Cucumber Farming

Cucumber Farming

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INTRODUCTION

Cucumber is grown for the immature fruits, which are eaten fresh (slicing cucumber), or used for pickles (pickling cucumber). The slicing cucumbers are peeled, sliced and served with vinegar or dressing, or as an ingredient of salads. The large, yellow, round types are boiled and eaten as an ingredient of stews. Pickling cucumbers are preserved or marinated with vinegar, salt, or spices. They can also be used fresh. Cucumbers are a good source of vitamin C.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Long cucumbers: Berlin RZ, Bologna RZ, Cumlande RZ, Myrthos RZ, Pluto RZ, Donora F1 Hybrid.Midi cucumbers: Media RZCocktail cucumbers: Rania RZ
Seed Rate 3 kgs per hectare
Fertilizer Rate 15 tons/ha of manure
Planting Spacing 90-120 cm apart, then thinned to 2-3 plants per hill with 250,000 plants/ha
Husbandry Cucumber is propagated by seed. Soil preparation requires generous incorporation of well rotted manure. Sowing is done directly in the field with several seeds per hill. Weed control is necessary until the plants cover the soil entirely. Support (stakes) should be provided for some cultivars, and the tip of the main stem can be nipped off to encourage branching. Irrigate at frequent intervals, and maintain a high level of soil moisture throughout the growing period. Lateral shoots can be pruned after the first fruits have formed to limit leaf and flower production.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Fruit flies Sunken, discoloured patches, distortions and open cracks. Use insecticides
Downy mildew Small, pale-yellow areas on upper leaf surface. Use Copper fungicides
Maturity Duration 1.5 to 2 months
Climatic Conditions Cucumber requires a warm climate. The optimum temperature for growth is about 30°C. In the tropics, altitude up to 1700 m is suitable. The soil should preferably be fertile and well-drained, with a pH of 6.5-7.5. Long and medium long slicing cucumber varieties are grown in greenhouses where climate and other growing conditions can be controlled.
Harvesting Cucumbers for fresh consumption are harvested before they are fully mature, usually starting about 50- 60 days after planting, and thereafter every few days. For pickling, immature fruits of several stages are harvested. Only for seed production are cucumbers allowed to mature on the plant. Fruits should not be left to ripen on the vines as the plants will cease to bear.Some of the long slicing cultivars of cucumber are packed individually before marketing and cooled.
Post Harvest and Storage Cucumbers should be handled with care as they get damaged easily during transport.
Growing Regions Eastern under irrigation, Central Kenya.
Expected yields 25-30 tonnes/ha

PROCESSING

Processing Cucumber is taken fresh.

MARKETING

Place Cucumber is marketed locally and exported
Price Kshs 25 – 80 per kg

CONSUMPTION

Products / By Products Cucumber is take as a fresh vegetable
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy: 15.0 / 1%; Carbohydrates: 3.6 / 1%; Proteins: 0.7 / 1%; Vitamin C: 2.8 / 5%;

FACTS & FIGURES

Eating a few slices of cucumber before bed eliminates hangovers and headaches at bed rise.Cucumber also prevent fogging of bathroom mirrors.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 625,000 (25,000kgs * 25/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 250,000 (40% of Income).NET:    Kshs. 375,000 (60% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 10,000kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Three to Four time per year.