Growing cucumbers is one of the most profitable agricultural activities in Ghana and has become an important source of income for many people.
One of the most interesting things about growing cucumbers is that there is already a market for farmers.
Growing cucumbers in Ghana is not as complex as in other areas of agriculture, so you can start small with relatively little to no experience. You don’t need any formal training to start a cucumber growing business.
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In this guide, you will learn how to start a profitable cucumber growing business in Ghana. All you need to do is follow this guide to get started.
How to grow cucumbers in Ghana
Before venturing into cucumber farming in Ghana, you need to take a few steps that will ensure your success.
Some of these measures include budgeting, pest and disease control, and marketing. With that said, below is a step-by-step guide on how to get started growing cucumbers in Ghana.
Step 1: choose a good location
Although cucumber can be grown anywhere, it is best to explore a good location that will increase your profitability. Cucumber is best grown in clay or clay soils with adequate access to water.
Cucumber grows best in nearly neutral soils with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. They tolerate slightly more acidic or slightly more alkaline soils, provided the soil is of adequate fertility and drains well.
Also, the area should have sufficient exposure to sunlight as light is very essential not only for cucumber growth but also for plant growth.
The larger your farmland, the higher your yield. Also, when choosing your site, consider how close your farm is to your potential market.
Phase 2 – Soil Preparation
Once you’ve gotten a good soil, you’ll need to prepare it before you start planting cucumber seeds.
Soil preparation is the most crucial step in growing cucumbers in Ghana and it is important to pay close attention to it. Clean the soil that you want to use for planting.
Working and creating ridges or beds in it will help loosen the soil for effective growth and weed control. Treat the soil with insecticide and cover the bed with organic manure such as cow or poultry manure.
Apply NPK 15 15 15 fertilizer if using inorganic compost. Plant the cucumber seeds two days after applying the fertilizer, it can be directly in the soil or in the nursery, use a plastic tray for the nursery, make sure to transplant the cucumber seed after the appearance of a third leaf. The distance between the grooves should be 70 cm from each other. Plant 2cm into the ground, 1-2 seeds per hole, 50cm apart if staked, 100cm apart if not staked.
Step 3: Seed Selection
Seed selection is a very important step in growing cucumbers. The quality of the cucumber seed determines the yield. Hybrid seeds are preferred by most people because they are already treated. The nature of the seeds affects their growth pattern. Regarding the germination / harvest periods.
Cucumber begins to germinate 4-5 days after planting. Make sure you plant acceptable species in your area if it is for commercial purposes. Some of the recommended species are; Thai, Murano seeds, Tokyo F1, etc.
Step 4: Mulching / weeding the cucumber farm
Mulch helps control erosion and retain moisture. Use padding films, but if you can’t get them, use black tarps or nylon sheets. Marijuana is not good for any growing crop because they compete with each other for nutrients and sunlight.
You can use the traditional method of weeding which is the use of the hoe or the use of herbicides / pesticides but care must be taken not to spray on the body of the plants in others in order not to reduce the maximum productivity of the seedlings although this method is cheaper. and easier than the traditional method along with the related costs.
Step 4: applying the fertilizer
After the first application of fertilizer before sowing, apply again during the vegetative, flowering and fruiting phases. Cucumber plants eat a lot, so your manure / fertilizer needs to be increased with each application, this is a type of practice that takes place in cucumber growing in Ghana. This will lead to healthy germination and larger fruit.
Don’t let the fertilizers touch the cucumber plant leaves as they can cause the plant to stop. Fresh cow manure is rich in ammonia (nitrogen) and when it touches the plant it burns them, it also carries vectors that adhere to vegetables and cause diseases that are harmful to humans when consumed. Treat the manure for about 1-3 months before use.
You can mix one liter of fresh blood in four liters of water and apply as an earth bath, if your plant is bearing fruit, use liquid fertilizer. When too much water is applied on the cucumber farm, a fungal disease will manifest due to moisture, to solve it mix four tablespoons of baking soda in four liters of water and use it as a foliar spray.
Step 5: Starking Cucumber Farm
It is good to put stakes in cucumber plants, as it allows for easy movement around the farm, it also helps to monitor the growth, yield and good use of available cucumber space. A bamboo tree can be used to stake with a rope to drag seedlings. Use the jatropha plant as a perimeter fence as it repels livestock, other predators and also adds economic value to the soil.
Step 5: collection
Cucumbers are harvested when they are immature and green in color. The cucumber takes 40 to 45 days to mature. However, the time it takes to ripen depends on the variety of cucumber seeds planted.
Harvesting is usually done manually and the cucumber must be handled with care to avoid bruising. Additionally, the high impact damage from falling cucumber can cause internal swelling. This is why you should avoid dropping the cucumber during harvesting or transportation.
Once the cucumber is harvested, wash it quickly in a container of water and carefully place it in a retail bag. The cucumber should be stored in a cool place with a relative humidity of 95%. However, cucumber is not expected to be stored for a long time.
Step 6: marketing
There is an established market for cucumbers in Ghana. After collecting the fruit, you need to transport it to the market. This step should have been worked out during the search before starting the activity. A readily available market coupled with a bountiful harvest is a perfect recipe for cucumber growing success.
How many tons of cucumbers are harvested per hectare?
Cucumber enriches your life. 120 days from sowing to the harvest of cucumbers, the highest yield is 80-100 MT of arable fruit. When growing in greenhouses, the yield can increase up to 160 MT per hectare, and more importantly, it begins to grow within 55-60 days after application.
Is cucumber farming profitable?
Of all agribusiness ideas, growing cucumbers is among the most underutilized and largely profitable. Cucumbers are rich in fiber and micronutrients that are very necessary for the body, from vitamins to sodium, potassium and manganese.