Cucumber Production- An Overview of OH numbers in 2013 and 2014
By: Natalie Bumgarner, PHD
- This data covers a couple of years of data (2013, 2014). So, the goal is to present to you an overview of crop yields and schedules.
- Several of the main cultivars that we carry and that our customers use were trialed. However, these data do not represent all cultivars at all times of year, so comparisons across years are limited,
- One of the most important things to keep in mind is that these trials were carried out in relatively small blocks. Our vine crop greenhouse is mostly dedicated to tomato production, so cucumber trials took place in units of 10-20 buckets on the western side of the greenhouse.
- In some respects, these small sections of space dedicated to cucumber production are similar to many grower houses, but it is important to remember that yields can vary according to light in different locations within the greenhouse.
- These trials were all carried out in Lodi, OH, so we cannot account for location variation that may be seen in other areas or seasons.
- All of these trials were run with the plant maintained in an umbrella system. The majority of the crops were produced without pinching and were removed when the main leader reached the floor after traveling up to the wire and back down.
*40% white shade cloth was installed July 16th and removed August 20th, so these solar radiation averages reflect the loss of light in the greenhouse due to shading. Additionally, in the warmest and most humid portions of the summer, some condensation on the plastic also reduced incoming radiation.
** Data not available
Spring/Summer 2014- Eldora Cucumber
Harvest Period in Detail- Mini 2014
This overview has thrown quite a bit of data at you the reader, but hopefully some of it has been useful. I would like to close with a few comments and certainly feel free to email or call with any further questions.
- Due to management and environmental factors, these yield numbers are not appropriate for basing production estimates in your operation.
- That being said, there are some general trends that can be useful to you in planning. Typically, growers can produce from 3 to 5 (or even more if all mini) crops in the greenhouse per year. It is clear from these numbers, though, that those crops are not likely to have the same number of days. It was common for the fall and winter crops to be in the buckets longer to produce similar yield per plant.
- Comparing the smaller cucumber data to the long English data is also useful. It is clear that the plants will often have harvestable fruit at a younger age and provide more harvestable fruit per plant. This more rapid maturation and heavier fruit load (by #) is much of the reason that the cropping cycle is typically shorter for the mini cucumber.
- One element not covered in detail in this trial is the fact that training methods can be important. We typically use a version of the umbrella method that allow the plant to grow up and over the support cable and then back down. More intensive training systems and pruning methods (we did not allow fruit to bear on lateral branches) would impact fruit load and yield. Likewise, we used a low plant density to reduce crop management burden and optimize light interception and yield.