Cucumber Growing Tips: How to Grow Cucumbers
Cucumbers are usually grown as vegetables. They can be harvested and eaten fresh or preserved as pickles. Growing of cucumbers can be a profitable farming activity or an interesting hobby for gardeners and hobbyists.
There are some things you need to do if you want to be successful in cucumber farming.
How to Grow Cucumbers
To successfully grow cucumbers, you need to follow the below cucumber growing tips:
Cucumbers prefer loose fertile soil that drains well. You should ensure that the soil in your preferred location is fertile and suitable for farming.
The soil should be free from hard pans and tree stumps. Also, your selected site must have access to adequate sunlight. Sunlight is very important for growing of cucumbers.
The soil must be plowed, harrowed and ridged. The soil should be free of large trees, stumps and stones etc.
Compost or manure should be mixed with the top layer of the soil. This will make the soil more fertile. Tractors can be used for soil preparation. For small gardens, shovels can be used to mix the compost with the soil.
You should carefully select the variety of cucumber you will plant. Some varieties are more disease and pest resistant than others. Some varieties are also high yielding than others.
Some varieties can tolerate adverse weather conditions than others. In Nigeria, Darina F1 and Greengo F1 are some of the most prolific cucumber varieties.
Depending on the size of your cucumber farm, you can use drip irrigation, which is the most efficient type of irrigation for cucumbers.
If you have a small garden, you can use watering cans to wet your cucumber plants. You may also rely on rains.
Planting of Cucumber Seeds
Cucumber seeds should be planted when the weather is warm enough. In tropical areas like Nigeria, cucumbers can be cultivated all year round.
A rule of thumb when planting cucumber seeds is to dig a hole not longer than the first third of your longest finger. After digging the hole, drop one or two cucumber seeds in the hole and cover the hole with about 1 inch of soil.
After germination, thin the cucumber plants and leave only the stronger plant out of the two plants. Cucumber plants can be spaced at 30 cm intra-plant spacing.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders; they need a lot of nutrients to grow well. Fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium should be used. Also fertilizers containing calcium, magnesium and micro-nutrients should be used.
Fertilizers like NPK 15:15:15, calcium nitrate, potassium nitrate, chelates and potassium sulfate etc. should be used.
At planting, 10 grams of NPK 15:15:15 should be banded 5-8cm away from each plant. Fertilization should be done after a soil test has been carried out.
Fertilizers can be passed to the cucumber plants through drip irrigation tubes. They can also be side dressed.
Weeds share nutrients, space and water with the main crop. They can reduce yield by as much as 98%. Weeds also harbor pests and diseases that can infect and destroy your cucumber plants.
Weeds should be removed as soon as possible. You should ensure that your farm or garden is free of weeds at all times.
Cucumber plants grow long vines. They are better staked on trellis. Planks or iron rods, ropes and staking nets can be used to make the cucumber plants grow upwards.
Staking improves the yield in cucumber plants and also prevents the plants from getting attacked by soil borne pests.
Pests and Diseases
You should ensure that your garden or farm is free of weeds which can harbor a lot of pests. The cucumber plants should be well spaced for good aeration. Good aeration can reduce the incidences of some types of diseases.
Crop rotation should also be done. Do not plat cucumbers in the same spot year in, year out. This is a good tip to follow when growing cucumbers.
Pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, bactericides and nematicides etc.) should be used as recommended. Pesticides help in managing pests and diseases.
Matured cucumbers should be picked every 2-3 days. Delaying harvests can negatively impact the cucumber plants.
Cucumbers should not be left on the vines until they get yellow. They must be promptly harvested.
Should you need more information on cucumber growing tips or how to plant cucumbers, you may contact us on 08025141924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.