• Banner 08

Guide to Farming Cucumber

Basic Guide on the Commercial Farming of Cucumber

Cucumbers are part of the Cucurbitaceae family and, as such, the vegetable is related to the watermelon and pumpkin. The crop can be grown from seed or seedlings, but the latter method offers several benefits, such as a shorter time to harvest, a uniform plant stand, and pest-free stock. The vegetable is commercially grown in almost every part of the country. The plant is said to have originated in Nepal, but it is now grown in countries such as Turkey, Russia, the Netherlands, and even Iran. Though it is actually a fruit, the plant can be classified as a vegetable as well and is mostly marketed as a vegetable.

It is mostly eaten raw in salads, cold soups, and health foods but it can be cooked and used in sauces and juices as well. The plant is often used as an ingredient of skin-treatment products, in addition to it being a popular ingredient for perfumes. Farmers grow the crop from cucumber seedlings or seed in tunnels or greenhouse facilities. It is best to grow the crop in a high-temperature environment with sufficient light and an optimal water and nutrient supply. Air temperature affects flowering, fruit growth, and the quality of the fruit. It is thus important to pay close attention to the temperature when transplanting the seedlings to their new environment. Close spacing of the plants helps to increase the crop’s yield and make for a uniform stand. This also helps to minimise problems with weeds springing up between the plants. The crop is salt-sensitive and it is thus recommended to monitor the salt content of the water, as high levels negatively affect the crop’s yield capacity. Potassium helps to enhance cucumber seedlings’ resistance to pathogens.

More About the Plant

It is a trailing plant that requires sufficient trellis for climbing, otherwise the vines can cover an excessive surface area. It has a strong taproot system that is able to grow deep, though the plant also has roots growing in the upper part of the soil. It has male and female flowers with the male flowers forming before the female ones. The plant has about ten male flowers blossoming for each of the female flowers. When transplanting the plants for cultivation in tunnels or greenhouses, make sure they have sufficient growing medium that can hold water. That said, it is essential to transplant the seedlings to a soil or mixture with sufficient drainage capacity. The soil must also be free of soil-borne pathogens.

When to Harvest

Harvesting is done when the fruits are still immature but have reached the desired length. When they are ready for harvesting, the flesh of the fruit shows signs of forming seed cavities.

The Importance of Managing the Environment

High humidity can lead to diseases. Environmental control is thus important and to this end, many farmers propagate cucumber in greenhouse environments. They order plants from reputable nurseries where they are protected from environmental factors, pests, and diseases. The plants are chemically treated before they are delivered to the farm, ensuring that they are properly protected against pests and diseases during their early growth period until the farmer starts with their regular chemical-treatment programme.

Spacing Needs

When transplanting the seedlings to open fields, allow for a spacing between the rows of 100 cm and in-row spacing of 30 cm. Following this spacing method, it is possible to get up to 40 000 cucumber plants on a hectare. For greenhouse growth, allow an additional 20 cm between rows to ensure sufficient light penetration.

Many cultivars are grown today and it is recommended to seek advice from agronomists regarding soil preparation, light sensitivity, and transplanting of the cucumber seedlings as available for commercial farming from Hishtil South Africa.

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.