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Cucumber

The origin of cucumber goes back to India and West Asia. North India is the original home of the cucumber where the principal species is Cucumis Hardwicki , believed to be a form of wild cucumber. Cucumber has been known in in India for over 3000 years and was only introduced to Europe around 1000 years ago. Cucumbers were eaten by the people of Iraq and the ancient Babylonian city of Ur. and some say it spread from there to the countries of South Eastern Europe (Turkey and Bulgaria), then towards Greece and from Greece to the Romans, who loved it very much and then moved to China and spread it. The Romans used cucumbers not only as food, but to treat the bites of scorpions. The name "Cucumber" in English is a derivation of the words "Cow cumber" because in the 1600’s they were believed only fit for cows (Cow) and not for humans!

Taxonomy:
Family:
Cucurbitaceae
Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
Cultivation Areas:
The Jordan Valley is the center of Jordanian agriculture which focuses on tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplant, also citrus. Krimeh, Deir-Alla, Karamah and the Safa Ghor (higher areas within the Jordan Valley) cover the main regions devoted to cucumber cultivation in Jordan.
Main Varieties:
There are hundreds of varieties available, the varieties of cucumbers are classified into three main varieties: "slicing", "pickling" and "burpless". Cucumbers are grown indoors during the winter but move to the open field in spring and summer.
Marketing Information and Uses:
Use:
Cucumbers can be eaten fresh or they can be pickled. Cucumbers that are eaten fresh are known as “slicing” varieties and Cucumbers that are pickled are known as “pickling” varieties.
Markets:
Significant exports of cucumber are made from Jordan. Customers include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Romania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, UK, Russia and Sweden.
Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
Soil Type:
A well-drained soil is important for cucumbers and so they are often planted in raised beds. Cucumbers thrive in a sandy loam soils, but also the soil should contain a reasonable amount of organic matter; manure will give the plants the nutrients they require. A pH of 6 to 7 ideal and there should be adequate space because cucumbers grow large and do so rapidly.
Temperatures:
Optimal temperature for seed germination is 22 – 24 C. The optimal temperature for the growth of new plants is 18-20 C. If the temperature drops below this range, growth is slower and low temperatures at harvest induce yellow striping on the fruits which reduces their value.
Water Requirements:
When the cucumbers are flowering and fruiting. Plenty of water is needed because the more moisture the cucumbers absorb, the sweeter and juicier they become.
Nutrition Requirements:
Fertilizers rich in nitrogen are best for the cucumber plants. Organic compost or well-rotted manure is also of advantage.
Harvesting Period:
Cucumbers are harvested usually 50 to 60 days after planting, depending on size requirements. The ideal color of cucumbers is dark green. Late harvested, over ripe cucumbers have a bitter flavour.
Harvesting Methods:
Hand picking

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