This is grown with the help of pergolas. Depending upon the availability of rain and water, they can be grown anytime in Kerala. Changing weather patterns affect the rate of production. Nowadays most of the farmers cultivate them on commercial basis in polyhouses.
They can be easily cultivated for commercial or household purposes. Make bed and add organic manure (chicken/goat manure, or cow dung powder) neem oil cake, bone powder and a little mussel shell fertiliser. Sow in to this, some 4 to 5 seeds. Observe the growing saplings. Retain two healthy ones and remove the others. Add chemical fertilisers after the growth of 4-5 leaves or apply jeevamruthamdepending upon the farming style. Application of fertiliser is compulsory in a week. Stand a frame so that the vines can climb upon it and form a canopy. For training the vines, we may use one among the following- coir, plastic coir, old fishing net etc.
Steer clear of chemical pesticides as the cucumbers are eaten raw. If they are to be planted in terrace gardens, plant one sapling per grow bag. The yield will be good if the plant gets good sunlight, water and manure.
Make a solution of 20 grams of trichoderma-pseudomonas mix in 1 litre of water. Sprinkle it on the saplings to increase the growth rate. Moreover it will also increase immunity in plants against fungus.
The yield can be harvested in 40 to 50 days of planting. Since they are consumed raw, it is better to pluck them before maturing fully. Cucumbers usually stay fresh up to 2-3 days, after which they have to be refrigerated. They can be consumed as juice or a soft drink by adding a dash of lemon juice and sugar.
Cucumbers contain plenty of protein, vitamin, antioxidants, and beauty care ingredients. Vitamin B, B2, B5, B6, folic acid, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc are other precious ingredients in cucumber.
Downy mildew is an infection caused by fungus during rainy season. Any organic pesticide can be used if it is detected in the initial stages. Applying a solution of trichoderma 20gms in a litre of water, every 15 days is an ideal way to prevent fungal infection. Fruit trap or pheromone traps can be used to ward off insect attacks.