut.

Phil Pursel :

It is it's known as a saucer, peach, or Pinto peach. It's like a flat doughnut.

Farmer Fred :

And as you said, very very sweet,

Phil Pursel :

very sweet. So the peaches come in two categories or we categorize them ourselves as either acidic or non acidic. So acidic is when you remember that old time peach. You know the summertime peach where you bite into it and as as Sweet little slightly tart, juicy flavor. That's an acidic peach and generally speaking, those are all going to be all your yellow peaches. Floyd Zaiger really did a lot of hybridizing and like the Europeans and the Asians, they don't tend to like the acidic peaches as much as the white peaches, which is really more of a of a sweet, sugary type of peach. So those are the two peaches that are your choices when you go into a retail garden center. The pic he started Do you want a yellow peak? Or do you want a white peach?

Farmer Fred :

Floyd Zaiger, of course a fruit tree hybridizer are of note probably the most famous hybridizer in America.

Phil Pursel :

Yes, absolutely.

Farmer Fred :

Now two terms that people may come across when they're looking at peaches are Freestone and cling peach. What is the difference?

Phil Pursel :

So Freestone is he take a peach and you cut it in half Twist it. If the flesh pops away from the pit itself, that's a free stone. If you try to twist it, and it doesn't, well that's a cling peach and the flesh will actually cling on to the stone itself. Just two different eating wise. generally, people kind of prefer the freestone because you can, you know, easily separate it from the pit and then cut it into slices. Cling peaches are made very good eating peaches. They're also tend to be the ones that the canners use, or the cling peaches.

Farmer Fred :

So now one limiting factor when it comes to peaches and if you're looking for a tasty peach if you go to the Dave Wilson nursery website, Dave wilson.com. You can find their list of the best tasting varieties over at their taste test results that they conducted over 20 years. And among the top scores for peaches include the Harkin And the O Henry, but they have a requirement of a lot of chill hours. a chill hour is any hour below 45 degrees, ideally between 32 and 45 degrees during the period of November through February. And most areas of the country if they have cold winters, they get over 800 chill hours, which is perfect for the O Henry and the Harkin. But for areas like Southern California or the southern United States that may have fewer chill hours. What are the best tasting varieties for them?

Phil Pursel :

Probably one of my favorites is Red Baron, and the Red Baron is an acidic high flavor peach, but it's also edible ornamental. When the Red Baron blooms, the flowers are almost a red color as opposed to the Typical pink so it's a really really dark, kinky red bloom. So it's a beautiful tree and the fruit it produces is great. And then that that's for the yellow peach. on the white peach. You know one of the favorites again is a donut. That donut peaches is very popular. Interesting thing about the donut peach is that it is very low chill adaptable. However, it is a very cold hardy piece so you can plant a doughnut peach in San Diego and perform well. And you can plant a doughnut peach over on the east coast and the eastern seaboard and it will perform well.

Farmer Fred :

Alright, yeah, the donut white peach has a chill requirement of 200 to 300 hours, which is not much at all. And we should point out that the reason those chill hours are necessary, it helps the tree set its buds for the following season.

Phil Pursel :

Yes, it's become even more out here in California. It's became more evident that we're acquiring less chill hours every year. So, you know, all the breeders, they're very, you know, cognizant of this and they're breeding for the fact that we're not having as much chill hours and that they have to focus in on lower chill fruit.

Farmer Fred :

One of my favorite pages is actually a miniature peach. It only gets maybe five or six feet tall, but what I really like about it besides the tasty fruit is the beautiful flowers show it puts on in the spring and that's the garden gold miniature peach. It's a yellow Freestone peach. And in fact, the picture accompanying our little chat here at the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast is that garden gold peach in full bloom and it's just gorgeous pinkish, reddish blooms.

Phil Pursel :

It is. it's it's showstopping in our mother block at the nursery when all our miniature peaches are blooming. It's incredible. You're most of them had double flowers and anywhere from mid pinks to, you know, almost a reddish color. And these miniature peaches, interesting enough are true dwarfs. So we actually have to graft these miniature peaches on a standard rootstock so that at full maturity, it will get up to six feet tall. It's just you know, they've been just developed over the years in kind of hybridized to have full flavor, but it's great for someone who has this, you know, a small backyard or a larger container that they want to keep it in for a few years to have a peach tree. You know, this is something that enables a nursery we're really starting to focus in and introduce new varieties. So we understand that yards are getting smaller but people still want fruit full size fruit and you know, like edible ornamentals.

Farmer Fred :

We should point out there's a whole different category of peaches called flowering peaches that have been developed basically for those flowers, but not much in the way of fruit development. Correct?

Phil Pursel :

Correct. So the flowering peaches are very popular with the flower growers, florists, that fresh cut market for the coincide with, you know different holidays early in the season like Chinese New Year's, so there's early flying red, and there's peppermint. And those are, are grown for the flowers itself. But the fruit is very unremarkable tasting.

Farmer Fred :

What are the problems people may encounter over the years with peach trees? I know here in California peach leaf curl is a big problem, but it's more of a nuisance than a problem.

Phil Pursel :

Correct. Yeah, Peach leaf curl is something that you know can be prevented by just spraying. You know dormant sprays in the wintertime. And that seems to be the number one quote unquote nuisance of a peach tree. And that's kind of throughout the United States is leaf curl. Other than that, understanding that peach trees kind of have a normal cycle and in life, most of the growers out here will replace peach trees after about 20 years, kind of like almond. So it's, if you have a really old peach tree that say 30 years and you start seeing it declining, and maybe it starts becoming a little bit more susceptible to insect just because that tree is an old tree, unlike apple trees, which are long lived compared to peach trees, you know, 20-25 years is, is its maximum.

Farmer Fred :

All right, yeah, keep that in mind. If you're planting peach trees. If you start seeing decline after a couple of decades. Life is too short to put up with a problem plant. time to plant something else. It really is. So you mentioned insects. What are The major insect pests of peach trees?

Phil Pursel :

peach trees can get what's known as a peach tree borer. And it's just the the larva of a beetle. And it tends to attack trees that are kind of stressed. You know, some older trees or trees have been neglected. And what it will do is the borer itself will kind of eat around the inside of the, the bark layer, and then it'll stop water flowing up to the leaves, and then you can tend to have insect or problems with it going forward. The key to anything like that is if you keep the vigor of your fruit trees up, you're less likely to encounter you know, any type of insect problems. Insects really go after the weakest of the flock out there.

Farmer Fred :

Let's make some vigorous peach trees then. what are some tips for watering and fertilization and care of peach trees?

Phil Pursel :

So peaches, we like people to, you know, think about watering in when you plant it. you know, you want to make sure that it gets a good start. But as a tree increases in size, you'll need to increase the water, but the frequency isn't as necessary as the amount of water that it's put on. Also think of watering a type of fruit trees as almost like a bell shaped curve. In early March, that tree will require less water than it will require in July right now in the heat of the summer. So if you have it on a regular timer, and you have it set at a March setting, you're gonna want to make sure that in July, you increase the amount of water that you're putting down and then when you get into September, you want to decrease it. Think of it as you know, like I say, a bell shaped curve. It's really hard to see how much Water put on each week, as everyone's soil is a little bit different. But if the trees not getting enough water, it's gonna let you know it's gonna go ahead, you know, start wilting. So that's when you know, you need to apply more. And you're going to generally find that in July and August,

Farmer Fred :

for areas of the country that gets summer rain, do peach trees still need regular irrigation?

Phil Pursel :

You know, it kind of depends. If you get regular summer rains, that's probably going to be sufficient enough. You know, I'm thinking more of here in the West Coast, which, you know, we had that Mediterranean climate where we get no summer rain. irrigation is definitely something that needs to be done. But on the East Coast, when you get heavy rains, that's, you know, generally going to be sufficient enough.

Farmer Fred :

What about fertilizer for peach trees? Is it necessary?

Phil Pursel :

we really like when we go back and talk about the vigor of a tree. It's generally speaking is you know, it gets a lot of vigor from fertilizers and we at Dave Wilson, we like to recommend organic fertilizers. And it kind of cool if you want to just very easy rule of thumb is you fertilize right after the fruit sets around pea size with organic fruit tree fertilizer. And then once again mid summer with that, you know organic fruit tree fertilizer. And then towards the end of summer, one more application and that kind of that last application gets the peach tree ready for the winter. The reason we like organic fertilizers is that they tend to be very slow releasing. So if you over applicate you the odds of you burning the tree or stressing it is fairly low. That's you know why we recommend organics over let's say something like a triple 15. triple 15 or triple 16 would be fine, but you got to be really careful when you apply that in the heat of the summer. Whereas with organic fertilizers, like since they break down slowly It just makes it easy for the homeowner not to be overly concerned.

Farmer Fred :

As we've mentioned on this program before, generally speaking, organic fertilizers have single digit numbers on the label. those three numbers you see on any fertilizer represent the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in that product. And if you choose a fertilizer with single digits, like a triple eight or a 5-2-2, or something like that, chances are it's probably an organic fertilizer.

Phil Pursel :

It is it is

Farmer Fred :

well before we run out of time here, let's talk plums. I mean, plums are just so tasty. And it is, I believe, the word in your industry is precocious, in that they tend to produce way too much fruit.

Phil Pursel :

they really are. I mean, we call them you know, maximizing your yield for fruit tree, that describes a plum, right they said, Have you fruit it's fantastic fruit. It's one of those fail safe trees where people say, Well, you know, I don't have sometimes I have a hard time, you know, with this fruit tree or that tree, they generally never say that with a plum tree because those things, plum trees just produce fruit. And this is throughout the country. I mean, it's, it's one of another one of those where they thrive. And there's varieties that do great in low chill areas. There's European plums for really cold areas, there's Asian plums that do really good in cold area, and they're super adaptable. And it's one of those where if you plant a plum tree, you're going to get food off of it. a lot.

Farmer Fred :

are the Japanese plums sweeter than the European plums?

Phil Pursel :

they are the sweeter and they're definitely juicier than European plums. And that's why they're, you know, they're the favorite ones that you see in grocery stores. European plums are known as prunes, whereas Japanese plums are known as plums.

Farmer Fred :

Now in the taste tests that I have participated in at Dave Wilson nursery over the years, And when it comes to tasting plums, one of my favorites has been the weeping Santa Rosa plum, which is just so sweet.

Phil Pursel :

Santa Rosa was developed by Luther Burbank, and that's still the number one home, home and garden plum out there. It's once again, I say it's very adaptable, does well in Southern California in the southern states. And it also does very well, you know, in the Midwest in the eastern seaboard. It's the classic plum that everyone is kind of thinking of when they think of plums. The weeping Santa Rosa It was a sport that was found and it actually naturally grows like a weeping flowering cherry so it never gets super tall, like some plum trees can because it just has this weeping canopy. But the fruit is just, you know another variation of the traditional Santa Rosa plum.

Farmer Fred :

Now when people go of their local nursery and they see some Dave Wilson Nursery plum trees they may see the Emerald Beaut plum which, again, is a development of Floyd Zager. And that's a taste test winner too.

Phil Pursel :

it is an In fact, it's my favorite plum. I have one that I checked it in the yard yesterday. It's a very late plum. For us it produces in the month of September and October. So I want to say the month of September and October, it actually hangs on the tree for about eight weeks. You can eat it hard ripe and it tends to be green, late August, early September. And if you let it hang on the tree, it'll turn to a yellow and it becomes very soft and very juicy. And that's what you see in October. Something like that. And a Santa Rosa plum. Santa Rosa plum produces its fruit in it tends to drop all at one time in a two week period. It where there are certain varieties of plums like Emerald Beaut or another one would be Burgundy plum and I have one of those in my orchard. That's another one that hangs on the tree for an extended period. So you don't have to worry about eating all those plums all at once you have an extended period of eating them.

Farmer Fred :

And for those listening in Southern California or maybe down in Florida are there low chill tasty plum varieties.

Phil Pursel :

They are there in the you know the my favorite low chill plum is definitely the burgundy and reason I like that is because it also acts as a pollenizer. most plums are self fertile. Oh, you only need one of these, Burgundy is the case, same as Santa Rosa. But let's say if you want to venture out and maybe plant a pluot or pluerry that needs a polleniser, if you have a Burgundy in your yard that's going to take care of all its pollennizing needs, yet still give you all the fruit you want. So, I mean, Tom and I, you know we really recommend that Burgundy for Southern California's low chill areas, but it's also still hard to beat that Santa Rosa plum. Tom is is our southern California salesman and he really is when it comes to fruit trees. He's probably one of the most knowledgeable in the country on all different fruits whether it's citrus or stone fruit.

Farmer Fred :

that would be Tom Spellman. Now you used a couple of terms that people may not be familiar with, and they should be familiar with because they will fall in love with them. You mentioned pluot and Pluerry. So pluot would be a plum apricot cross a pluerry, people can probably guess, is a plum cherry cross.

Phil Pursel :

Yeah, and those are just interspecific hybrid fruit that are very common out here in California, you go into a grocery store. And so they'll list them as you know, as pluots, whereas maybe back east, those pluots are still being marketed as plums. Hmm.

Farmer Fred :

And ladies and gents ,Boys and girls do not judge the quality of a pluot by what you buy at a grocery store.

Phil Pursel :

Absolutely not.

Farmer Fred :

Judge the pluot by somebody's backyard tree or maybe something you might find at a farmers market, because the supermarket pluot, I think, we're just bred for shipping and stability and not necessarily for taste. Correct?

Phil Pursel :

Absolutely.

Farmer Fred :

We've learned a lot about peaches and plums today from Phil Purcel. If you want to learn more about fruit trees, all sorts of fruit and nut trees, visit the Dave Wilson website, Dave wilson.com, where not only are you going to find taste test results and information about just about every fruit tree going, you're going to find videos that can help you raise that fruit tree or nut tree correctly and prune them as well. It's their fruit Tube video series. You can find it at Dave wilson.com Phil Purcel, thanks for a few minutes of your time.

Phil Pursel :

Yep, thanks for having me on.

Farmer Fred :

As you know, there's many ways you can reach us to ask garden questions you can email them into Fred at farmer Fred dot com; you can leave a message at the get growing with farmer Fred Facebook page or at @farmerFred on Twitter, or at my Instagram page, @ farmer Fred Hoffman. Also there's a phone number 916-292-8964. 916-292-8964. If you don't want to talk into the phone, you can text a message to that number. And that's exactly what a very bitter gardener did recently. He or she wrote in and said, "I have never managed to grow vigorous cucumber vines, and the cucumbers themselves are often bitter. I've heard many explanations for this including a lack of water, weather that's too hot, weather that's too cold. What exactly is the truth? Well, when we go searching for the truth, we have to bring Our favorite college horticultural professor, retired, Debbie Flower, who can tell us what is truth. And Debbie, when it comes to cucumbers. What is the truth about bitterness?

Debbie Flower :

Well, they can be bitter.

Farmer Fred :

Thank you

Debbie Flower :

They produce an enzyme or a chemical, I'll just say chemical inside of them that causes bitterness. And, of course, there's been lots of breeding done on cucumbers and that chemical in general is overridden by other chemicals that cause sweetness and cucumbers and the breeders have worked on that and made the cucumbers better and better. But I have to admit I have grown bitter cucumbers and I have purchased cucumbers from the store that are bitter and bitter cucumbers are definitely a disappointment, not what we're expecting, not what we want. So when we're growing our own, which is a wonderful thing to do, I love cucumbers and I love growing my own. There are some things that we need to do that can help us not have bitter cucumbers. One is to grow them in the right place. And that's always the case with plants: right plant, right place. And for cucumbers, that means a warm, sunny spot. full sun, as much as possible. And because cold temperatures and shady places tend to cause bitterness in the cucumbers, pick them smaller rather than larger. the longer they stay on the vine, the more chance there is for the bitterness to accumulate in the plant. And of course take good care of them. You want a healthy plant that's been fertilized, irrigate regularly or watered regularly with rain. One of the things that's commonly stated that causes bitterness is irregular watering, and that may be true, but scientifically, it's not been consistently proven to be true. So take good care of the plants. water, mulch it and fertilize as needed. If you do happen to get a bitter cucumber, peel the skin off and peel more of the skin at the stem. And so the place where the cucumber was attached to the plant will have more of the chemical that causes bitterness than the other end of the cucumber. And maybe you can save it that way. But the other thing is to buy a hybrid. If you're starting them from seed if you're growing them in your yard, plant them directly in the ground, plant the seed directly in the ground when soil temperatures are 60 degrees or more and grow them as we said with all the correct cultural practices, but pick the correct seed, pick a hybrid ones that are called burpless. They tend to have less of the chemical that causes bitterness, and others that have thinner skins tend to have more of the sweetness in them than the bitterness. So picking the correct cucumber cultivar at the very get-go when you're planting them in the ground will also help prevent that bitterness.

Farmer Fred :

The Contra Costa County Master Gardeners actually did some trialing with cucumber varieties and among the hybrid varieties that they grew that turned out to be less bitter, Included Diva, Sweet Success, Cool Breeze, Summer Dance, Improved Long Green, Eversweet, Ashley, Sunnybrook, Saticoy hybrid and Lemon. And for those who aren't aware Contra Costa County is in the San Francisco Bay Area. So I don't know if that has an effect on those choices or not.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, climate could be a factor. So ask around, talk to your friends and neighbors who are growing cucumbers and see what they've got That's not bitter. Talk to your Master Gardener program or your Cooperative Extension office and they may have some hints for you.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah, speaking of cooperative extension, one of their environmental horticulturist many years ago, Dennis Pettinger mentioned that if the cucumber expresses bitterness, it can usually be eliminated by peeling away the skin and outer flesh and removing the stem just like you said. but he then pointed out the direction of peeling will not have an effect on bitterness, which makes me wonder where that came from.

Debbie Flower :

Yes. Like you somehow you're spreading the chemical if you go one way and removing it if you go the other way, I don't know that I'd never heard that before. I had a girlfriend who would cut the stem end off skin is still on the cucumber and then rub it around, right at the cut; the two parts that were just cut apart, rub them together vigorously and a foam would form and she said that got rid of the bitterness. I have not been successful with that.

Farmer Fred :

Okay, but people will try anything to get less bitter cucumbers and it seems like the best advice is: Choose hybrid varieties, plant them in the sun. And perhaps like you mentioned, add mulch on top of that soil in order to help preserve soil moisture.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, it slows down the entrance of moisture from rain for instance and makes that rain that may be coming down very hard more gentle on the soil so you get less soil compaction. And once the water is in the soil it it slows down the loss of water from the soil and so it moderates that soil moisture which it has commonly the lack of that moderation has commonly been blamed for the bitterness of cucumbers.

Farmer Fred :

Debbie Flower Thank you for forcing the burp out of the cucumbers for us.

Debbie Flower :

Oh, I love cucumbers. so I'm loving doing it.

Farmer Fred :

garden basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday and it's available just about anywhere podcasts are handed out and that includes Apple podcasts Google podcasts, I Heart Radio, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher tune in, and Hey Alexa, play the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, would you please. Thank you for listening, subscribing and leaving comments. We appreciate it.

Growing peach and plum trees. It's easy!
Taking the bitterness out of cucumbers.