Picking cucumber directly from the garden is really a wonderful experience. No other way I can find to spend quality time during this LOCKDOWN period due this pandemic situation. That is why this year, I started growing almost every possible vegetable (brinjal. okra, chillies, tomatoes, bitter gourd, cucumber, malabar spinach, yardlong beans, water spinach, mint/pudina, culantro etc) in my garden. Two years back, I also tried to grow cucumber but I failed to get a single cucumber from 15 plants, haha. But this year I am getting four or five big size fruits every week from just two plants.
2 years back when I wanted to grow cucumber and I planned a lot. I thought one plant would produce 1.5 kg of fruits. But it is for the ideal case. So if I would plant 15 plants and at least those plants would produce 2 or 3 fruits per plant then all total I would get approx 30 to 45. So I sowed approx 25 seeds in a large concrete container and approximately 15-16 seeds germinated. I did not apply enough fertilizer. I used normal garden soil from my yard. So the final result was I did not get a single cucumber, haha.
But after that, I did not repeat the same mistake. Now I know a little bit of gardening and during this lockdown period, I am getting almost 70 per cent of vegetable for my family from the rooftop garden. That too from approximately 60 pots. You can even do the same and learn gardening from scratch.
Personally I believe if you want to grow any vegetables or fruits or any flowering plants then you do not need to be an expert because you you are not going to farm a few acres of land where you need to apply a lot of fertilizers, so you may need proper knowledge to reduce cost and increase production.
But here in case of gardening, you just have a few containers and/or a small backyard. In most cases you can manage it with your kitchen & garden compost.
You can give a boost by applying JUNGLE KA KANOON (Rules of the forest). Think what else be there in the soil of a forest. There are poops of birds, animals etc. There are also dead bodies of animals in the forest. So you can also apply a small amount of cowdung compost, vermi compost, poop of hens, ducks etc, bone dust or horns dust of animals. But in case, you have enough portion of compost prepared with garden & kitchen waste then nothing else is required.
Apply neem oil or other homemade pesticide every weeks on your plants. Even then if you find there are some insects or pest on your plants then you can visit a local nursery and buy a chemical pesticide.
I believe chemical fertilizers are like medicine. So such thing should apply when plants are not okay. So I always stock mixed chemical fertilizer prepared with 11 types of fertilizers (NPK, Urea, DAP, SOP, various micro nutrients etc). That mixed fertilizer is available at our local nursery.
This year, I planted two cucumber plants in a large wooden container. Those two plants are producing big size fruits for last 10 days. You can not imagine the fun of harvesting homegrown cucumber from the garden unless you try this. It is even more enjoyable than eating cucumbers.
Though I prefer to eat cucumber like any other fruits, I mean just peel its skin and eat. It is a very good summer fruit.
These are a few cucumber based dishes what I would definitely prepare from my homegrown cucumbers.
Cucumber tomato salad is not just a salad. I often have this as a light meal. It needs various fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomato, onion and boiled potato. You need to add brown chickpeas soaked in water for overnight. It will help to add protein to this salad bowl. It needs various spices to apply. Those are basically tastemaker. If any spice is not available in your kitchen for this purpose then you can avoid that (except lemon juice/tamarind water, chillies and salt).
Though it is very refreshing & mouthwatering but we actually prepare this type of cucumber lemonade very rarely. Actually we all love to eat raw cucumber directly or in a salad. So hardly try cucumber lemonade at home. But it is actually very refreshing and special drink which is very easy to make at home.
Most of normally cut slices of cucumbers and serve it with salt & lemon juice. That type of cucumber salad is the most popular and we all tried that. But this easy cucumber salad if a little bit different because you need to add a few more ingredients to this. I love this easy cucumber salad a lot.
Did you ever try infused water instead of simple water? You need to soak a few fresh items into the water for a couple of hours and then drink it. Your stomach will get filled by not your soul. I started infused water with strawberry infused water. It is my favorite winter special infused water. But this type of cucumber lemon mint water is the best summer special infused water (flavored water).
Cucumber raita and aloo ka paratha, Yummmmmmmm….yummmmmm… yummmm…. yumm …
I would not say anything. You just need to try it with your favorite paratha and leave your comment below.
I am waiting for the day when I will prepare all of these dishes one by one with homegrown cucumber.