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Grafted Cucumber Seedlings

The Basics of Commercial Cucumber Farming Using Grafted Seedlings Cucumber farming is lucrative but intensive. The first step on the road to profitable cucumber farming is to find a supplier of good-quality seedlings. Even with enough water, an optimal temperature range, and a protected tunnel environment, the farmer cannot expect high yields or export quality if the stock is sub-standard. To this end, commercial farmers using quality grafted cucumber seedlings benefit from the uniformity in stand, size, taste, appearance, and disease resistance of the cucumber plants. They also benefit from the consistency of the plants’ traits and performance, enabling better planning for production, harvesting, and delivery of the cucumbers to the relevant markets. Why Grow with Grafted Cucumber Seedlings Grafting enables the creation of unique cultivars and varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests. The plants grown from grafted cucumber seedlings are stronger and produce higher yields. Long shelf life, greater size, and better taste are characteristics of cucumbers grown from grafted seedlings, so it is imperative to invest in disease- and insect-free stock grown in greenhouse facilities where nutrient provision is carefully monitored. Chemical treatment of the grafted cucumber seedlings before delivery reduces the risk of diseases and pests. Farmers furthermore benefit from having the seedlings delivered right to their farms. Growing from seedlings helps shorten the time from planting time to harvesting time and thus reduces the risks associated with exposure to the elements. Farmers have the assurance of consistent characteristics and predictability in performance, which helps a lot when it comes to budgeting and planning for crops’ earning potential. What Cucumber Farming Entails Growing in tunnels is recommended, as this provides for a temperature- and moisture-controlled environment, ensuring ideal growing conditions for the grafted cucumber seedlings. With adequate protection against adverse weather conditions, farmers can expect higher and premium-quality yields. Cucumbers are fast growers, enabling farmers to produce and deliver them several times a year. However, planning is essential. It takes about four to five weeks to get a harvest from the grafted seedlings and then the next cycle commences. Harvesting and Marketability Farmers harvest one to two fruits from a plant per week over a harvest period of about 12 weeks when farming with the aid of hydroponics. In order to achieve such yields, it is imperative to follow correct propagation procedures and to reduce environmental risks as far as possible. Quality grafted seedlings provide for high yields and cucumbers of consistently good quality. Unlike what many consumers believe, cucumbers actually have a long shelf life; in fact, their average shelf life ranges from five to six weeks. It is important to store the fruits in a cold room once they have been picked and wrapped, and after classing has been done. Their shelf life is, however, shortened if the cucumbers are stored below 12 °C. As such, farmers require proper cooled facilities for storing the cucumbers. Cucumbers grow longer in length when exposed to more hours of sunlight. The fruits are thus shorter during the winter. The plants are temperature sensitive and it is thus imperative to propagate cucumbers in greenhouse environments during the cooler winter months. Temperature-Controlled Environments for Growing Cucumbers It is best to grow them in an environment where the minimum temperature does not drop below 17 °C and the maximum temperature does not exceed 45 °C. Temperature fluctuations must be kept to a minimum because large differences between day and night temperatures will have an adverse effect on production. Fluctuations of no more than 15 °C between the day and night temperatures are acceptable. Other Requirements for Successful Cucumber Farming Apart from quality grafted seedlings, a protected environment, and climate control, farmers need to address water quality. Nutrient application must be spot-on and the plants require a lot of water during the summer months. Considering that cucumbers consist mostly of water, the use of clean irrigation water is essential. To this end, farmers benefit from using water-filtering systems to ensure that the water used to irrigate the plants is clean. It is furthermore imperative to implement the right fertilisation regime to ensure optimal growth and yields. South Africa is a net exporter of cucumbers to neighbouring African countries. Local markets include supermarkets, restaurants, fresh food markets, and vegetable stores. Talk to Hishtil about grafted cucumber seedlings today.

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