Cucumbers can be grown using the media bed aquaponics or deep water culture (DWC) method. For a productive cucumber harvest, you should give your plants the appropriate ambient temperature and pH range.
Why are cucumbers good for aquaponics?
Cucumbers thrive in aquaponics systems because they are water-loving plants that are green and leafy. In the agricultural world, being green and lush screams nitrogen. In nature and aquaponics, nitrogen is available to plants in the form of nitrates.
Here are other reasons why you should grow cucumbers:
Nutritious food: Cucumbers are famous for their high nutritional value. They are low in calories but are abundant in numerous essential vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers are extremely good in promoting hydration and can help you achieve your daily fluid demands because they are roughly 96 percent water. Lastly, cucumbers have high potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber content. These nutrients have been shown to reduce blood pressure, which eventually lowers the risk of heart diseases.
Income-generating project: You can sell your cucumber harvest to earn some money. Since cucumbers are healthy foods, there is a good demand for them in marketplaces.
Easy to manage: Cucumbers are a low-maintenance vegetable that thrives in the sun and water. They grow swiftly if given constant watering and warmth. They are actually regarded as an excellent first plant for a beginner gardener. However, just like any other plant, cucumbers need to receive their most basic requirements in order to grow healthy.
What are the different varieties of cucumber?
There are several varieties of cucumber that you can grow in aquaponics. Check out these kinds of cucumber that are commonly marketed today:
The green-skinned, white-fleshed Lebanese cucumber is only 12–15 cm long. It has a delicious texture and soft skin that does not require peeling. These kinds of cucumbers have a similar appearance to mini cucumbers, although they are significantly longer.
Armenian cucumbers, sometimes known as snake cucumbers, have a C-shaped shape at the ends. These cucumbers are lighter in color when plucked, usually pale green or yellow. Cucumbers from Armenia are a common ingredient in yogurt-based dips and spreads.
These cucumbers are tall and thick, and they are available all year in supermarket stores. This type is usually grown in a greenhouse. The sweet flavor of these seedless slicer cucumbers makes them a fantastic complement to salads and spreads.
Because of its compact growth pattern, Spacemaster cucumbers are ideal for your tiny backyards. The cucumber mosaic virus is resistant to this cucumber plant, which grows around eight inches long.
These cucumbers, also called "kyuri," are long and slender, with thin, dark green skin and tiny, undeveloped seeds. Chefs frequently marinate this mild, melon-like species in rice vinegar to offer a savory snack.
These are seedless cultivars with thin skin. Cucurbitacin, a biochemical that gives fruits and vegetables their bitter flavor, is in limited supply in these cucumbers. As a result, Burpless cucumbers have a somewhat sweet flavor that makes them an ideal fresh snack.
Which variety is best for aquaponics?
The cucumber varieties I have mentioned above may do well in aquaponics since they all need an abundant water supply, which the latter can provide. A good piece of advice I could give you here is to know which cucumber variety is readily available in your area. By doing so, you meet the people's needs concerning cucumbers.
Which aquaponics system best suits growing cucumbers?
The media bed system is ideal for growing cucumbers of all the aquaponics techniques available. This is because cucumbers have an extensive root system, which could take up much space in your growing beds.
Another aquaponic technique that you can utilize for your cucumbers is the deep water culture or DWC. Here your plants' roots will be suspended in a fertilizer and water solution. A reservoir is used to hold this solution. However, because it's possible to overfeed or underfeed your plants, you'll need to keep an eye on the water level and pH.
What are the factors to consider to grow cucumber in aquaponics?
Method of planting: There are two ways of planting cucumbers. These are by direct seeding or through transplanting. In aquaponics, the transplanting method is applied since you grow cucumbers without soil.
To transplant cucumbers into your preferred aquaponics technique, observe the following steps:
Step 1: Allot three to four weeks before transplanting the seedlings. By that time, they should have two to four genuine leaves. After the first two seed leaves appear, true leaves appear.
Step 2: Prepare the plug trays that you will use to grow the cucumber seedlings. Sow one to two seeds per cell in a 50-cell plug tray.
Step 3: Maintain a temperature of at least 70°F (21°C) during the day and 60°F (16°C) at night.
Step 4: When each seedling produces two to four leaves, they are ready to be transplanted. Transplant 12" apart in five to six rows, being careful not to harm the roots.
pH range: A medium's pH influences the availability of nutrients and how they interact with one another. Cucumbers absorb nutrients more efficiently in media with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. This range is slightly acidic to neutral.
Ambient temperature: Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius) are suitable for growing cucumbers following their germination. Specifically, make sure your temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night and above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during the day. Plant your cucumber plants as close to natural sunlight as possible. It is recommended that artificial light that mimics sunlight be turned on 18 hours above.
How long does it take cucumbers to grow aquaponics?
The fruits are ready to harvest between two and three weeks after transplanting. Cucumbers should not be allowed to get too large. As they absorb too much water, they lose their flavor. Cucumber plants produce ten to twenty cucumbers each plant on average. This will give you an estimate of how much production you may expect based on the number of seedlings you planted.
The cucumber plant is an excellent addition to the plants you have in your aquaponics grow bed. Although it is a water-loving plant, the aquaponics method perfectly fits cucumbers. Aside from being nutritious, cucumbers do not require much effort to develop. By following the information I have provided in this post, your project to grow cucumbers is off to a good start.