Other Name: Khira
Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus
Chromosome number: 2n=14
- The cucumber is the second most widely cultivated cucurbit after watermelon.
- It is thermophilic and susceptible to frost.
- GA3 and AgNO3 induce male flowers in gynoecious cultivars
- Open-pollinated varieties of cucumber are monoecious.
- Anthesis is influenced by light intensity and day length.
- The aroma containing the compound in cucumber is Nonadienal.
Area and production
Area (‘000 ha)
Production (‘000 MT)
Source: NHB Database 2018
Table: State-wise area and production in 2018
Source: NHB database 2018
- Fruits are good for people suffering from constipation, jaundice, and indigestion.
- It is rich in vitamins B and C as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron, and potassium. Fruits contain 0.4% protein, 2.5% CHOs, 1.5mg iron and 2 mg of vitamin C per 100g fresh weight.
- Immature fruits of cucumber and gherkin are used as salad and for pickling.
- The seed oil is also used as an antipyretic.
- Cucumber is characterized by the presence of bitter principle called cucurbitacins, which are tetracyclic triterpenes.
Japanese Long Green
- Himangi: Poinsett X Kalyanpur Ageti, Resistant to Bronzing.
- Phule Subhangi: Poinsett X Kalyanpur Ageti, Resistant to Bronzing
- Pusa Sanyog: use of gynoecious female parents.
- Solan Hybrid
- Other varieties
- Swarna Poorna
- Swarna Sheeta
- AAUC 2
- Poinsett: Resistant to Powdery Mildew, Downy Mildew, Anthracnose, Angular Leaf Spot.
- Suitable for temperate regions: Japanese Long Green, Straight Eight, Pusa Sanyog, K 90.
- Mosaic Resistant varieties: Table Green, Tokyo Green, Winscrimson, Chinese Long.
It is essentially a warm-season crop but is successfully grown in tropical, subtropical, and temperature regions. This is very susceptible to frost. The optimum temperature is 26.40C. If the temperature goes above 300C, the production is reduced considerably. Seeds of cucumber germinate well if the day temperature is 20- 300C. Excess humidity promotes diseases like Powdery Mildew, Downy Mildew, anthracnose & pests such as fruit flies.
The cucumber is grown in well-drained sandy loam soil. The soil PH should be 5.5 to 6.7. Lighter soils that warm quickly in spring are usually used for early yields. In heavier soils, vine growth will be greater and fruits mature late. Cucumber is sensitive to acid soils.
- In South and central India where winter is mild cucumber is grown almost throughout the year.
- In the hills, the sowing season starts from April-May.
- In summer it is sown from January to February and for rainy-season crops, it is sown from June to July.
Preparation of land
Land should be thoroughly prepared in order to get fine tilth for seed beds.
2.5 kg seeds are required for a hectare area.
Sowing of cucumber is done by two methods:-
1 Furrow method:
Seeds are directly sown in the soil. In some cases where the early crop is desired, seeds can be sown in Poly ethylene bags (10X15cm) of 100-200 gauges and germinated under cover to protect them from low temperatures. In furrow, the general row distance is kept at 1.5 -2.5 m.
2 Hill method:
Hills are prepared at 60 to 90 cm. by adding well-rotten organic manure and a number of seeds are sown in each hill.
Manures and Fertilizers:
Fertilizers should be given as per the availability of nutrients in the soil after soil testing.
Table. The recommended quantity of NPK in various parts of India
The full dose of phosphorus and potash & half of the nitrogen should be applied as basal dose and the remaining 50% N should be incorporated into the soil after 30- 40 days of sowing with earthing up.
Frequent irrigation is very important in the spring-summer crops, while in the rainy season, crop irrigation may not be necessary at all if the rainfall is well distributed between July-Sep. Over-irrigation should be avoided, as cucumbers cannot withstand underwater logging conditions.
For successful growing of cucumber, early stages of crop growth to be kept from weeds. At the time of top dressing with N fertilizer, weeding and earthing up are done. Herbicide Flochloralin at 1.20 kg /ha (pre-plant), and Flochloralin 0.48 kg + nitrogen at 0.5 kg/ha (pre-emergence) could be applied to control the weeds in cucumber.
Use of Growth regulators
- Application of Ethrel (150-200 ppm) increases the number of flowers, and fruit set and in turn increases the yield.
- GA (1500-2000 ppm) and silver nitrate (200-300 ppm) induce male flowers on gynocecious cucumber.
- Soil drenching of paclobutrazol 75 ppm increases the yield.
- These chemicals/plant growth regulators may be applied at 2 true-leaf stages and repeat the spray at 4 true-leaf stages.
Pruning of all the primary branches after 2 nodes gives the highest yield compared to unpruned ones.
When the plants are sown in the hills, the plants should be thinned so that not more than three plants are left standing on each hill.
Picking fruits at the right edible maturity stage is dependent upon the varieties. In a salad or slicing cucumber, dark-green skin colour should not turn into brownish yellow, and white spine color will also be a useful indication of edible maturity. The optimum length of the fruit will be around 20-25cm at the edible maturing stage, depending upon the cultivar in the case of slicing cucumber. In small-fruited types, which have pale green skin colour, the length of the fruit should be around 8-12 cm. Here also fruits turning yellow will be over-mature. Once harvesting starts, the fruits are generally picked at 2-4 days intervals, depending on the weather.
About 8-12t/ha is obtained from open conditions by using monoecious variety. This yield could be doubled by using tropical gynoecious variety. Under green house conditions, about 200 t/ha yield is obtained using tropical gynoecious hybrids.