Cucumbers are a popular variety of spined cucumbers that are consumed as salads in every Indian home. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they are a great option for cooling down the body and increasing hydration owing to its water content. Excellent diet food option, these members of the watermelon family have good fibre content.
Fill a container of your choice, with drainage holes, with 2 part garden soil & 1 part organic manure or 1 part garden soil, 1 part coco peat & 1 part Vermicompost.
Sow 2 cucumber seeds at the centre of your container and if you are sowing directly ona raised bed, sow two seeds at a spacing of 3 x 3 ft
Push the seeds into the growing medium and cover it completely with the surrounding soil, up to twice the size of the seed.
Water the sown seed bed immediately with a watering can to ensure an even light shower.
Cucumber plant requires full sunlight so plant the seeds in a sunny spot.
Your cucumber seeds will germinate within the first 6 – 8 days after sowing the seeds with tiny sprouts
After the second week, keep only single seedling in one spot. Cut off the weak, small & lagging seedlings with a pair of scissors.
Water the cucumber plant every day in summer with a watering can to make sure your plant gets water in the form of a shower or use a drip irrigation system.
Add good quality 2:1 ratio organic manure before sowing seeds. It can either be well rotten cow dung manure, farmyard manure, Compost or Vermicompost.
When your cucumber plant is more than 45 days old, feedone tablespoon of 15:15:15 (NPK) fertilizer per plant or mix handful of Vermicompost in the soil around each plant.
Keep a watch for early signs of any insect/fungal or any other infections. Use appropriate medicines if you notice any ofthese signs.
The plant will start flowering in the second month and to increase the yield, take pollens from the male flower on a painting brush or cotton bud & dust them on the ‘stigma’ of the female flowers.
The cucumbers will be ready to harvest after 60 days from sowing and can continue for up to 3 months.
What you get
One cup of raw cucumber contains approximately 19 calories. Despite of being so low in calories, it packs a punch when it comes to nutrients. Cucumbers are a great source of fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Magnesium and Manganese. Cucumbers when home grown, pesticide free and eaten with their peels are more nutrient dense.