Monday, May 17, 2010

Cucumber: on beds and trellis

I have to admit, growing new plants always comes with enthusiasm and anxiety. I don't think I ever see real cucumber plants growing. Then I search through, to get a fair idea how to handle cucumber. The notes are placed at the bottom of the post, and my adventure is in italic.

 that trellis is meant for cucumber. Photograph was taken 
immediately after the bamboos were staked down 
on the 12th of May 2010.
Lilies at the front end, and kadok or Piper sarmentosum
at the side. And containers alongside the house

Vegetable bed: soil and moisture
I spend an hour or two to get the bed ready. The spot was formerly filled up by ulam raja, and bitter gourd before that. While working out the soil to a depth of about 8 inches, I notice roots belonging to the nearby papaya and banana. Growing plants, digging and fluffing the soil allow us to recognize roots. I put the size of bed as 3x6 feet. The soil is healthy looking with lots of worms, creating tunnels and leaving their poo on the surface. I added goat's poo as fertilizer. It is said, that cucumbers can be grown on any soil type that has a high water-holding capacity and good drainage with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. The garden soil has good proportion of humus and clay, therefore water holding shouldn't be a problem. Being raised by about 5 inches, drainage is taken cared, but I don't know about the soil pH. I have asking around, about getting a suitable equipment to measure pH. So far, pH is basically my own visual estimate.. haha.

Nearby plants
Big plants nearby are papaya, banana and senduduk. Little plants at the edge of the bed are lilies, kadok and one ulam raja. As edging, I placed banana stem on one side. Bricks for potted plants will form the edge at another side. And the other sides, more or less served by kadok and lilies as edgings. It does look funny for a simple vegetable bed for cucumber to be guarded by many plants and material.

Pest and disease
As far as pest is concerned, I am wary of grasshoppers which have been feasting our leafy vegetables. Through readings, the common pest problem would be damping-off, nematodes, powdery mildew, and mosaic viruses. Damping-off and nematodes can be controlled by planting in clean soil or treating the soil with captan-terrachlor for damping-off and with nematicide for n ematodes. Powdery mildew can be controlled by using maneb, zineb, or copper fungicides. Watermelon mosaic virus may be a problem in certain areas at various times of the year. Lehua hybrid is highly resistant to this virus and should be grown where it is a problem.

Most cucumber varieties will produce fruit ready for harvest in 50 to 60 days. Frequency of harvest will depend on the vigor of the plant, the location, and the time of year. Usually every other day or daily harvest is necessary when the plants are growing vigorously at the lower elevations during the hot weather. Removing fruits as they mature will aid in maintaining the plant vigor and productive capacity.

bangchik and kakdah
putrajaya malaysia


  1. By the way, do you grow the Plectranthus, the Cuban oregano? I understand it's from Malaysia. Thanks! Linda

  2. Your garden is lovely, so well tended. Good luck with the cucumbers.

  3. bang chik n kak dah...
    Maria nak cari benih timun kampung yang kecik2 tu, kat mana ya bole jumpa?

  4. Your garden look so greeny and fresh! wish you luck! I'm growing my tomato again.

  5. How I wish I can build those support structures and trelises myself. It'll be great for planting vines and climbers. It is good to have wormy friends in the soil.

  6. Good luck with the cucumbers! Here in Virginia I contend with cucumber beetles - last year they ate the leaves off in one night - but these year I am taking evasive action, removing their eggs and using organic sprays. Good luck! Fresh cucumber makes a good cold soup by the way :) with lots of yogurt and dill.

  7. LindaCTG
    No I dont have it the garden, that Plectranthus, the Cuban oregano.

    Thanks for the compliment. It is easier to keep it clean and tidy with small/little garden. A big farm is a different game altogether.

    Timun kecil yang macam mana dimaksudkan?. Pokok yang saya tanam ini, jenis timun biasa jual di pasar. Benihnya saya beli di salah satu Nursery di Bangi.


  8. Malar
    Good luck to your tomato plants. Do you have a blog for us to visit and view?

    Autumn Belle
    Not many will go for such trellis in residential area especially Putrajaya. For me and kakdah, gardening is another outlet for creativity and be together at that odd one hour before sunset everyday... haha. But you can start thinking how to assemble your own trellis.... no harm in trying.

    Thanks for the early warning about beetles. Over here, pests seem to come and disturb plants at later stage...


  9. How lovely to see your garden! It looks so magical and full... I would love to see your basket as you walk about and pick! I have a hard time growing cucumbers but have managed to harvest a few now and then.

  10. alamak cam ne nak terang ye... bang chik n kak dah
    timun kampung tu kecil2 saiz dia tak sampai besar 2 jari... pendek2 je, lebih kurang 2-3 inci je (mcm saiz peria katak)... timun ni lebih rangup drpd timun yg bersaiz biasa kat pasar...
    dulu masa kat kampung selalu jumpa, skrg mak dah pindah rumah taman... susah nak cari timun tu...

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  12. Hi bang Chik,

    I just started my blog.... long way to go...;-))

  13. Carol
    I do understand about the difficulty in growing cucumbers. I hope they will grow and grow,

    Masih tak dapat nak teka yang mana satu... Saya dan Kakdah asal dari Perak, kawasan tepi laut, mungkin jenis itu tak serasi dengan kawasan kami. Tapi ada juga timun jenis hijau pekat dan lebih kecil jual di pasar raya.. bukan itu agaknya. Ziarah la kampung asal dan dapatkan benihnya...

    Great!.. I will visit right away.



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