Growing Hydroponic Cucumbers can be indoors or outdoors. Both ways are suitable as long as you can maintain the environment. By choosing the right variety for a hydroponic system, you will have a well productive plant.
Cucumbers have become popular as people use them in various kinds of meals. You will see it in snacks, salads, and even main meals. Preparing cucumbers for meals is as easy as growing them in a hydroponic system.
By applying a hydroponic system, cucumbers are easy to maintain and produce a lot. The followings are things you need to know them.
Can cucumbers be grown hydroponically?
Cucumbers or Cucumis sativus are a recommended crop for hydroponic production. However, there is some information that you should highlight for hydroponic cucumber production.
Cucumber Varieties for Hydroponic
The first consideration is about the variety. It is essential to choose the right variety. So, you can get maximum production.
Some of those varieties are applicable for indoor growing. Take, for example, Lebanese cucumbers and Long English that are the most favorite varieties. Although both do not have thin skin, they work well in an indoor environment.
In most North American gardens, the thin skin becomes the common varieties for hydroponic. You will find varieties, such as American slicers cucumbers including straight 8, Slice Master, and Marketmore, that can grow well in the hydroponic.
Besides, there is another popular variety, that is Persian pickles. It is well known in pickling.
There is one thing you should remember about growing cucumber in hydroponic gardens. For indoor hydroponic, cucumber fruits are not similar to the traditional planting or with soil.
These varieties have thin skin and seedless. So, you do not require peeling them once you prepare them. Thus, it is easier and more practical.
However, the most important thing in selecting Hydroponic Cucumbers varieties is about considering your necessities. You should choose the one that can fit your need whether it is cucumbers or pickles.
Moreover, you have to suit it with your hydroponic garden set up. Any variety can grow in the hydroponic garden.
Another piece of information that you have to know is about their characteristics. You should know about their shapes, sizes, and maturation rates.
Besides, their disease resistance is also an important characteristic you have to list.
Cucumber Varieties in General
In general, two types differ cucumber in the technical category. They are Gynoecious Cucumber and Parthenocarpic Cucumbers. Now, let us discuss further both types of cucumbers below.
The first type is Gynoecious Cucumber. They become a favorite because of prolifically production. Besides, these varieties produce most of the female flowers.
Moreover, it has another strength that is more disease resistant than standard varieties. One of the examples of this variety is Slice Master Hybrid. It has dark-green fruit and its size up to 8 inches with early maturing.
The second type is Parthenocarpic Cucumbers. This type has seedless fruits once you grow secluded from other varieties.
Parthenocarpic Cucumbers slightly differs from Gynoecious. In pollination, it will necessarily produce excellent fruit. Moreover, it has a seedless fruit.
Parthenocarpic cucumbers are almost all Gynoecious. It means that they solely provide female flowers. Yet, not all Gynoecious cucumbers are classified as Parthenocarpic.
These types are best for greenhouse or indoor gardening as it requires no pollinators. Several examples of them are Sweet Success, Little Leaf, Rocky, Diva, Tyria, Socrates.
Let’s started with Hydroponic Cucumbers
After you decide about the seeds, you can start to grow your cucumber in the hydroponic garden. There are three steps to start, and they are germinating seeds, cloning cucumbers, and transplant plants from dirt.
Cucumber seeds are easy to germinate. You can select this method as they are fast and easy to grow.
The seeds will germinate in 3 to 10 days in temperatures around 26°C. As soon as it sprouting, you have to harden it with a gentle breeze. You can use a fan for this.
Make sure to keep in the temperature 22 to 26 degrees Celcius before you remove them to the Hydroponic garden.
Remember, during the night, the minimum temperatures are 18 degrees Celcius and no less than that.
You can also clone your cucumber. Although it may take time longer than germinating the seeds, it is an easy process to do.
This process will guarantee you that you can get the same as the cloned plant.
There is also another way that you can use to start your hydroponic garden. The method is called transplant the plant from the dirt.
However, this way can be more costly because you have to buy the plant. The benefit of this method is saving your time. It is faster than starting from the seeds.
Select the best Hydroponic Cucumbers System
In choosing the best system, you will only need a few considerations. The first one is already mentioned above, which is about choosing the variety.
Then, you have to know where you want to grow your plant.
The first is growing indoor. If you decide on this method, it means you have less room or limited space. You should pick cucumbers with bush varieties.
You can choose the deep water culture system by using 5-gallon of tubs and buckets. The indoor method can work well for an ebb and flow system with bed and light coverage.
The second is outdoor. This method is more manageable than the indoor one because you require more space.
You can train the outdoor garden to grow the plant vertically. So, you can have less space between plants.
If you select the outdoor method, you have to use bubble buckets, a dutch bucket system, drip systems, and a large ebb and flow system. Once you decide to grow the bush varieties, you can use a trellis.
The plant has a generous root system. When the fruit occurs and matures, it will be a heavy plant. So, it is not suitable for hydroponic nft and rail system.
Hence, any systems are qualified and recommended. However, you have to be sure that the methods and plants can hold the weight of the full-grown Hydroponic Cucumbers.
How do Hydroponic Cucumbers Pollinate?
Cucumber plants are not a popular vegetable in pollination. The cucumber pollination is less chosen if you have various vegetable varieties in your garden.
The bees or other pollinating insects may not be interested in your cucumber plant.
Without pollination, you may have disfigured cucumbers. It can grow slowly and even no fruit at all. So, the best thing to make your cucumber plant successful is by doing hand pollinating.
This pollination method can often give more and larger cucumber fruit production. Hand pollination includes the waiting process after the pollination until the flowers grow.
The early blooms can be the inferior cucumbers.
Hand pollination for Cucumbers may consume your time. However, the best way to get a large and mature crop is by having pollination with hands.
Before you start, you should be able to recognize the male and female flowers. You have to learn the difference as both grow in the same plant.
Cucumbers are monoecious plants that produce male and female flowers separately. You can easily distinguish them.
In visual, the male and female flower has a different appearance. The male flower has stems shorter and clusters from three to five buds.
Meanwhile, the female flower has single buds and only one per stalk.
In the female flower, you can see a small ovary in the center of the flower. Of course, male flowers require this. The female flower has a little fruit at its center’s stem.
Cucumber hand pollination
If you want to do hand pollination, make sure you use fresh male flowers. The right timing is in the morning as the flowers open in the morning. Then, the pollen is solely viable on the same day.
Find the yellow pollen in the male flowers. Then, start to remove the pollen with a clean brush. You can also break it carefully and eliminate the petals.
Next, roll the yellow pollen onto the stigma located in the core of the female flower. Remember, the pollen is sticky. Thus, pollination can be a tiresome and painstaking process.
One male flower can pollinate some females. Once the process is completed, you have succeeded in cucumber plant pollination.
It is recommended to repeat this process to get an effective result in the hand pollination.
If you have comprehended how to do hand pollination of cucumber, you should wait for a plentiful crop. This technique can also be used in other plants, such as squash and melons.
The indoors grown cucumber requires more hand-pollination process. Yet, the outdoors grown needs the same method as well.
To get the best cucumber fruits, you should provide lots of lights. The reasons because cucumbers are plants of high light and warm temperatures.
You have to maintain the air temperature between 22 to 26 degrees Celcius during day time. Meanwhile, it will be a few degrees cooler at night.
The plants also require high light. Yet, during summertime, you should take good care of it and maintain its light-limited conditions.
The productivity of Hydroponic Cucumbers can increase with enough lighting.