Hydroponic culture involves growing plants in nutrient solutions, without using artificial substrates like rockwool, peat or sand to give support for root development. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativa) grow well and have few difficulties under house gardening hydroponic conditions. They are a common business greenhouse hydroponic crop worldwide. Cucumbers are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, though they are usually grown as annuals.
Choosing a substrate isn’t difficult. Cucumbers grow acceptably in almost every substrate accessible to hydroponics, besides being able to grow in just nutrient solution. However, studies have indicated that hydroponic cucumbers are more sensitive to drought stress when grown on polyurethane foam rather than rockwool.
Hydroponics pro Dr. Howard Resh suggests that dwelling growers utilize general hydroponic formulations rather than creating a specific formulation, which can be harder. Easily obtainable non-specific formulations still give satisfactory production.Avoid problems by using hydroponic fertilizers rather than general-purpose fertilizers. According to B. A. Kratsky of the University of Hawaii, hydroponic fertilizers contain proper amounts of nutrients and also help stabilize the nutrient solution’s acidity and alkalinity. He proposes adding 1/2 pound of a hydroponic fertilizer which has an N-P-K ratio of 10-8-22, plus 2 ounces of magnesium sulfate to ten gallons of water. An alternative mixture utilizes 3 ounces of a 3-16-36 hydroponic fertilizer, 3 oz of soluble level potassium nitrate and 2 ounces of magnesium sulfate.
Home gardeners can grow most types of cucumber hydroponically. Consider interesting cultivars like lemon cucumbers, apple cucumbers, Lebanese cucumbers, and the newer, little, sweet Beit Alpha cucumbers. A problem with old, open-pollinated cucumber varieties is the fruit can get bitter if left too long on the vine before you choose it or when the plant gets stressed. To duplicate commercially grown hydroponic antioxidants, develop hybrid that are parthenocarpic — producing seedless fruit without fertilization — and thin-skinned, like “European” and “Long English,” also sometimes called Dutch-type cucumbers. These are more difficult to grow because they need continuous, careful training and pruning to grow and produce well.
Temperature and Light
Hydroponic cucumbers need high to medium light levels and warm temperatures, so growing difficulties can happen during cloudy or cool weather. Dutch-type Herbs need temperatures between 60 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.Good growth takes place when daytime temperatures are between 75 to 80 degrees F and night temperatures don’t fall below 65 degrees F. Beit Alpha cucumbers have a larger temperature range, tolerating temperatures between 50 and 100 degrees F. If you don’t have a greenhouse with temperature and light control, grow hydroponic cucumbers throughout the summer when appropriate conditions occur.
A downside to hydroponic cucumbers is the fact that most are big plants. Space hydroponic growing containers so cucumbers don’t crowd each other. In restricted distance, trellis the plants or grow bush-type cultivars. In commercial greenhouses of Dutch-type cucumbers, growers stretch a cable over the row of cucumbers and dangle lengths of twine to the top of the growing containers, pruning and shaping the vine on the twine and cable.