- 1 Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus)
- 2 How to Grow Cucumber from Seeds?
- 3 Grafting cucumbers
- 4 Nutrient Deficiency in Cucumbers
- 5 Precautions | Tips
- 6 Health Benefits
Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus)
Cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae. It grows well in South Asia, North America, China, Turkey, Iran, Russia and India and have great demand in global market. The vine has large leaves and the fruits are cylindrical in shape. Fruit can vary from 20-30 centimeters height and diameter about 10 centimeters. It is classified as a pepo, a hard outer rind with no internal divisions. Fruit can be preserved and eaten as a vegetable.
Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches and side dishes. It may also be used as a replacement for high-calorie alternatives.
Cucumber is a refreshing vegetable that contains vitamin K and molybdenum. It is a good source of pantothenic acid, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B1, vitamin C, phosphorus, magnesium, and biotin. A cucumber (100 grams) contains 45 calories, 75% of carbohydrates, 25% of proteins and fat-free.
How to Grow Cucumber from Seeds?
Choose Hybrid Seeds and Pots
Choose hybrid seeds or purchase them from a store or online. Now select the large pot or container suitable for growing dwarf varieties. Pot should be minimum of 12 inches (30 centimeters) in both diameter and depth and seeds about (1/2) inch depth. Make sure the pot has enough holes for proper drainage. Before planting, clean your pot with hot water and soap to remove bacteria and insect eggs.
Place small stones and gravel in the bottom of the pot for proper drainage and keep the roots getting from soggy. Cover stones with the soil as cucumbers need warm fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 – 6.8. You can also add compost or manure into the soil. Don’t prefer garden soil as it is contaminated by bacteria and pests.
Water and Sunlight
Cucumbers need plenty of water to produce healthy fruits when compared to other household plants. Water the soil thoroughly (several times) until water drains from the bottom of the pot.
For better growth plant should receive minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day. Seeds may germinate when you maintain the temperature between 60-90 F. If the temperature is beyond the limit it slows down the plant growth. The seed usually takes 7-10 for germination (seedlings).
Regular feeding of the plant with fertilizers helps to increase fruit size and health of the plant. Use or spray organic fertilizers like fish emulsions, manure on plants for 4 weeks when vine develops and flowers appear. If plants turn yellow then feed them with nitrogen fertilizers.
Pests and Diseases
Pests: Aphids, Flies and Cucurbit Leaf Beetles
Diseases: Powdery Mildew, Downy Mildew, Fusarium Wilt
To overcome pests and diseases problems in cucumbers avoid overwatering, maintain alkaline soil or buy disease-free seeds from certified companies. You can also remove the virus-infected plants and destroy them.
It takes 55-65 days to mature fruits from seedlings and is ready to harvest now. Prefer harvesting early in the morning when the temperature remains cool. Don’t let cucumber to grow larger as it tastes bitter. Harvest cucumbers using a sharp knife when they reach 6-8 inches tall and Store them in refrigerator properly for 7-10 days. Regular harvesting encourages the continuous production of healthy fruits.
Grafting can be done between 2 different plant tissues to form a single hybrid plant. Cucumber shoots can be grafted by creating a new variety and results in vascular tissue growth. The new shoot produces tasteful fruits and promotes high yielding for a long time. Here is the procedure that illustrates grafting mechanism in cucumbers.
- Choose the time for grafting cucumbers as it requires enough nutrients to grow.
- Select scion which is a young stem from the plant to establish leaves and flowers.
- Now select rootstock plant that is healthy to which the graft is attached.
- Cut the stem of scion below graft and rootstock stem above graft in the desired shape using a knife.
- Plant scion and rootstock in a container for 7 days and keep the soil moist.
- Cucumber requires plenty of water to thrive and results in high yielding.
Nutrient Deficiency in Cucumbers
Deficiency in cucumbers is due to the lack of soil, watering, fertilizing and nutrients. If it occurs, nutrients like nitrogen, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron may be doubted. Here is the list of deficiencies in cucumber plants…
Nitrogen deficiency: Nitrogen promotes green leafy growth in tomato plants and deficiency results in yellowing plant leaves. Use organic methods for adding nitrogen to the soil. Too much of nitrogen promotes lots of lush, delay flowering and restricts root growth. Properly diagnose nitrogen deficiency by supplying extra nitrates to cucumber plants.
Magnesium deficiency: Cucumbers require magnesium when they need energy for photosynthesis process and better growth. Leaves become necrotic and to fix deficiency issues simply spray Epsom salt on plant leaves. It is also responsible for stem growth and movement of water in plants.
Potassium deficiency: Potassium is required in large amounts for flowering and fruiting. Curling leaf, leaf edges become purplish color are the symptoms of potassium deficiency. Place citrus peels at the base of the plant or add compost to the soil to fix potassium deficiency.
Calcium deficiency: It is responsible for holding cell walls, leaf margins, and blossom end rot. Deficiency symptom includes leaf curling, buds and root tips. To overcome this problem, use eggshells rich in calcium, gypsum, and lime.
Precautions | Tips
- Place the cucumber plant in sunlight for 6-8 hours a day.
- When seeds sprouts, start watering at regular intervals.
- Use organic fertilizers for tasty cucumbers and keeps pests away from plants.
- Do not over water the cucumber plants as it results in rot disease and also causes great damage.
- Keep pets like cats and dogs away from cucumber plants as they hate the smell evolving from it.
- If you have planted in cool climates, you can warm the soil by covering it manure or black/ brown plastic mulch.
- For high yielding crop plants, grow cucumbers vertically because vine receives better sunlight and air circulation than on the ground.
- Skin: cucumber has cooling and soothing effect that eliminates skin irritations, black spots, swelling, and burns. Place cucumber slices on eyes and skin to treat sunburns, puffiness.
- Cancer: Eating cucumber containing polyphenols and lignans helps to reduce the risk of several cancers like breast, prostate, ovarian and uterine in pregnant women.
- Diabetes: Diabetic patients love to eat and enjoy cucumbers. The antioxidants in cucumber supply enough nutrients for the pancreatic cells to produce insulin and cure diabetes. It also controls the glucose levels and stabilizes the sugar levels in the blood.
- Hydration: Water is important for your body functioning. Proper hydration can affect the metabolic activities. Make Cucumbers in your diet that is composed of 96% of water to promote hydration.
- Weight loss: Cucumbers are low in calories. It also contains fiber, pantothenic acid & biotin that helps to reduce the weight and keeps you healthy.
- Bone health: Low intake of vitamin K results in high risk of bone fracture. Take foods rich in vitamin K that absorbs calcium to improve your bone health.
- Kidney stones: Kidney stones are small mineral deposits in the kidney. Maintain calcium and magnesium supplements in your diet to prevent kidney stones.
- Heart health: Potassium is an essential nutrient for heart health. It lowers the risk of heart strokes and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Blood pressure: Cucumbers are low in carbohydrates and fats. Consuming it raw or juice helps to stabilize the blood pressure for both high & low BP patients.
Start growing cucumbers from seeds in the large container that produces juicy fruits and monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas regarding growing cucumbers, please share your experience with us.