Robert is Agribusiness Consultant who studied Agribusiness Management
Cucumbers are usually eaten as in salads, or as accompaniments to various foods. They are known to be cultivated in greenhouses and some people grow them in an open field. It is one of profitable vegetable (while others call it both a fruit and a vegetable) crop which is commonly grown by small scale and medium size farmers. This article will take you through on how you can grow Cucumbers in detail.
- Make sure you grow your Cucumbers in areas having a temperature range of 25 to 28°C. This temperature is considered as optimal for germination. Make sure also the night temperature does not fall below 20°C.
- A temperature range of 25 to 30°C is favourable for growth of Cucumbers and a night temperature should not be less than 18°C.
- The optimum soil pH for Cucumber farming is known to be in a range of 5.5 to 7.0.
- Cucumbers do not perform well in cold places and have greater chances to be killed when the temperature falls below 1 °C.
In large commercial Cucumber production, they may be grown under a drip irrigation in beds in a polyethylene mulch. The mulch in polyethylene helps to control weeds and make the applied water be used more efficiently. This is not all as it helps in fertilizer applied to be more efficient. Make sure you protect your Cucumbers from wind.
Make sure you prepare your field to be ready for Cucumber planting. The field preparation can be done manually by using a hoe for tillage or can be done mechanically using a tractor. Apply manure if the soil has less fertility.
Cucumbers perform well in soils having high organic matter content and it has to be of well drained loam to sandy loam soil.
Sometimes seed germination may become a problem in Cucumbers so make sure you pellet the seed to facilitate it for planting.
If you want to harvest your Cucumbers early, make sure you plant your Cucumber seeds in the following; peat pellets, peat blocks and cellular trays. Whenever you plant them make sure you protect them from cold weather. 2 plants may be planted per cell. Make sure your peat pots are well soaked and buried when transplanted. This prevents soil from excessive drying in the pots. One hectare requires 2.2 Kilograms of Cucumber seed for transplanting.
Germination and transplanting
As said Cucumber seeds are able to germinate at a temperature range of 25°C to 28°C. Make sure the soil has enough required moisture content and observe that it is not waterlogged as this can be the source of diseases. Transplanting of Cucumber seedlings is usually done at 3 to 4 weeks after germination. It is possible to plant Cucumber seed directly into the planting bag. Three days after transplanting, make sure you apply fertilizer, but make sure that before the fertilizer is applied you have done a soil analysis to know the required soil nutrients.
Cucumbers are both transplanted and able also to be planted directly.
In Cucumber farming, make sure you observe a spacing of 2.2 to 2.5 plants per square meter. This is good for good air circulation and adequate light exposure.
Any applied fertilizers should be done after you have done a soil analysis to know the nutritional requirements for your soil. Cucumbers perform well with nitrate fertilizer than ammonium-N fertilizer. Make sure you apply nitrate fertilizers and this will result in high Ca, Mg, and K in the Cucumber fruit. Apply a fertilizer of a range of 1500 to 2000 Ib per acre of N-P-K fertilizer. Make sure you apply also manure in your Cucumber field for improved soil fertility.
Make sure you keep your Cucumber field free from weeds as this can be sources of pests and diseases. You can control the weeds by physical means or by using herbicides.
You harvest your Cucumbers at a tender stage or immature by hands. Make sure the harvesting is done in a cool day. After harvesting make sure you keep your Cucumber in a place having a temperature of 10 to 12.5ºC.