Cucumber (Cucumis sativus Linn) under the Cucurbitaceae family are popular as fruit vegetables grown in Malaysia. It considered as Herbs Crop due to its creeping characteristic and capability to erect by its shoots. It was believed that cucumber originated from Northern India and brought in Malaysia due to its suitability to grow and great demand from local consumer. Cucumber was largely grown in the state of Johore, Perak and Terengganu and in Johor it was recorded about 440 hectare was grown in 2012. In Muar District cucumber was grown for 106 hectare in 2012 producing about 2,444 metric tonnes (Largest producer in Johore). Latest technology for cucumber was grown using the fertigation and hydroponic technology. Other than ordinary green cucumber there was also an increase demand for Japanese Dark Green Cucumber variety.
Cucumber are suitable to be grown in tropic climate with temperature from 18 - 35 Celsius and water is important for cucumber and about 300 mm rainfall required annually. Mineral or peat soil are suitable with proper pH (between 4.5 - 5.5) and proper drainage system. Cucumber used as salad, processed as pickled or fresh consumption. The young shoot was eat as vegetables and it believed that cucumber are able to reduce body heat. Every 100 gram of cucumber contain 0.5 g Protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 14 mg calcium, 21 mg Phosphorus and Vitamin B1,B2,C and Niacin (0.10 mg).
Land preparation started 35 days before planting with land clearing, basal manuring with GML (2.5 mt/ha) and ploughing (2 times). Prepare bed using bed former tractor at 1.2m x 25 cm height and apply organic fertilizer (Chicken dung) at 3-5 tonnes/ha. Plastic silvershine was layered to improve soil stability, reduced evaporation, control weeds at 20 bundle/ha. Planting cucumber with vigorous seed at 1.8 kg/ha (52,200 tree/ha) with one point on the bed at 1 m distance. Erect support using Wood Post (2,130 unit) or Fish Nettings (213 unit). Train young cucumber shoots to properly creep to the support system. It will start producing fruit after 35 days after planting until 70 days old. Potential yield for cucumber in Muar recorded between 22 - 30 tonnes/ha depending on farm management applied. The usage of foliar fertilizer and enough watering system seems the yield easily reach 30,000 kg /ha by local farmers.
Manuring program using NPK 15;!5:15 at 400 kg/ha as 1st application 2 weeks after planting followed by 2nd and third manuring program at 400 kg/ha respectively with NPK 12:12:17:2 TE. Control of weed done by chemical or manual accordingly. Among pests attack cucumber are Leaf Mites (Aphis craccivora) and Leaf Beetle (Aulacaphora spp) and controlled by pesticide (Malathion or Dimethoate). Common disease are Antracnose (Collectotricum lindemuthianum), Downy mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) and Rust mildew (Erysiphe cichoraerum) and controlled by farm sanitation, Good Agriculture practices and suitable chemicals.
Economic Analysis for cucumber grown in Muar District done in 2009 shown that one hectare of cucumber produce about 22.5 mt/ha with Gross Income recorded at RM 9,000/ha with ex-farm price for RM 0.40/kg. Total cost of production for one hectare cucumber calculated at RM 5,575 /ha and gives a Net Income about RM 3,424 /ha. Analysis shown that cost of production for one kilogram cucumber at RM 0.25 and every one ringgit investment returned for about RM 1.61... a profitable business!
GROW CUCUMBER....EAT CUCUMBER ......
GROW IT TO FIT .... ENSURE OF PROFIT...
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