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Plant Care Guide >> Container Vegetable Gardening >> Cucumber
Cucumber is a very nutritious vegetable. It is used as a salad or preserving as pickles and also as cooked vegetable. Cucumber has been cultivated in India for the last three thousand years.
Common name: Cucumber
Vernacular Languages: Hindi: Kheera; Santhali: Foot; Marathi: Kakri
Botanical Name: Cucumis sativas
Family: Curcubitacae
Soil Preparation:

Cucumbers do well in warm, moist soil. They grow best in fertile clay soils with a lot of humus .They require a loose, well-drained soil generous in organic matter. A good mix consists of one part each of potting soil, perlite, sphagnum peat moss and compost. Add a slow release fertilizer by following label recommendations to each pot

Sowing:

Fill a 12" pot with the soil mixture as prepared above. Plant five to six seeds in the center of the pot, covering with 1/2 inch of soil mix. Cucumber seeds do not germinate in soil where temperatures are below 52 F. Cover the pots with plastic (cling film or bin liner). After germination remove the covering. Cut off the seedlings except for the two largest to avoid overcrowding. After they reach a height of 8 to 10 inches, cut off one, leaving only one plant per container. Avoid pulling out the seedlings as this disturbs the roots of the remaining seedlings.

Light:

Place the container in a site with full sun and protection from the wind.

Temperature:

They must be grown in warm temperatures.

Watering:

Cucumbers need plenty of water to be juicy and crisp. Cucumber plants that do not get enough water produce small, bitter, deformed fruits. Soak the soils deeply during dry periods. When watering, avoid wetting the leaves, especially if watering late in the day. Wet leaves encourage the development of plant diseases.

Staking:

They should be grown on stakes. The stakes should be placed in the pot before filling the soil and before you plant. A good type of staking system to use with cucumbers is a teepee form that allows the plants to grow up the stakes.

Fertilizing:

The cucumber requires a proper balance of nutrients to produce a good crop. It has a high fertilizer requirement; therefore, constant high levels of nutrients are required.

Pest and Problems:

Several different diseases attack cucumbers. Most show up as spots on the upper or lower sides of leaves or on fruit. Check plants daily and spray with an approved fungicide.

Growth Habit:

Cucumber is a quick growing crop that produces a lot of succulent growth. The crop must be supplied with plenty of moisture for its vigorous growth. The plant has a spreading growth habit.

Harvesting:

Cucumbers are mature 60-70 days from germination in optimal growing conditions. Harvest cucumbers when they reach 5 or more inches in length and are full and firm. Cucumbers are mature when the skin is entirely dark green and they are large enough to use.

Special Care:

It is essential to have drainage holes in the bottom or root rotting will occur.

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