Table of contents
- Introducing the Cucumber
- Cucumber Growing Tips
- Cucumber Growing Tips on Care
- Cucumber Growing Tips – Health
Introducing the Cucumber
Cucumber growing tips help you grow a big crop of long green beauties. Eat what you can and simply pickle any surplus. Growing and eating this vegetable is fun and good for your health.
Cucumbers grow on a vine and in most regions thrive during summer. However, in the tropics, they are best grown in winters when conditions suit them.
There are almost 100 varieties of cucumber grown around the world. One of the best varieties to grow in the tropics is called ‘Suyo Long’.
In general, long green varieties of cucumber perform better in the tropics.
No, it is technically a fruit. However, people commonly refer to it as a vegetable, so that is how it is described in this guide.
Cucumber Growing Tips
Location and Soil
Cucumber grow into quite large vines, so make sure they have space to grow. Plant them in a loose, organic soil where they will get plenty of sunlight.
Either plant on mounds or near a trellis that the vine can grow up.
Propagation of Cucumbers
Time needed: 4 minutes.
How to grow cucumber from seed.
Sow 3 seeds about 2 centimetres deep into each hole.
- Water and Sun
Place your seedlings in full sun and make sure you water regularly. Cucumber is a thirsty plant
Germination normally takes places from 3 to 10 days.
If more than one seedling grows for each hole, thin them out.
You can harvest at around 10 weeks. Cut off your cucumbers with a sharp knife or pruners. Do not pull them off, as this may damage the vine.
Cucumber Growing Tips on Care
Use a fertiliser rich in nitrogen, phosphate and the potassium. Be sure to apply the fertiliser to the base of the plant so you do not burn the leaves.
Cucumbers love water, so the odd torrential downpour will not worry them. Indeed during the tropical dry season they may need more water than nature can supply. During periods when there is no rain, make sure you give them a daily water.
Cucumber Growing Tips on Pests and Diseases
Insect pests and diseases are more of a problem during the wet season. This is due to the hot humid conditions.
The major pests in the tropics are leaf eating beetles, aphids and caterpillars. You can pick these off your vine at home, or if the challenge is bigger you can use an insecticide.
Regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. White oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.
Harvest with a knife or snippers and cut the stem above the fruit. Pulling them off can damage the vine.
Cucumber Growing Tips – Health
Growing can produce that many cucumbers that it is impossible to eat them all. Many growers pickle those they cannot eat, so they will keep and be enjoyed later. Eating them is not only enjoyable, it has many health benefits.
This tasty low calorie vegetable is great for weight loss. It is enjoyable to eat, filling and mainly water!
All of the water in cucumbers and the fibre, means eating a lot of them can help you keep hydrated and also help with constipation.
Cucumbers have vitamins A, B, C, K, as well as copper, manganese, and potassium. Consequently, this makes cucumber a great food to eat to boost your immune system.
Antioxidants like the beta carotene in cucumbers, help to combat free radicals in your body. These free-radicals can damage cells and can lead to disease, so eating cucumbers can help you stay well.
Cucumber is a great source of prebiotic fibre that will have a positive effect on your gut health.