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Cucumber

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Cucumber
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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Cucumis sativus

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Image Description

The Cucumber is a warm-season fruit (although typically considered a vegetable) that produces well when given proper care and protection. Cucumbers are 95% water, and they are low in calories. The skins have Vitamin A and Vitamin C and folic acid. The cucumber is one of the most nutritive vegetables, rich in vitamins and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit.The fruit is long, and shaped like a cylinder, with tapered ends, and can be as big as 60 cm long and 10 cm around. Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh or pickled. Cucumbers are usually green, which means they are unripe. When they are ripe they are yellow and usually means they are too bitter and sour. [1]

Anatomy

A cucumber cut down the middle.

Cucumbers have vines called Tendrils that they are attached to. The tendrils will wrap around anything it touches for extra support and more sunlight. It does this with their specially developed leaves which are sensitive to touch. These leaves will curl around whatever they touch. Which allows the plant to pull itself up over obstacles for light. [2]

Reproduction

Cucumbers are usually started by planting seeds directly in the garden. Plant after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil has warmed in the spring. Plant seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep. and at least 12 inches apart. the cucumber is not picky about the soil but it does need lots of sunlight in order to grow. The plant prefers it to be around 70 degrees. [3]

Ecology

An abundance of cucumbers

You can plant Cucumbers anywhere where there is sunlight and somewhere that they have an object the tendrils can wrap around for support.Cucumbers are a subtropical plant and need lots of sun. Cucumbers also need a good amount of growing space in the garden. Cucumbers grow best when the average temperature is around 70 degrees, and cucumbers are not picky about soils. [4]

History

Everyone used to think that cucumbers were dated over 10,000 years ago in southern Asia. Explorers and travelers introduced the cucumber to India and Asia. It was very popular in Egypt, Greece and Rome, those countries used it not only as a food but also for its help in healing skin. The early colonists introduced cucumbers to the United States. While it is unknown when the pickling process was developed, researchers speculate that the gherkin variety of cucumber was developed from a plant native to Africa. Brief History on Cucumbers

Pests

A spotted cucumber beetle.

Cucumber beetles — 1/4 inch long. Black and yellow spotted or striped beetles. They eat the leaves on the vines of the cucumber plant which make it hard for it to grow and get food.

Aphids —Any of various small, soft-bodied insects, that have mouths for piercing and feed by sucking sap from plants. Colonies of aphids can build-up on the undersides of the leaves.

Symptoms of damage - Holes in the leaves or the stem; if the flowers look like they are chewed on; when the stems or fruit surface is scarred. Spotted and striped cucumber beetles attack the seedlings when they come out from the soil. Beetles may carry bacterial wilt disease that causes plants to wilt and die.

Bacterial Wilt - The cucumber plants can get infected by the bacterial that the cucumber beetles bring to it. The beetles will hibernate in the trashy places of the garden which is where they get the bacteria and then head off to attack and feed on the cucumber plant. When the vines wilt and collapse (usually about the same time that the first cucumbers are half grown), it is too late to save the cucumber plant and prevent it from spreading or dying. The problem with the cucumber plant not showing the symptoms is that you don't know whether you can prevent it from happening.

[5]

Video

Gallery

References