The botanical name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus. Cucumbers are originated in India. It is a climbing plant which is used as summer vegetable throughout in India. The cucumber fruit is eaten raw or is served as a salad or cooked as a vegetable. The seeds of cucumber are used for oil extraction which is good for body and brain. Cucumbers contain 96% water which is good in summer season. The plants are large sized, leaves are hairy and are triangular in shape and flowers are yellow in color. Cucumber is an excellent source of Mb (Molybdenum) and Vitamin K. Cucumber is used to cure skin problems, kidney and heart problems and is used as alkalizer.
It can be sown in variety of soils ranging from sandy loam to heavy soil. But a loamy soil which is rich in organic matter and has well drainage system is best for the cucumber farming. The pH ranging from 6-7 is suited best for cucumber farming.
Popular varieties with yield:-
Punjab Kheera-1: Released in 2018. It has dark green color fruits which are bitter less having an average weight of 125gm and average length of 13-15cm. harvesting can be done after 45 and 60 days of sowing in September and January month sown crop. It gives an average yield of 304qtl/acre when sown in September month and 370qtl/acre when sown in January month.
Punjab Naveen: The variety is developed in 2008.This variety of plant has dark green color leaves, fruits are uniformly cylindrical in shape and are light green in color with smooth surface. The fruits are crispy, bitter free and contain soft seed. It contains high amount of Vitamin C content and contains high quality of dry matter. The variety gets mature within 68 days. The fruit has excellent taste, attractive color and appearance, good in size and texture. It gives an average yield of 70 qtl/acre.
Other state varieties:
Pusa Uday: The variety is developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). The fruits of this variety are light green in color, medium sized and are 15cm in length. Use 1.45 kg of seed in per acre of land. The variety gets mature within 50-55 days. It gives an average yield of 65 qtl/acre.
Pusa Barkha: The variety is developed for Kharif season. It is highly tolerant to humidity, temperature and downy mildew disease. It gives an average yield of 78 qtl/acre.
For cucumber plantation, it requires well prepared and weed free field. To bring soil to fine tilth, 3-4 ploughings must be done before planting. FYM such as cow dung is mixed with soil to enrich the field. Then nursery beds are prepared having width of 2.5m and at the distance of 60cm.
Time of sowing:
It is sown in the month of February-March.
Sow two seeds per place of bed which is 2.5m wide and use spacing of 60cm between seeds.
Seeds are sown at the depth of 2-3cm.
Method of sowing:
• Low tunnel technology: This technology is used to produce early yield of cucumber in early summer. It helps to protect the crop from cold season i.e. in the month of December and January. Beds of 2.5m width are sown in the month of December. Seeds are sown both sides of the bed at the distance of 45cm. Before sowing supportive rods of 45-60cm length are fixed in the soil. Cover the field with plastic sheet (100 gauge thickness) with the help of support rods. Plastic sheet should be removed mainly in the month of February when temperature is suitable outside.
• Dibbling method
• Basing method
• Layout in ring method
Seed rate of 1.0 kg is sufficient for one acre of land.
Before sowing seeds, treat them with the suitable chemical to protect them from disease and pests and to increase viability. Seeds are treated with Captan@2gm before
Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre):
UREA SSP MOP
90 125 35
Nutrient Value (kg/acre):
NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
40 20 20
At the time of land preparation apply fertilizer dose of Nitrogen @40kg (Urea@90kg), phosphorus @20kg (Single phosphate @125kg) and potassium@20kg (Muriate of potash@35kg) as a basal dose. At the time of sowing, apply one third of the Nitrogen dose along with Potassium and Single superphosphate. At the early stage of veins production i.e. one month of sowing apply rest of the dose.
Weed can be controlled by hand-hoeing and also controlled by chemically, use firstname.lastname@example.org per 150 litre of water. Use glyphosate only on weeds not on crop plants.
In summer season it requires frequent irrigation and in rainy season it does not require any irrigation. In total it requires 10-12 irrigations. Pre-irrigation is required before sowing then subsequent irrigation is required after 2-3 days of sowing. After second sowing, the crops are then irrigated at the interval of 4-5 days. Drip irrigation is very useful for this crop.
Disease and their control:-
Anthracnose: It attacks almost all parts of the cucumber which are above the ground. The symptoms are yellowish color circular spots are seen on the older leaves and the circular and sunken spots are seen on the fruit.
Treatment: Fungicidal application of Chlorothalonil and benomyl is given to protect the crop from disease.
Bacterial wilt: It is caused by Erwinia tracheiphila. It affects the vascular tissues of the plant which result in immediate wilting.
Treatment: Spraying of foliar insecticides is done to cure the bacterial wilt.
Powdery mildew: The symptoms are appearance of white powdery spots on upper surface of leaves which causes leaf withering.
Treatment: Application of carbendazim@2gm in 1ltr of water will help to cure powdery mildew. It can also be controlled by fungicidal sprays of Chlorothalonil, benomyl or dinocap.
Mosaic: The symptoms are stunted growth of plant, leaves turn down and fruit knobs become light yellow in color.
Treatment: Application of Diazinon is done to cure mosaic disease. Use of Immidachloprid-17.8%SL @7ml in 10ltr of water is done to cure disease.
Pest and their control:-
Fruit fly: It is serious pest found in cucumber. Females fly lay eggs below epidermis of young fruits. Later on maggots feed on pulp afterward fruits starts rotting and get drop.
Treatment: Foliar application of Neem oil @3.0%is given to cure the crop from fruit fly pest.
Plants start yielding in about 45-50 days after sowing. Mainly 10-12 harvestings can be done. Harvesting is mainly done when the seed of cucumber are soft and the fruits are green and young. Harvesting is done with the help of sharp knife or any sharp object. It gives an average of 33-42qtl/acre of yield.
Brown color fruits are best for seed production. For seed extraction, fruit pulp is taken out in fresh water for 1-2 days for the easy separation of seeds. The seeds are then rubbed with hands and as a result heavy seeds will settle down in water and then they are preserved for further use.