Cucumber Cultivation process is simple. And any individual can start cucumber growing with small investment. However, he or she must has the land for cucumber cultivation. Here in this post, we put details about cucumber farming guide with other aspects.
The botanical name of the cucumber is Cvcitmis sativus L. And it belogs to Cucurbitaceae. Cucumber grows well like a semitropical plant. It grows best under conditions of high temperature, humidity, and light intensity and with an uninterrupted supply of water and nutrients. In India, it is an important summer crop. The tender fruits are eaten raw or with salt in salad. Also one can consume cucumber after cooking.
Major cucumber producing countries are China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, USA, Ukraine, Spain, Egypt and Japan. However, India grows a considerable amount of cucumber throughout the country. Some of the popular regional names are Tiyah (Assamese), Sasha (Benagali), Khira, Kankri, Tihi (Hindi), Maghe Kaayi (Kannaada), Kakkari, Vellari (Malayalam), Thabi (Manipuri), Kakdi (Marathi), Fanghma (Mizoram), Kakodi (Marathi), Kandalu (Sanskrit), Vellarikkay, Karkati (Tamil), Dosa kaya (Telegu), Kiyar (Urdu).
Economic Importance Of Cucumber Cultivation
Cucumber growing is very important because it has a high rate of consumption as fresh or industrialized product. The cultivation of this vegetable is stable in terms of cultivated area.However, the demand for production and exports are increasing. Cucumber gives a good margin to the farm owners. However, you can expect better profit from organically grown cucumber. Pickles and dried cucumbers are the most widely acceptable value added products of cucumber.
Health Benefits Of Cucumber
- First of all, cucumber keeps you hydrated.
- It fights against heat both from outside and inside
- It flushes out toxins
- Cucumber is rich is Vitamin A, B and C. In addition, it boosts immunity, gives you energy, and keeps you radiant.
- Cucumber supplies skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium, silicon.
- Cucumber helps in digestion.
- Finally, cucumber is a very helpful element in weight loss.
Things To Consider In Commercial Cucumber Cultivation
- According to the area of land craft a plan. Include financials and marketing aspects.
- Start planting in the right season.
- Test the soil. It helps to decide the requirement of fertilizer and nutrients.
- Choose the best variety according to the agro climatic condition.
- Cucumber needs watering. So you must arrange right irrigation facility.
- Prepare with the possible plant protection systems.
Best Varieties For Cucumber Cultivation
American slicing cucumbers are the oblong. This variety gives good production. In addition, this is a strong disease resistance.
Pickling cucumbers bear smaller fruits with bumpy. Some varieties resist bacterial wilt, a widespread cucumber disease (described later). Asian cucumbers are long and slender, with small seed cavities. Greenhouse cucumbers produce self-fertile female flowers. So you can grow many varieties of this slightly shade-tolerant type under row covers or in high tunnels.
Other Cucumis species include ‘Armenian’ and ‘Indian Poona Kheera’ cucumbers (both C. melo), ‘West Indian’ gherkin (C. anguria) and jelly melon (C. metuliferus, also called African horned melon). Also, Japanese Long Green, Straight Eight and Poinsettee are the major cultivers.
Other improved varieties in India are:
Himangi: It is a cross of Poinsett x Kalyanpur Ageti. Fruits are white in colour, 12-15 cm long and resistant to bronzing. Total duration is 100-110 days.
Phule Shubhangi: You will find green skin colour. It is tolerant to powdery mildew. Furthermore, it yields more than vars. Poona Khira and Himangi.
Phule Prachi: It is agynoecious F hybrid variety. It responds well to the improved agro-techniques like high fertilization, drip irrigation, fertigation, staking etc.
Sheetal: It gives about 250 – 300 quintals per hectare fruits. They are green, cylindrical and long with good keeping quality.
Phule Champa: It is a recommended variety for the open field as well as greenhouse conditions. It has high yield potential. In addition, you will get an average yield of 378 quintals per hectare. Fruits are light green in colour, straight and longer.
Agro Climatic Condition For Cucumber Cultivation
The cucumber is a warm season crop and grows best at a temperature between 18° C and 24° C. However, it does not withstand even light frost. Cucumber can be grown in all types of soil from sandy to heavy soils. Loam, silt loam, and clay loam soils are considered best for getting the higher yield. Soil pH between 5.5 and 6.7 is favorable for its cultivation. However, you must prepare the land thoroughly sowing of seeds.
Cucumber Cultivation Basic Steps
Plough the field four times and form long channels at 1.5 m apart. Warm soil is necessary for cucumbers to take hold. The plants are very susceptible to frost.
Sow the seeds on one side of channel giving a spacing of 0.6 m between hills. Thin the seedlings to two/hill at 15 days after planting. The seed rate is 2.5 to 4 kg/ha.
Irrigate the field before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once a week. You can give shallow cultivation. This crop requires enough soil moisture during its growth and development. However, you can also install drip system with main and sub-main pipes
You must input manure and fertilizer in the right quantity. Farm yard manure is the best option for the soil application. Apply nutrients as per the requirement.
Generally, cucumbers are ready to harvest after 45 to 55 days. Depending on variety and size of the fruit, one cucumber plant will typically bear 10-20 fruits.
As cucumber demands small capital investment, it is a lucrative proposition for small vegetable farmers. You can expect a shelf life 1 week of fresh cucumbers. Do not store cucumber with apples and tomatoes.