Nutritive Value: Cucumber is eaten as a fresh fruit or used as a salad which has a cooling effect and medicinal properties in our diet. Cucumber contains 96 percent water, 2.5 percent carbo-hydrates, 0.4 percent proteins and 0.4 percent fibers, 0.3 percent minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron, and is very rich in vitamin C.
Soil and Climate: Cucumber requires well drained sandy loam soil. It is grown in hot and dry regions. It performs best in ample sunlight and requires frost free periods for its growth. Temperatures from 35 °C to 38 °C are good for cultivation of cucumber.
Important Varieties: Pusa Sanyog, Poona Khira, Himangi and Sheetal are popular varieties of cucumber in South India. Planting and Irrigation: Cucumber seeds are sown during January-February for the summer season and during June-July for the rainy season crop. Seeds are sown 90 cm apart from two rows and 90 cm apart between two plants. The cucumber creepers if directed to climb on supports of walls can give yields of good quality and quantity. Cucumber requires frequent irrigation to give higher yields.
Plant Protection: Powdery mildew is a major disease of cucumber causing white cottony fungal growth on leaf surfaces reducing the process of photosynthesis and thereby the yield. It can be controlled by dusting sulphur powder on the cucumber crop.
Harvesting: Fruits are harvested 50 to 60 days after sowing of seeds. Fully developed, terminal flowers drop but fruits still tender and green are harvested and used in green salads.