Cucumber plants require some specific climatic conditions for the proper growth. The cucumber plantation requires sunlight availability in the garden area for at least 8 hours per day. Cold weather conditions are not favorable for cucumber cultivation. Moderate and warm climate is preferable for successful cropping session. The indoor atmosphere is perfect for seedling period and the process should begin before the summer season. The temperature requirement is 70 degrees F. The soil preparation is also very important in growing cucumbers. The requisite pH balance of 6.5 is necessary for the proper growth of the plants. The soil having enough of organic content is good for their growth. Adding mulch and compost matters can greatly promote the growth of cucumber plants. Mulch helps the soil to maintain the adequate water content required for the plant.
Sowing and plantation
Cucumber is perfect for rising in fields as well as in kitchen nurseries. The cucumber plants produce good yield every summer. The gardeners must take care to keep enough space between the two plants as they grow big in size and produce good amount of cucumbers. In fields, a space between in the two rows should be 6 to 7 feet apart while the distance between the plants should be 3 to 4 feet.
Home gardeners can plant cucumber seeds in containers also. However, some varieties are not suitable for kitchen gardens and cannot flourish in the containers. The germination process requires a time-period of about a week or so. Sow the seeds at least 2 cm deep inside the soil. If the plantation is done in a container, then about 7 to 8 cm of the container should have soil and compost mixture.
Cucumber caring, requirements and precautions
The cucumber plants need more water to grow compared to other plant varieties. So, you should ensure regular watering to avoid drying out. A regular supply of organic fertilizer at an interval of 4 weeks is ideal for their development. The plants can bear the weather conditions in the field during the final week of May and it is the time when the external exposure is suitable.
Regular trimming of the leaves is necessary for proper fruit development. Always cut out the upper leaves and allow the side leaves to develop. A maximum of six leaves are sufficient on a branch. It is necessary to remove the male flowers from the plant. The plants with male flowers make the cucumbers bitter in taste. The female flowers have a swollen base for the fruit growth in and the mature plants can produce splendid yield with a regular supply of potash fertilizers at an interval of 15 days.
A combination plantation method helps the plants to develop properly. A few crops suitable for growing in combination with the cucumber plants are peas, radishes, carrots, sunflowers etc. Herbal plants, tomatoes, etc are not good for cucumber growing. Neem oil application is helpful in keeping pests away in an organic way.
The harvesting is ideal after 55 to 60 days. The soft green cucumbers are good for harvesting. Delay in cutting lead to discoloration and yellow patches. This worsens the taste and reduces the nutrients in cucumber.