Detailed Guide on Successful Cucumber Farming Venture


If you're thinking about  how to start a cucumber farm, then you're definitely in the right place. Make sure you read this article till the end because in it lies your success and motivation in cucumber farming.

The value and importance of agriculture in Nigeria has grown year on year, and currently it is the most profitable and high profile sector in the country. There are many agro-businesses to try out and make so much money, and cucumber farming is one of them.

Also Read: Commercial vegetable farming that can make you rich

Cucumber farming in Nigeria is one of those opportunities that are begging to be explored. So, if you too have already realised the potential and importance of cucumber farming, then you are obviously already on the right track.

Cucumber farming in Nigeria is not as complex as other areas of agriculture, so you can start small with relatively little or no experience.

Cucumber farming is easy and you can start it without any formal training. In fact, you can start your own cucumber farm without any formal experience in farming or business.

Just read the following essential steps I put together to help you succeed.  Follow it to the best of your ability, and don’t delay, start your cucumber farm today! Procrastination breeds poverty.

 What you'll Learn

  • How to conduct a feasibility study for your cucumber farming
  • Drawing a well structured business plan for your cucumber farming Venture
  • Choosing a good variety of cucumber for planting
  • Suitable soil for Cucumber farming
  •  Land preparation
  •  Pre-planting operations
  •  Planting of cucumber seeds
  • Post-planting activities
  • Control of Pest and Diseases of Cucumber plant
  • Irrigation in cucumber farming
  • Harvesting of the Cucumber
  • Marketing

Lets start!

1. Conducting a feasibility study for your Cucumber farm

As the name implies, a feasibility study is an analysis of the viability of a business idea. The feasibility study focuses on helping answer the essential question of “should we proceed with the proposed project idea?” All activities of the study are directed toward helping answer this question.

Farmers with a business idea should conduct a feasibility study to determine the viability of their idea before proceeding with the development of a business. Determining early that a business idea will not work saves time, money and heartache later.

A feasible business venture is one where the business will generate adequate cash-flow and profits, withstand the risks it will encounter, remain viable in the long-term and meet your goals of establishing it.

Before you start your cucumber farming venture, a thorough background search and a study to determine its feasibility in the area you wish to establish it is important, and the same is true for any kind of vegetable farming in Nigeria as well. There are several breeds/varieties of cucumber that are specific and thrive best in a specific regions. Thus, before you start cucumber farming in Nigeria, you need to gather all of the necessary information in order to setup your farm at the right location, right time and the right cost.

Your feasibility study will help you understand the implications of starting your cucumber farm, including the required capital, your competitors and potential customers.

A feasibility study will also help you clearly identify what marketing methods to use to reach and attract customers once your crop is ready for harvest. One of the best things about choosing cucumber farming is that cucumbers can be grown throughout the year, provided you have a sufficient water supply available.

2. Drawing a well structured business plan for your cucumber farming Venture  

A business plan is what you need to run your farm in an organised and structured manner. The business plan provides a 'planning function'. The business plan outlines the actions needed to take the proposal from “idea” to “reality.

Also, if you do not have all the capital required to start your cucumber farm, then with a solid and defined business plan, you will be in a better position to attract bank loans, private investors, or even government grants that are becoming widely available.

Even with sufficient capital, investors and extra capital generated through loans will help you set up a mechanised and subsequently more efficient farm.

3. Suitable Soil for Cucumber planting 

Cucumber can be grown in wide varieties of soils from sandy loams to clay soil with good drainage. Make sure the soil contains organic matter by adding organic compost or any farm yard manure for higher yields. Soil PH should be between 5.5 and 6.7 is favourable for optimum growth. You can ask your an Agric. Consultant to help you determine whether you have the right soils.

Cucumber needs enough water for best performance. Starting your commercial cucumber farming in an area with low rainfall without irrigation, will lead to a huge loss.

If you do not have a lot of knowledge about lands, then consulting with an expert before you start your cucumber farm would be wise. Since you are trying to produce cucumber on a commercial scale, it is essential that you cultivate it in the best conditions possible.

4.  Land preparation

Once you have secured a good land, you will need to prepare it before you begin the planting of the cucumber seeds. 

Land preparation is the most crucial step in cucumber farming in Nigeria, and it is important that you pay the utmost attention to it. Some things that you must do as a part of preparing the land for the plantation includes:
  • Clear all weed and grass in the land.
  • Plough the land around four times
  • Make long ridges at  about 1.5 meter apart.
  • Apply oganic manure on the ridges.
In order to make it easier for tractors and humans to pass through the land for purposes like watering and harvesting, you can prepare the land in columns and rows.

5. Pre-planting operations

 Do the following before planting...

  1. Apply compost manure like poultry, pig or cow droppings on the beds or ridges before planting. Cucumbers do well in a humus-rich soil.
  2. Treat the cucumber seeds with Pseudomonas fluorescens 10grams or Trichoderma viride 4grams or carbendazim 2grams per kilogram of seeds before sowing. 
Note:  Pseudomonas fluorescens suppress plant diseases by production of number of secondary metabolites including antibiotics, siderophores and hydrogen cyanide. This microbe has the unique ability to enter the plant vascular system, reach the various parts of the plant system and act as a systemic bio-control agent against various fungal and bacterial diseases. Competitive exclusion of pathogens as the result of rapid colonization of the rhizosphere by pseudomonas fluorescens may also be an important factor in disease control. This is called biological control of pests and diseases.  is a widely used, broad-spectrum benzimidazole fungicide. Carbendazim is a chemical seed treatment, while Pseudomonas fluorescence and Trichoderma viride are biological seed treatments.
  Note: Seeds bought from seed companies are usually treated. You can check on the label or ask the dealer if the seed has been treated.

 6. Planting of cucumber seeds

Planting  of cucumber seeds on the row(beds or ridges) should be done at about 90cm apart. I  used 90cm for my own cucumber farm and it worked fine. Alreday the rows should be about 1-1.5m apart. You can use 1m if you want to manage space.

Make holes of about 2.5cm deep at 90cm apart and sow 2-3 seeds of cucumber.

See Pictures below...
Cucumber spacing
Cucumber plant
Young Cucumber plant

7. Post-planting activities

  • Apply organic manure again after 30days to the root of the plant. If you're not an organic farmer, you can use inorganic NPK fertilizer.
  • Weeding can be done during early stages of cucumber plant growth to control weeds. Herbicides may be used for controlling the weeds. 
  •  Stake the cucumber plant. This is necessary to prevent the cucumber touchin the soil and also help the plant get much sunlight.
Cucumber staking
Cucumber staking

8. Control of Pest and Diseases of Cucumber plant 

 The main disease in cucumber farming is Downy mildew and it can be controlled by applying Mancozeb or Chlorothalonil 2g/lit twice at 12 days interval.

Main insect pest is fruit fly and it can be controlled by:
  1. Picking the affected cucumbers and destroying them
  2. Neem oil application on leaves and soil close to plant
Note: Mancozeb is a dithiocarbamate non-systemic agricultural fungicide with multi-site, protective action on contact. You can buy it here
My cucumber plant with downy mildew
My cucumber plant with downy mildew

9. Irrigation in cucumber farming 

Over 80% of cucumber composition is water, so the need for constant water is key. 

Securing suitable land and a constant water supply are the most important parts of a successful cucumber farming venture. Your constant source of water could be a nearby stream or a sink borehole in the land.
If you don’t have a constant source of water, your cucumber farm will not even survive past the first harvest.

If your plants are not well watered, the primary effect is that the cucumber will taste bitter. Have you ever eaten bitter cucumber before? Let’s just say it’s not very nice, even animals will refuse to eat it. The end result will be that nobody will buy your cucumbers and you can wave goodbye to your profits.
Secondly, the plants won’t last long before they wither and die.

Drip irrigation is the most effective method of irrigation for cucumber farming. Install drip system with main and sub main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 60cm and 50cm spacing with 4LPH and 3.5 LPH  capacities respectively. Crop irrigation should be given to maintain moisture at all time especially during dry season.

If you don't have enough money for drip irrigation, you can use a hose connected to a water source to water the soil close to the roots of the plant. Try as much as possible not to pour water on the leaves. Excess moistures festers fungi invasion. This method could be stressful, but atleast it's better than doing nothing.

  10. Harvesting of the Cucumber

 The time of first harvest is around 40 to 60 days after they have been sowed. Harvest time might be influenced by factors such as seed variety planted, flowering time, climate and even moisture.

On an average 8 to 10 harvest can be done on one cucumber farm. Timely picking of cucumber is very important for better quality of fruit. Cucumbers can yield 8-10 tonnes per hectare depending on seed variety planted.

  11. Marketing

Cucumbers can be sold in retail, wholesale, in a market near you, or in one of the many companies that specialise in cucumber processing. All you need to do is ensure that you cucumbers are green, big, attractive, fresh and juicy, and of a high quality. So ensure that you have put in place high quality regulation for your cucumbers.

Cucumbers are in high demand, and as long as you inform local customers that you have harvested cucumbers from your own farm you will have them queuing to buy them.

I’ve known people that have gradually built up their business and are now making millions, but started out by selling to local offices, schools and churches. They focused on supplying locally because it was low cost and low risk, and locals favoured their business because they knew that they were local.

So that's all for a successful cucumber farming venture...

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