Cucumbers are low-maintenance, high-yielding vegetables once a farmer successfully get them started Though technically a fruit, it is usually picked when it is green and is eaten as a vegetable; cooked into stews and sauces or even consumed raw. If picked after it is ripe, it can be enjoyed as a fruit, though some varieties are more sour than others. And, even the nutrient-rich leaves have come to be a popular meal especially in the eastern Nigeria.
Ample moisture is vital at all stages of growth. By wetting the soil before you plant the seeds, however, you reduce the risk of washing the seeds away with the force of the water. Push seeds slightly into the soil. Push one or two seeds 1/2 inch to 1 inch into the top of the soil (1.25 to 2.5 ml). The plantings should be about 18 to 36 inches (45.72 to 91.44 cm) apart, regardless of whether you are planting seeds or seedlings. Note that bush varieties can be spaced a little closer together than vine varieties.
Alternatively, you can space the seeds 6 to 10 inches (15.24 to 25.4 cm) apart and thin your seedlings out once they reach 4 inches (10 cm) tall. At that point, you should consider thinning them out so that they are 18 inches (45.72 cm) apart. Water regularly: Cucumbers need plenty of moisture throughout their entire life cycle. Water deeply at least once a week using a gently hose or watering can. You should provide at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water each time.
Fertilize every two weeks. Use a mild liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks to maintain good soil quality for your hungry plants. If you did not use a granular fertilizer when preparing the soil, you should directly fertilize the soil with a liquid feed every two weeks. Do not get inorganic fertilizer on plant leaves or fruits. If you fertilized before planting your cucumbers, you should fertilize again once runners appear on vines and flowers begin to bud. If you prefer organic fertilizers, use compost or ages manure. If the leaves turn yellow, you need a high-nitrogen fertilizer. Note, however, that you should not over-fertilize your plants. Doing so can stunt the growth of your fruits and limit your yield. Pest and disease control: Watch out for pests and disease: for insects, fungi, and other small pests and diseases, you may need to use some type of organic insecticide or fungicide.
Common pests include: Cucumber beetles, White flies, Aphids, and Spider mites. Common diseases include: Bacterial wilt, Mosaic viruses, Anthracnose, Downy, and Powdery mildew. Others are Mosaic, and Scab disease. Control by early planting and planting of improved cultivars. Harvesting: harvest cucumbers when young. Slicing cucumbers should be about 6 to 8 inches or 15.24 to 20.32 cm long. Cucumbers can usually be twisted off the vine without the use of shears. Pickling cucumbers should be harvested at 2 inches or 5 cm and dills should be harvested at 4 to 6 inches or 10 to 15.24 cm. It is worthy of note that cucumbers that get too large or too yellow can become bitter. You should not allow a cucumber to turn yellow on the vine. At peak harvesting time, you will likely end up picking cucumbers every few days.
Cucumber, a type of fruit, has a lot of health benefit which most people do not know. Report has it that one major health benefit of cucumber is that it helps to burnt fat and tends to reduce weight and keep the body fit at all time when taken. It is also rich in Vitamins. Cucumber provides the body with both fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins; they are rich in Thiamin(vitamin B1) required for normal growth and proper functioning of the heart and nervous system Niacin(Vitamin B6) needed for cellular respiration. Garden egg is one of the anti cancer fruit which has being helping over decades to fight against Cancer and other horrible diseases.