- The cucumber (creeping vine) is cultivated all around the world, and it belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. cucumber is also called a ‘false berry’.zucchini and cucumber belong to the same family because they look very similar.
- The cucumber is widely used as a culinary vegetable. It is an annual plant .mostly the shape of the cucumber will be cylindrical but elongated with tapered ends. Sometimes, it grows to a maximum size of 65cm long and 4-5 in diameter.
- As the cucumber is a vine plant, it has larger leaves that form a canopy and cover the entire cucumber. In botanical terms, cucumber is classified as a pepo(botanical berry)because it has harder outer skin and no internal divisions.
- Raw Cucumber is 95% water,4%carbohydrates,1%protein. Cucumber origin is India, As India is the largest exporter of cucumber and gherkin(pickled baby cucumber).
- Last year India exported $250 million of pickling cucumber globally, called gherkins or cornichons. India fulfils 15% of the world’s gherkin needs.
- The major states that cultivate cucumber are Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Andra pradesh and Telangana. small and marginal farmers cultivate gherkins under contract farming with an annual production area of 70 acres.
- Gherkins are mainly exported to 20 major countries such as France, the USA, Germany, Australia, Spain, south korea, Canada, and Japan.
History of cucumber:
- The cucumber was first cultivated in the Himalayan region. yet some people believe that cucumber originated in Iraq and Kuwait. while few people say that cucumber native is Egypt and were found in Egyptian tombs as old as 2200-2500 Bc. Columbus was the first person to introduce cucumber to people in Haiti.
- Cucumber has been cultivated for over 3000 years in the western part of Asia, including China, and later spread to Europe, Greece and italy.2014 is the year of cucumber. In America, cucumber is one of the top 5 garden vegetables; people prefer cucumber as a diet food because it has a very low calorific content.
- Cucumber also has phytonutrients which have much value to human health benefits. plant breeders eliminated the bitter taste of cucumber, which is now widely consumed in the three main varieties -slicing, pickling and burples.
Different famous varieties of cucumber:
1. Straight eight– It is a variety from America introduced by the Indian council of agriculture research station.
2. Japanese long green– The Indian council of agriculture research station itself releases this variety.
3. Poinsette– It is an American variety introduced by NSC(national seed corporation)of India. This variety is very much resistant to diseases.
4. Pusa sanyog- This variety is a cross between a green long Naples and Japanese gynoecious line. This variety is unavailable in the market due to low seed production.
5. Pant khira 1 or pcuc 28– This variety contains indigenous germplasm from pant nagar
6. Pant sankar khira 1– This variety is a hybrid created at pant nagar by a cross of pcuc and pcuc 28
Japanese long green, straight eight and poinsettee are mainly cultivated in India.
How to grow cucumber at home in pots:
- Cucumber is a summer vegetable crop. When you prefer to grow it in a pot, it is a wise decision because you can avoid so many pest attacks, provide the plant with restricted environmental conditions, and expect great results.
- Bushy-type cucumbers are an excellent choice for container growing. As cucumber is a sun-loving plant, you can provide plants with good sun exposure. If you follow the below-given steps, you can quickly grow cucumber at your home by yourself.
Selection of seeds:
- Select a seed which is free from pests and diseases and viable. Bushy variety cucumbers are great for container growth in the seeds package itself, and it will be mentioned as a bushy variety.
- After selecting seeds, take 5-6 seeds, place them in tissue paper, and wet them by spraying some water.
- Now place the tissue paper in a ziplock cover and seal it. within one week, the seeds will sprout and is ready for transplanting into a big pot or large container.
What Kind of pot to use?
- Selecting a pot entirely depends upon you. It can be a clay pot or a plastic or ceramic container.
- One main thing to consider while selecting a pot is that it should be deep, and the mouth of the container should be broad and large because the cucumber is a shallow-rooted plant.
- Making some holes in pots is very much important for drainage purposes; otherwise, if water stagnates, the plant root suffocates.
Proper selection of soil:
- Take soil free from pests and diseases. It should be rich and healthy.
- Mix the soil with manure and compost as the soil feeds the plant.
- Now fill the soil+compost inside the pot, place the seeds inside the soil, and cover it with topsoil.
- You can fertilise your plant every month by using premium liquid seaweed, which enriches the soil and boosts vegetable growth.
- Use the above-given liquid after diluting it with normal water.
- The common disease in cucumber is powdery mildew and downy mildew.
- To control the disease, you can use a Bordeaux mixture in a ratio of 10-10-100.
- Using home remedies like turmeric water and milk water spray is an easy way to control this.
- You can also spray panchagavya and dasagavya to control the diseases.
The best varieties for cucumber growing in pot culture are picolino F1, saber F1, H-19 little leaf, National pickling, and Poona kheera.
How to grow cucumber at home without seeds?
You can grow cucumber from cucumber by following the steps:
Step 1: Take a healthy cucumber which should be pest and disease free.
Step 2: Cut the cucumber into round-round slices.
Step 3- Now prepare the potting mixture and take 1-2 slices of cucumber place it over the potting mixture and cover it with soil.
Step 4– Water the soil to keep it moist. After 10-15 days, you can see sprouting from the pot.
Step 5- you can transfer the seedling to another big container and start growing as an individual plant with proper care and maintenance.
How to cultivate cucumbers in the main field? :
Preferred soil: This crop requires a moderately warm temperature. soil with well-enriched organic matter sandy loam is very much preferable with good drainage, and pH ranging from 6-7 is ideal for cucumber cultivation.
Ideal season: seeds should be sown during June or January -April is also preferred
Seed rate- Almost 3 kg of seeds are required for one hectare.
Seed treatment: seeds should be treated with Trichoderma viride 4g/kg or pseudomonas fluorescens 10g/kg or carbendazim 2g/ kg of seeds before sowing. This type of treatment is done mainly to avoid pest and disease infestation.
Preparation of field: The field should be ploughed 3-4 times, and long channels should be made 2 m apart.
Sowing: The treated seeds should be sown on one side of the channel by giving a space of 0.6 m between the hills. Two seedlings per hole is the calculation after 15 days of planting.
Irrigation: First, irrigation should be done before dibbling the seeds; thereafter, once a week, it can be done.
Fertilisers: Apply farm yard manure as the basal application for soil 40t/ha and 35kg of nitrogen /ha 30 days after sowing. Before the last ploughing, some fertilisers should be applied to Azospirillum and phosphobacteria 2kg/ha and pseudomonas 2.5kg/ha along with farm yard manure 50kg and neem cake @ 100kg before the last plough.
Drip irrigation: This method of irrigation conserves and saves a lot of water wastage. First, we should install main and sub-main pipes and place the tubes at an interval of 1.5m distance. The dripping point of the tube should be placed at a distance of 60cm and 50 cm. Spacing should be 4-5 LPH, Respectively.
Main Field preparation: Raised beds should be formed with 120cm width and at an interval of 30 cm, and lateral pipes should be placed at the centre of each bed.
Dibbling or sowing of seeds: Now comes the final step of sowing seeds at an interval of 60cm distance. seeds should be sown in the centre of the bed along the laterals. Spray weedicide like fluchloralin or metachlor 1kg /ha on the third day of sowing the seeds.
Fertigation: Fertilizer is like food for plants. It should be applied in the correct dosage throughout the cropping period through the split application; 75% has to be applied as a basal dose. The correct dosage is 150:75:75kg NPK/ha.
Stages of the crop growth:
1. Crop establishment stage is the initial ten days of the plant. In this phase, the plant starts to germinate
2. Vegetative stage- It is the next 20 days where we can find baby leaves that start sprouting.
3. Flower initiation to first picking- This is the 3rd stage. It takes up to 20 days. In this phase, flower initiation happens. After flowering, the baby cucumber will grow.
4. Harvesting stage– This is the last phase which takes up to 40 days.
The total duration of the crop growth takes up to 90-100 days.
After cultivation- HOEING AND WEEDING are mandatory at least two to three times.
Plant protection: The primary pest that affects cucumber is the Fruit fly
- First, collect the affected fruit and destroy it because the infection may spread to good ones to avoid that do this first.
- The flies will be more in the rainy season and not much in summer; hence the time for sowing should be adjusted accordingly in summer.
- The ploughing is mainly done to expose the pupae and kill them if found.
- Neem oil @ 3% as foliar spray should be done.
- Copper and sulphur should not be used as they are phytotoxic.
A disease that mainly affects is downy mildew it can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb or chlorothalonil 2g/lit @ ten days intervals. DDT should not be used.
Harvest of cucumber: Harvesting of cucumber can be done 45 days after sowing .8-10 harvests can be done.
Yield: 9-10tonnes/ha in 80-100 days and enjoy as a salad.
How to cultivate cucumber at home organically?
Trellis arrangement is very much important to grow cucumber at home. As cucumber is a creeper, this trellis arrangement saves a lot of space compared to the normal ground growing method.
By this trellis method, you can support cucumbers to be easily grown in the terrace garden. making this trellis is simple: tying the bamboo pieces like a mesh. We can also use plastic string and a fishing net as a trellis for cucumber.
We can also grow cucumbers by hanging pots; this method saves a lot of space. cucumber has shallow roots; hence, mulching around the plant is required to keep the soil moist.
Cucumber is a vigorous grower it requires a lot of feed, so adding compost or manure provides the plant with the required nutrients.
The cucumber plant comes in two types for home gardening one is a bushy cucumber, and the other one is a vine type. Bushy type is best suitable for indoors and gives good yield.
Although cucumber can be grown easily in any type of container, like a plastic container or pot, ceramic containers should be capable of holding 15-20 kg of soil.
When cucumber grows, it mainly spreads like vines, so a trellis is needed for support. vertical gardening is very suitable for cucumbers with minimal growing space. Following the steps below, you can quickly grow cucumber from seeds at home.
Step 1: The simple and easy way to cultivate cucumber is by selecting hybrid seeds; because it doesn’t require pollination, we can directly sow the seeds in the pot. Dwarf variety seeds can be selected to grow in limited space.
Step 2: As the cucumber leaves are broad, it takes more space, so we should select a larger pot to grow the cucumber.
Step 3: mulching should be done in the pot by using small stones, gravel, and clay in the bottom because it conserves water and avoids sogginess. Small holes should be made in the pot for drainage and air circulation inside the pot.
Step 4: Now fill the pot with potting soil 50% and compost 50%; the soil should be free from pests and disease.
Step 5: seeds should be dibbled in the soil ½ deep and give space between 2 seeds; planting very closely may hinder the growth of the plant,
Step 6: After the seed is dibbled, cover the seeds with soil and give a gentle tap. watering can be done through spray cane until it gets saturated, not soggy.
Step 7: sunlight and ventilation are essential for the growth of cucumber; hence the pot should be placed under sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours.
Step 8: Now give support to the cucumber plant with the help of a trellis or stick. Take your time with this step because the cucumber grows fastly after germination. Tweak the plant’s vine and trellis and allow it to climb.
Step 9: When a seedling emerges, watering should be done frequently. cover the young plants with covers or baskets if pests appear.
Step 10: Fertilize the plants with a liquid fertiliser 5-10-10 ratio to get maximum yield. Don’t let the cucumber be oversized; then it will taste bitter. The preferable harvest period is 6-8 inches long. The immature cucumber tastes better when compared to the mature one. Wait to let the cucumber until it changes to yellow. harvesting should be done often as the plant matures and it stops producing.
How to care for cucumbers in the garden?
Cucumbers grow very quickly with less care so follow the below steps to care for your cucumber plant.
Watering: The plants should be watered regularly with frequent intervals and keep the soil moist.
While watering, it should be done only to the soil, not over the leaves, because it may develop some fungal diseases.
Feed the plant: Along with water, dissolve some water-soluble nutrients which enrich the plant growth and boost vegetable production.
Pruning: It is one of the important steps to follow to remove the extra leaves, and it will directly benefit the cucumber.
Mulching: when there is heavy sun, the soil may lead to dry, and to avoid that, cover the soil with paddy straw or some other mulch materials.
Frequent monitoring: you should monitor the plants frequently because if any sudden outbreak of disease or pest, you can easily control it in the initial stages.
Health benefits of cucumber:
1. Cucumber keeps you hydrated.
2. It helps in weight loss and keeps your body in balanced hydration.
3. Cucumber supports bone and skin health and helps fight against diabetes and cancer.
4. It acts as a coolant during summer detox water made from cucumber resulting in innumerable health benefits.
5. Regulates blood pressure
6. cucumber is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, and dietary fibre.
7. It reduces hypertension in older people
8. Reduces the blood sugar level.
9. when cucumber is placed around the eyes for 10 min, it reduces eye puffiness.
10. phytochemicals present in cucumber reduce bad breath.
How to purchase cucumber seeds online?
Seeds are available on Amazon and Flipkart
1. How big do cucumber plants grow?
The growth of cucumber plants depends on the variety dwarf variety won’t grow above two feet, but the vine type will grow up to 10-15 feet by crawling.
2. How to plant cucumbers in the garden?
First, select a good seed variety and a wide-mouth pot to grow the seed. fill the pot with manure and soil, and place the seed inside the soil. water the soil to keep it moist. within one to two weeks, you can expect sprouting from the seed. After sprouting, you can transfer the plant to the garden.