Green House Farming: CUCUMBER
Cucumbers are a refreshing, nutritious and incredibly versatile addition to any diet. They are low in calories but contain many important vitamins and minerals, as well as a high water content. Eating cucumbers may lead to many potential health benefits, including weight loss, balanced hydration, digestive regularity and lower blood sugar levels.

Cucumbers are produced around the world with the U.S.being the fourth largest producer, after China, India, and Russia.

Cucumber known as Khira in Hindi is an important summer vegetable crop. Green house cucumbers are parthenocarpic (produce fruit without fertilization of ovules) and the fruit is usually seedless and does not require peeling,

ABOUT CUCUMBER

Cucumbers are often eaten as a vegetable but they have scientifically considered a fruit as they contain enclosed seeds and develop from a flower. Cucumbers, like cantaloupes, squash, pumpkins, and watermelons, are members of the cucurbit family of produce. They are vine crops and can be grown on the ground or on poles or trellises to suspend the fruit.

Cucumber is one of the widely grown plants in the gourd family for its dark green vegetable. Cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frame, structures, spiraling tendrils. The cucumber plant may also root in a soil less medium such as hydroponic system.The cucumber vine will sprawl along the ground if it has provided any support to grow vertically. Usually, The cucumber vine has large leaves with a form of canopy over the fruits. The cucumber fruits are in cylindrical shape and elongated with tapered ends. The size of cucumbers depends on the variety. Howevercucumber can be as large as 60 centimeters long and 10 centimeters in diameter.

Cucumbers are in three distinct types:  seedless, seeded, and mini.

There are close to 100 varieties, but common ones include the English, garden, Persian, mini, and lemon.

The English cucumber is the longest, is narrow, and is often marketed in a plastic wrap. The skin of English cucumbers is thin and often does not require peeling. In contrast, the garden cucumber has a dark waxy skin. The skin is normally removed by consumers because of its bitter taste. Persian cucumbers are called burpless because they tend to be smaller, sweeter, and seedless. The skin is smoother, thinner, and, similar to the English variety, does not require peeling. These cucumbers tend to be milder and easier on the digestive system. Kirby cucumbers are the smallest. These mini cucumbers are becoming popular in the marketplace due to consumer preferences. They have a wide variety of skin colors ranging from yellow to dark green. Lemon cucumbers are round and yellow, resembling lemons, but they're sweet, have thin skins and contain seeds

Scientific Name Cucumber: Cucumis sativus

Family Name of Cucumber: Cucurbitaceae

Genus of Cucumber: Cucumis

Name of Cucumber in different languages

Saying Cucumber in Indian languages:

  • English: Cucumber
  • Hindi: Khira/Kheera/Kakdi
  • Urdu: Kakdi
  • Tamil: Vellarikka
  • Telugu: Keera Dosakaya
  • Malayalam: Vellarikka
  • Kannada: Savatekai
  • Konkani: Thaushe
  • Oriya: Kakudi
  • Punjabi: Khira
  • Kashmiri:Laer
  • Bengali: Sasha/Sausha
  • Marathi: Sitalchnni
  • Gujrati: Kakdi

Saying Cucumber in European language

  • Albanian: kastravec 
  • Basque: pepino 
  • Belarusian: агурок 
  • Bosnian: krastavac 
  • Bulgarian: краставица 
  • Catalan: cogombre 
  • Croatian: krastavac 
  • Czech: okurka 
  • Danish: agurk 
  • Dutch: komkommer 
  • Estonian: kurk 
  • Finnish: kurkku 
  • French: concombre 
  • Galician: pepino 
  • German: Gurke 
  • Greek: αγγούρι 
  • Hungarian: uborka 
  • Icelandic: agúrka 
  • Irish: cúcamar 
  • Italian: cetriolo 
  • Latvian: gurķis 
  • Lithuanian: agurkas 
  • Macedonian: краставица 
  • Maltese: ħjara 
  • Norwegian: agurk 
  • Polish: ogórek 
  • Portuguese: pepino 
  • Romanian: castravete 
  • Russian: огурец 
  • Serbian: краставац 
  • Slovak: uhorka 
  • Slovenian: kumare 
  • Spanish: Pepino 
  • Swedish: gurka 
  • Ukrainian: огірок 
  • Welsh: ciwcymbr 
  • Yiddish: וגערקע 

Saying Cucumber in Asian Languages

  • Armenian: վարունգ 
  • Azerbaijan:i xiyar 
  • Bengali: শসা 
  • Chinese Simplified: 黄瓜 
  • Chinese Traditional: 黃瓜 
  • Georgian: კიტრი 
  • Gujarati: કાકડી 
  • Hindi: खीरा 
  • Hmong: dib 
  • Japanese: キュウリ 
  • Kannada: ಸೌತೆಕಾಯಿ 
  • Kazakh: қияр 
  • Khmer: ត្រសក់ 
  • Korean: 오이 
  • Lao: ແຕງ 
  • Malayalam: വെള്ളരിക്ക 
  • Marathi: काकडी 
  • Mongolian: Өргөст хэмх 
  • Myanmar: (Burmese) သခွားသီး 
  • Nepali: ककडी 
  • Sinhala: පිපිඤ්ඤ 
  • Tajik: бодиринг 
  • Tamil: வெள்ளரி 
  • Telugu: దోసకాయ 
  • Thai: แตงกวา 
  • Urdu: ککڑی 
  • Uzbek: bodring 
  • Vietnamese: dưa chuột  

Saying Cucumber inMiddle-Eastern Languages

  • Arabic: خيار
  • Hebrew: מלפפון
  • Persian: خیار 
  • Turkish salatalık 

Saying Cucumber in African Languages

  • Afrikaans: komkommer 
  • Chichewa mkhaka 
  • Hausa kokwamba 
  • Igbo kukumba 
  • Sesotho komokomore 
  • Somali qajaar 
  • Swahili tango 
  • Yoruba kukumba 
  • Zulu ikhukhamba 

Saying Cucumber in Austronesian Languages

  • Cebuano cucumber 
  • Filipino pipino 
  • Indonesian timun 
  • Javanese timun 
  • Malagasy kaokaombira 
  • Malay timun 
  • Maori kūkamo 

Saying Cucumber in Other Foreign Languages

  • Esperanto: kukumo 
  • Haitian Creole: konkonb 
  • Latin: cucumeris 

5. ISRAEL Agriculture Technology:Agriculture technology: Cucumber Growing No.1 on The World

Optimum growing condition for cucumber

  • Optimum germination soil temper- 20-250C nature   
  • Optimum growing temperature 25-300C 
  • Limiting factors for sowing Temperature less than 150C 
  • Seed to transplant 2-3 weeks 
  • Vegetative to flowering 3-4 weeks 
  • Flowering to harvest 3-4 weeks 
  • Duration of harvest Up to 3 months 
  • Soil pH 5.5 to 7.5 
  • Salinity tolerance Moderate 
  • Irrigation Drip irrigation is mostly preferred 
  • Post harvest storage temperature 10-120C 
  • Post harvest storage humidity 85-95% 

 Field selection and soil environment

Cucumber prefers light-textured soils that are well drained, high in organic matter and have pH of6.0- 6.8. Adapted to wide range of soils, but will produce early in the sandy soils. Cucumbers are fairly tolerant of acid soils. Greenhouse cucumber generally grows quite well in a wide range of soil pH (5.5-7.5), but a pH of6.0-6.5 for mineral soil and pH of 5.0-5.5 for organic soil are generally accepted as optimum.EC should around 1mmho. Excess sodium and fluoride may affect proper plant growth. Ideally, the land should be gentle sloping to facilitate drainage.

Land preparation

The land is plowed 4-5 times to a fine filth and well rotten farmyard manure @ 20-25 tonnes/ha is incorporated into the soil at the time of final plowing. If the soil is infested with nematodes, white ants or red ants applyCarbofuron@25kg/ha.

Apply Azospirulum and Phosphobacteria 2 kg/ha and Pseudomonas 2.5kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake @ 100 kg before the last plowing.

Application of bio control agents like Trichoderma viridae @2kg/ha and Paecilomyces lilacinus @ 2kg/ha along with 100kg FYM to plant- ingbeds, if soil is infested with nematodes

Seed requirement

The amount of seed will be determined by the spacing used. A plant density of 1-2.5 plants/m2 is recommended for most regions.

Nursery management

Trays can be used for growing seedlings. Water- ing will be done lightly using a watering can and time in the morning to avoid conditions conducive to the development of diseases. It will take about a 20 day before the seedlings are ready for transplanting.

Transplanting

The seedlings need about 20 days of growth before they are ready for transplanting. Transplanting is best done in the evening when the weather is cool. Transplant directly into already prepared holes Spacing ranges from 90x45 cm, or 90x60 cm depending on soil condition and water availability.

Agronomic practices

Agronomic practices include nutrient management, irrigation, support, pruning, weeding, pest and disease management, harvesting.

Nutrient management

Fertilization of Soil Systems

For growing cucumbers in greenhouses with soil, add as much of there- quired calcium and phosphorus as possible as a base dressing, because of these nutrients stored effectively in the soil and their absence from liquid feed prevents most clogging problems of the irrigation system. Provide calcium in the form of finely ground calcite lime @ 800kg/ha and phosphorus in the form of super phosphate @ 250kg/ha. Also, supply a good portion of potassium sulfate @500kg/ha and magnesium sulfate @ 250kg/ha. The ratio of potassium to magnesium in the soil should be 2:1. For the supply of nitrogen, pre plant application of ammonium nitrate @150kg/ ha. Make the final decision on the base fertilization after receiving the soil test results.

To correct micronutrient deficiencies, foliar feeds can be applied along- side the regular pesticide applications. Avoid excessive nitrogen; it leads to excess vegetative growth, poor fruit set, smaller fruits, hollow fruits and poor keeping quality.

When growing cucumbers on soilless media, special care must be taken in monitoring the nutrients that the crop receives, as there is no soil to compensate for the spent nutrients.

The following factors should be taken into account

pH: The pHin the nutrient solution should be maintained at 5.5 – 6.5.

electrical conductivity (EC): The EC of the nutrient solution and the root zone should not exceed 2.2 and 3.0 dS/m, respectively. Nitrate (NO3): The level of nitrate in the drain water should be 200– 300 ppm depending on the nitrate level, which changes according to the growth stage.

  • Nitrate/Ammoniumratio should not be lower than 5:1.
  • Nitrite(NO2): The level of nitrite should be zero because its presence in the growth medium impairs root functioning.
  • Ammonia(NH3) and ammonium (NH4): high level of either ammonia or ammonium interferes with the ability of the roots to absorb K.

Irrigation: Maximum yields and fruit quality will be realized only if the plant receives adequate and timely moisture when fruit begins setting and maturing. Depending upon the soil type and growth conditions, approximately 25-50 mm of water per week is needed to obtain high-quality cucumbers.

Important note: Greenhouse cucumbers are naturally parthenocarpic varieties need to be isolated from standard varieties to prevent cross pollination and development of fruits that do contain seeds and may be deformed by greater growth in the pollinated area.

Fruitphysiological disorder

Cooking: A serious physiological disorder, results in decreased yields and reduced quality of greenhouse cucumbers. Curvature in fruit begins at an early stage--often when the ovary is less than ½ inch long-- and remains throughout maturity. Slight curvature (up to 1 inch per 12 inches of fruit length) is tolerable in first-grade fruit, but excessive curving or crooking reduces market value.

Weed Control

Weed control in a soil system is very much like cultivation in the field because there are no herbicides labeled for greenhouse use. However, fumigation will reduce the requirement for weed control. Cultivation can begin when weeds and grasses are very small and should be done as shallow as possible to reduce root damage.Cultivation is usually accomplished by running a rototiller between the rows.Soilless systems normally do not require weed control programs because the system itself usually prevents weed growth.

Harvesting

Cucumbers are harvested as immature fruit when full length has been reached. At suitable harvest maturity, a jelly-like material has started to form in the seed cavity. Cucumber production will be reduced if the fruit is left on the plant for too long.Cucumbers are hand harvested, normally 3 times per week, depending on the weather and growth stage of the plant.

Post harvest handling: Cucumberslose moisture quickly and have the tendency to soften during storage.Marketable cucumbers should be sorted according to size and quality and individually wrapped in clear plastic. The optimum storage temperature for cucumbers is 10-12.5ºC, at a relative humidity of 95% RH. Storage or transit temperatures below this range should be avoided as this will result in chilling injury after 2- 3 days.

General management of pest and diseases

Pests and diseases remain the greatest challenge in Tomato production. Appropriate and timely management makes all the difference between good production, poor production or total crop failure. Proper identification of the pest and disease is critical to a control strategy.

The general principles in pests and disease management include;

  • Practicing crop rotation. Obser ve minimum 2-year rotation program
  • Planting resistant varieties - Use certified disease-free seed treated with an approved fungicide to control seed rots and post emergence damping off
  • Field hygiene-old crop should be removed from the fields, control weeds, and crop debris since these are a source of pests and diseases. Staking and pruning are also key to disease incidence reduction
  • Using proper crop production practices that provide the right growing conditions for plants (sufficient water and balanced fertilization), particularly when crops are young. Strong healthy plants are more likely to withstand pests and diseases.
  • Irrigation management; poor irrigation timing and schedule may lead to disease, overhead irrigation in the evenings can encourage early blight.
  • Ensure regular crop scouting for pest and disease as well as weed and nutrient deficiencies. Proper pest and diseases identification are the first and critical step in their management. This helps to detect problems early and take control measures on time.

 Health Benefits of Cucumber

  • Cucumbers are low in calories but high in water and several important vitamins and minerals. Eating cucumbers with the peel provides the maximum amount of nutrients.
  • Cucumbers contain antioxidants, including flavonoids and tannins, which prevent the accumulation of harmful free radicals and may reduce the risk of chronic disease.
  • Cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, which may increase hydration and help you meet your daily fluid needs.  
  • Cucumbers are low in calories, high in water and can be used as a low-calorie topping for many dishes. All of these may aid in weight loss.
  • Test-tube and animal studies show that cucumber may help lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes-related complications, although additional research is needed.
  • Cucumbers contain a good amount of fiber and water, both of which may help prevent constipation and increase regularity.

 Cucumbers can be eaten fresh or pickled. They can be enjoyed as a low-calorie snack or used to add flavor in a variety of dishes.

1. It's High in Nutrients

Cucumbers are low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals.

  • One 11-ounce(300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following:
  • Calories: 45
  • Total fat: 0grams
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Protein: 2grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14%of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 62%of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 10%of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13%of the RDI
  • Manganese: 12%of the RDI

Although, the typical serving size is about one-third of a cucumber, so eating a standard portion would provide about one-third of the nutrients above.

Additionally, cucumbers have a high water content. In fact, cucumbers are made up of about96% water.

To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fiber, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.

2. It Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that block oxidation, a chemical reaction that forms highly reactive atoms with unpaired electrons known as free radicals.

The accumulation of these harmful free radicals can lead to several types of chronic illness.

In fact, oxidative stress caused by free radicals has been associated with cancer and heart, lung and autoimmune disease.

Fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, are especially rich in beneficial antioxidants that may reduce the risk of these conditions.

One study measured the antioxidant power of cucumber by supplementing 30 older adults with cucumber powder.

At the end of the 30-day study, cucumber powder caused a significant increase in several markers of antioxidant activity and improved antioxidant status.

However, it's important to note that the cucumber powder used in this study likely contained a greater dose of antioxidants than you would consume in a typical serving of cucumber.

Another test-tube study investigated the antioxidant properties of cucumbers and found that they contain flavonoids and tannins, which are two groups of compounds that are especially effective at blocking harmful free radicals.

3. It Promotes Hydration

Water is crucial to your body's function, playing numerous important roles.

It is involved in processes like temperature regulation and the transportation of waste products and nutrients.

In fact, proper hydration can affect everything from physical performance to metabolism.

While you meet the majority of your fluid needs by drinking water or other liquids, some people may get as much as 40% of their total water intake from food.

Fruits and vegetables, in particular, can be a good source of water in your diet.

In one study, hydration status was assessed and diet records were collected for 442 children.They found that increased fruit and vegetable intake was associated with improvements in hydration status.

Because cucumbers are composed of about 96% water, they are especially effective at promoting hydration and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.

4. It May Aid in Weight Loss

Cucumbers could potentially help you lose weight in a few different ways.

First of all, they are low in calories.

Each one-cup(104-gram) serving contains just 16 calories, while an entire 11-ounce(300-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories.

This means that you can eat plenty of cucumbers without packing on the extra calories that lead to weight gain.

Cucumbers can add freshness and flavor to salads, sandwiches and side dishes and may also be used as a replacement for higher calorie alternatives.

Furthermore, the high water content of cucumbers could aid in weight loss as well.

One analysis looked at13 studies including 3,628 people and found that eating foods with high water and low-calorie contents was associated with a significant decrease in body weight.

5. It May Lower Blood Sugar

Several animal and test-tube studies have found that cucumbers may help reduce blood sugar levels and prevent some complications of diabetes.

One animal study examined the effects of various plants on blood sugar. Cucumbers were shown to effectively reduce and control blood sugar levels.

Another animal study induced diabetes in mice and then supplemented them with cucumber peel extract.Cucumber peel reversed most of the diabetes-associated changes and caused a decrease in blood sugar.

In addition, one test-tube study found that cucumbers may be effective at reducing oxidative stress and preventing diabetes-related complications.

However, the current evidence is limited to test-tube and animal studies. Further research is needed to determine how cucumbers may affect blood sugar in humans.

6. It Could PromoteRegularity

Eating cucumbers may help support regular bowel movements.

Dehydration is a major risk factor for constipation, as it can alter your water balance and make the passage of stool difficult.

Cucumbers are high in water and promote hydration. Staying hydrated can improve stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity.

Moreover, cucumbers contain fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.

In particular, pectin, the type of soluble fiber found in cucumbers, can help increase bowel movement frequency.

7. Easy to Add to Your Diet

Mild with a distinctly crisp and refreshing flavor, cucumbers are commonly enjoyed fresh or pickled in everything from salads to sandwiches.

Cucumbers are also often eaten raw as a low-calorie snack or can be paired with hummus, olive oil, salt or salad dressing to add a bit more flavor.

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