Cucumber in Pakistan
Introduction of Cucumber Cultivation:
Cucumber is one of the famous and widely cultivated vegetable plant to the gourd family of “Cucurbitaceae”, genus of “Cucumis”. This is basically a creeping vine that bears cylindrical fruits that are used as vegetables. Oils extracted from cucumber seeds are used for medicinal purpose. Slicing, pickiling and burpless are the three main varieties of cucmber cultivated across the globe and within these varieties, several different cultivars have been emerged in the market. The cucumber is originated from Southern Asia. However, it is grown in all of the countries in the world. Cucumbers can be grown in green house, polyhouse and in hydroponic system as well.
Sandy loam rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH range from 6.5-7.5 are ideal for cucumber cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature. Plough the field four times and form long channels at 1.5 m apart. Sow the seeds during June or January to April
Sow the seeds on one side of channel giving a spacing of 0.6 m between hills. Thin the seedlings to two/hill at 15 days after planting. About 2.5 kg of seeds are required for a hectare.
Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride 4 g/kg or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g/kg or Carbendazim 2 g/kg of seeds before sowing.
There are many hybrid varieties and they are specific to the local market . Before going for commercial production of cucumber, one should do the enquiry about high yielding and disease resistant seeds available. Japanese Long Green, Straight eight, Balam Khira Peons, Pusa Snajog, and poinsettee are the mainly cultivated varieties in Pakistan.
Generally summer crop requireds frequent irrigations to maintain enough soil moisture dring its growth and development whereas rainy season crop doesnot require any irrigation. Irrigate the main field before dibbling the seeds and subsequent irrigations should be given once a week depending on the soil moisture. In case of water problem and to use the water effectively, drip irrigation system can be installed in cucmber cultivation with main and sub-main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5meter. Place the drippers in lateral tubes at an interval of 60cm and 50cm spacing with 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively.
Application of fertilizers
Apply FYM 40 t/ha as basal and 35 kg of N/ha at 30 days after sowing.Apply Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria 2 kg/ha and Pseudomonoas 2.5 kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake @ 100 kg before last ploughing.
Install drip system with main and sub-main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5m. Place the drippers in lateral tubes at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm spacing with 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively.
Form raised beds of 120 cm width at an interval of 30 cm and the laterals are placed at the centre of each bed.
Sow the seeds at an interval of 60 cm distance at the centre of the bed along the laterals. Sow the seeds in polybags @ one per bag for gap filling. Spray pre emergence weedicide like fluchloralin 1 kg a.i. or metalachlor 0.75 kg a.i./ha on third day of sowing.
Apply a dose of 150:75:75 kg NPK/ha throughout the cropping period through split application for F1 hybrid. In respect of phosphorous, 75% has to be applied as a basal dose.
Fertigation Schedule – Cucumber (Hybrid)
Recommended Dose: 150:75:75 Kg/ha
*75% RD of Phosphorus applied as superphosphate = 352 Kg/ha
- 19:19:19 = 55 kg/ha
- 13:0:45 = 144 kg/ha
- 12:61:0 = 9 kg/ha
- Urea = 275 kg/ha
Hoe and weed twice or thrice.
Angular leaf spot, Bacterial wilt, Anthrancnose, Belly rot (fruit rot, damping off), Downy mildew, Fusarium wilt (Cucumber wilt, Foot-rot), Gummy stem blight, Target leaf spot, Cucumber mosaic, Cucumber beetles, Cabbage looper, Flea beetles, Aphids (peach aphid, Melon aphid), Squash mosaic, Cutworms, Stinkbugs, Thrips, Bacterial leaf spot, Cucumber green mottle mosaic, Verticillium wilt, Aster yellows, Alternaria leaf blight, Watermelon mosaic, Cercospora leaf spot, Septoria leaf spot are the pests and diseases found in cucumber cultivation. Selecting disease resistant seeds and treating the seeds with fungicides can prevent some of these pests and diseases.
- Collect the affected fruits and destroy.
- The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in rainy season. Hence adjust the sowing time accordingly.
- Expose the pupae by ploughing.
- Use polythene bags, fish meal trap with 5 g of wet fish meal and 1 g of Dichlorvos in cotton, 50 traps are required per hectare. Fish meal and Dichlorvos impregnated cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
- Neem oil @ 3.0 % as foliar spray as need based.
Do not use copper and sulphur dust, as these are phytotoxic.
Downy mildew can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit twice at 10 days interval.
Harvesting can be started 45 to 50 days after sowing. On an average 10 to 12 harvests can be obtained. Timely picking is more important in regards to quality of the vegertable. Any sharp object can be used to collect the cucumber without damaging the vine.