Cucumber Production Guide

Cucumber Production Guide

Introduction

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus l.) is also known as pipino (Taga log), kalabaga (Bisaya), or kasimum (Bontoc). It is grown for its immature fru its which are used in sa lads (slicing type), or are soaked and stored in brine (pickling type). Pickling cucumbers are also called gherkins.
Cucumber is grown in 1,587 ha (Bureau of Agricultural Statistics 2005). The top producers are the Cordillera Administrative Region (320 ha), Region 9 (165 ha), Region 3 (140 ha) and Region 2 (111 ha).

Nutritional Value

Per 100 g edible portion, immature fruits contain:

Properties Amount
Water (g) 96
Protein (g) 0.6
Fat (g) 0.1
Carbohydrates (g) 2.2
Calcium (mg) 12
Iron (mg) 0.3
Magnesium (mg) 15
Phosphorus (mg) 24
Vitamin A (IU) 45
Vitamin B1 (mg) 0.03
Vitamin B2 (mg) 0.02
Niacin (mg) 0.3
Vitamin C (mg) 12
Energy Value (kJ) 63

Source: Siemonsma, J.S. and Piluek, K. (Editors). 1994. PROSEA Handbook No. 8. Vegetables. Pudoc, Wageningen. 1993/Prosea, Bogor.

Production Management

Commercial Varieties

Pickling Type
Pilmaria Explorer
Slicing Type
Ambassador Matipuno
Bituin Melissa
General Lee Poinsett
Governor Puma
Jaguar Thalia

Soil and Climate Requirements

Cucumber can be grown throughout the year across locations. It grows best in sandy loam soil rich in organic matter with pH 6.5 -7.5.

Land Preparation

Plow and harrow the field twice. Prepare furrows 0.75 meters apart. Apply fully decomposed chicken manure along the furrows at 1 kilogram/linear meter or 500 grams/hill. Mix thoroughly with the soil. Make holes 30 centimeters apart. Water the holes before planting.

Planting

About 3 kilograms of seeds are required per hectare. Wet the seeds overnight for uniform germination. Air dry and sow 2-3 healthy seeds/hill, 1 centimeter deep. Cover lightly with soil and mulch with rice straw. After three days, remove the rice straw covering the hole to give way to growing seedlings. Pull out excess seedlings and replant to missing hills. Maintain only 2 seedlings/hill.

Fertilization

Apply 10 g/hill 14-14-14 at planting. Sidedress with a mixture of two parts 46-0-0 and one part 0-0-60 at 10 g/hill on the 15th and 30th day after transplanting. Tea manure and fermented plant juice can be applied weekly as foliar fertilizer during the vegetative stage to increase plant vigor and resistance to downy and powdery mildew.

To prepare tea manure, soak 314 sack dry cow/horse manure in a plastic drum filled with 189.25 liters of water for seven days. To prepare fermented plant juice, mix chopped actively growing plant parts with equal amount of molasses or brown sugar. After one week of fermentation, extract the juice and apply as foliar fertilizer at 1 tbsp/3.785 liter water. Apply to the whole plant, especially on the growing tips.

Trellising

Provide trellis soon after emergence. Set up 2 meter long ipil-ipil posts along the row with a spacing of 3 meters between posts. Connect the posts by installing GI wire #16 near the base, at the middle, and near the top end. Hang abaca twine or synthetic straw from the topmost wire to serve as support to the growing vines. Train the vines every two days.

Irrigation

Irrigate the field once a week. Cucumber needs abundant supply of water during the growing period. However, it cannot tolerate waterlogging.

Weed Management

Practice off-barring and hilling-up at 20 days after emergence to suppress weed growth. Apply mulch such as rice straw or mulching film to minimize weeds and conserve moisture.

Pest and Disease Management

Insect Pests/Diseases Control
Fruitfly Fruitfly attractant, wrapping of fruits;
Cucumber beetles scatter wood ash on the leaf surface;
spray recommended pesticides
Leaf folders Hot pepper spray (100 g macerated
hot pepper/16 L water); Bt (Bacillus
thuringiensis) spray; spray
recommended pesticides
Aphids Hot pepper spray; predators (lady
beetles, predatory wasps); spray
recommended pesticides
Thrips, mites lntercropping/mixed planting;
spray recommended miticides
Powdery mildew Compost tea spray; tea manure,
spray recommended fungicides
Downy mildew Mulching; pruning and burning of
infected leaves, compost tea spray,
spray recommended fungicides

To minimize pest incidence, plant barrier crops like corn and legumes. lntercrop with herbs and aromatic plants like marigold, alliums, lemon grass, ginger, and basil to repel insects. Grow flowering plants such as cosmos and sunflower to attract predators and pollinators. Spray the plants with compost tea and tea manure to increase resistance to fungal diseases and to improve plant vigor.

To prepare compost tea, mix one cup compost with 1/4 cup molasses. Place the mixture in used stockings and tie into a ball. Soak the compost tea bag in 18.9 liers of water in a colored jar and place under the sun. The mixture is ready for use as spray against fungal diseases after soaking for 4 hours.

Harvesting

Harvest slicing types at 38-45 days after emergence, and pickling types; 3-5 days earlier. Harvest every other day or when necessary. Remove all deformed and damaged fruits to enhance production of more fruits.

Severely damaged fruits can either be included in the compost pile or used as fermented plant ju ice. To prepare fermented plant juice, mix chopped actively growing plant parts with equal amount of molasses or brown sugar. After one week of fermentation, extract the juice and apply as foliar fertilizer at 1 tbsp/3.785 liters of water.

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