1. Agriculture World

Grow Cucumbers in Polyhouse: It’s Cheap and Delicious

Amit Bhatt
Amit Bhatt
Dr A. D. Munshi
Dr A. D. Munshi at the Mela

Krishi Jagran team met Dr A. D. Munshi, Principal Scientist with Division of Vegetable Science of IARI at the Pusa Kisan Mela, 2021 edition. Dr Munshi specializes in "Genetic Improvement in Cucumber". He has done his PhD with IARI, New Delhi and has published a number of publications about his research on Cucumber, throughout his career with IARI. He has received a number of awards for his work in this direction. 

He describes himself as a breeder who has mostly worked with cucumber (kheera) and Ridge gourd (tauri). He showed us the polyhouse behind him where cucumbers of variety "Pusa Parthenocarpic Cucumber-6" are growing.

The produce of cucumbers, produced in polyhouses have become quite popular hence this new variety which grows very well in polyhouses has been introduced to the farmers. Earlier the cucumber seeds that were available in market were hybrid and imported, hence were expensive for the farmers. To keep the cost factor in mind this new variety was researched on  and introduced. The imported seeds cost between Rs. 7 to Rs. 10 and we are selling the seeds at Rs. 4.  This variety is seedless like its competitor hybrid cucumber seeds.

This variety is not hybrid and gives good productivity. This fruits of this variety are attractive to look at, with dark green colour, small lines on the skin and are 10-12 centimeters in length.  It is also good in taste, it's crisp. This variety is gynoecious and parthenocarpic. Now what does this mean? Gynoecious means that most of the fruit giving flowers are female, due to which the productivity increases. Parthenocarpic means that the flowers which grow into the fruit do not require pollination. Hence this variety of cucumbers can be grown in polyhouses. 

This variety can be grown even in winters. If you sow these seeds in November you will be able to harvest these high quality cucumbers from January till April. You can usually get the first harvested crops in 40-45 days and you can collect harvest from the plants multiple times in a year, 7-8 times or more. Each plant bears 15-20 cucumbers at a time. You can harvest 1,250 Kgs of Cucumber from 100 sq. meter of polyhouse in winter season. The more you harvest the more fruits these plants will bear. So, as soon the fruits grow to the maximum size you must harvest them, so more fruits can grow. 

Currently, the cucumbers of this variety are available at Rs.70-80 per Kg. All you need to do is setup a polyhouse in winter and earn good money. Initial investment is not much, though you will need to look after the plants continuously. There are chances of the plants getting affected by disease in winter, so you need to be vigilant.  

You can till the land, sow the seeds and wait to germinate. You must do soil drenching as a precautionary measure, after germination. You can use the insecticides, fungicides and pesticides 0.3 ml each with 10 litre of water. You will need to use these chemicals in case of rains, which will lead to some humidity in the polyhouse, which may cause diseases to plants. 

When asked how farmers can take advantage of this new cucumber variety, he replied this variety seed now has been notified and is being sold to the farmers. Farmers and universities who have used these seeds have given us positive feedbacks. He said this plant grows to 7-8 feet. He said they had kept the plants at the Mela to low size for demonstration purpose and the more you harvest the cucumbers from your plant, higher will your plant keep growing. He said please see that these plants have as many fruits on them as they have the leaves. He said you can grow cucumber from these seeds in spring season with nethouses, and expect as much or more bountiful harvest.   

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