It is used worldwide, either fresh, pickled or as an ingredient in many other dishes. Cucumber…
Cucumber also named as cukes and they are one of the easy and fast-growing garden vegetables. It belongs to family Cucurbitaceae. The plant usually grows well in warm days and nights. So here is a question whether you grow them in winter or not. In science, there is no place of the impossible word. Yes, you can grow cucumber in winter by using different approaches.
Impact of winter over cucumber:
First of all, we should know how winter affects the growth of cucumber? Studied show that as temperature drop in winter it not only affects the growth of the plant but also causes chilling injury to the cucumber plant. The cucumber plant cannot grow below 60oF, as to prolong exposure to 55oF may cause chilling injury. For the optimum growth of cucumber, you need at least 60-70oF temperature.
Signs of chilling injury:
Chilling injury normally occurs in cucumber as grown in temperature below 600. You ought to look ahead to sign of chill injury in late summer planted cucumber. Some signs of injury include water-soaked spots, pitting and plant decay. A cucumber that is grown in a vicinity where the temperature fluctuates can taste bitter, so if there is an opening of temperature fluctuations of 20 degrees or more than this, you will have to grow bitter resistant varieties.
Approaches to grow cucumber in winter:
Here are two approaches to enjoy fresh healthy cucumber in winter.
Growing in the container:
In areas where the outdoor temperature is cool and also the cucumber cannot survive. You will plant them in a container and leave them in outdoor spaces until the temperature begins to drop. As soon as the temperature begins to drop shift them to the internal container. For growing cucumber indoor, cucumber requires a container that measures 20 inches wide and 16 inches deep per plant and a wooden trellis to support the growing plant and increase yield. Some common cucumber varieties that grow well in the container include bush varieties like salad bush and pickling bush varieties.
By using row covers:
Row covers can provide extra protection and heat for cucumber grown later within the season. The utilization of row covers can increase the air temperature for covered cucumber up to twenty degrees during midday, also depend upon the material used. There are two sorts of row cover, greenhouse, floating and tunnel and both types increase daytime temperatures. The fabric, however, can make a difference, bonded fabrics reduce sunlight to plants by 10 percent in comparison to clear plastic, while polypropylene retains more radiant heat at nighttime than polyethylene.
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Steps to grow cucumber in winter:
Here are certain steps to follow while growing cucumber in winter.
- Plant each cucumber plant during a separate container that is a minimum of 12 inches in diameter. If you utilize ground soil then mix it with compost, sphagnum moss or manure to make better drainage. potting mixes provide a stronger source of nutrients and drainage for cucumber and eliminate the chances of infestation from the insects in the ground soil. Fill each container with the soil and press 5-6 cucumber seeds down into the middle of the pot, approximately ½ inch deep.
- Water each plant until the soil within the container is thoroughly moist and canopy the container with wrap, taping the plastic to the edges of the container or employing an elastic device to carry the plastic in-situ. Put the cucumber plant during a warm place where it gets direct sun rays for 6-8 hours per day or provide the plants with a grow light for the identical length of your time.
- If you do not have appropriate sunlight for 6-8 hours per day, then you can use LED light which gives 24.8% more yield then ordinary light and also reduce the use of electricity for about 60%. It also reduces the water from 1.4 fewer liters of water per kilogram.
- Keep newly planted cucumbers warm in the least times. If the temperature in your greenhouse does not stay constant in the dead of night, install a heater and keep the temperature at 70onor higher to assist the cucumber to germinate and grow.
- Take the wrapper from each cucumber container when the seedlings appear. Allow the seedlings to grow to 1-2 inches and get rid of well-high the strongest two growers. When these two seedlings get approximately 8 inches tall, cut away the weakest of the 2 seedlings and keep the strongest. Use scissors to get rid of seedlings to avoid disturbing the chosen seedling roots.
- Continue to provide the cucumber seedlings with 6-8 hours of daily light and water cucumber plants as often as necessary to stay the soil moist. After 4-6 weeks of growth fertilizer cucumber plants using your chosen fertilizer, whether chemical or organic, once per week following packaging recommends.
As you grow cucumber under controlled conditions, then there will be a very low rate of fruit abortion and also the individual fruits were significantly heavier. Although each individual fruit was fairly the same size as of normal condition. The cucumber plant grows under controlled condition will give 200-210 grams versus up to 190 gram produced under normal conditions. Which indicate that grower can harvest more kilos per square meter and enhance their profits.
In this way, you can grow cucumber in winter and enjoy their fresh and healthy taste.