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Cultivation of Cucumber & Parts Used


It requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm very sunny position. The seeds are sown early to mid spring in rich soil. Germination takes place within 2 weeks.

It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant). The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade and requires moist soil.

The male flowers should be removed in order to prevent fertilization, since the fertilized fruits have a bitter taste.

The roots of cucumber plants secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of most weeds. Cucumbers make good companion plants for sweet corn, beans and sunflowers, but they dislike growing with potatoes and aromatic herbs.

A few varieties of cucumber are parthenocarpic, the blossoms creating seedless fruit without pollination. Thousands of hives of bees are annually carried to cucumber fields just before bloom for this purpose. Cucumbers may also be pollinated by flies.

Parts Used

The edible parts are fruits, seeds and leaves.

Cucumbers grown for pickling (picklers) and those grown for fresh market (slicers) are the same species. Fruit of fresh market cucumbers are longer, smooth rather than bumpy, have a more uniform green skin color and a tougher, glossier skin than fruit of picklers.

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