Botany

The gherkin cucumber (cucumis satisvus of the cucurbit family) is a cucurbitaceous vegetable crop which can be harvested between 30 to 90 days of sowing the seeds. It is allowed to climb on stakes of almost two and half metres in height for facilitating ventilation, weeding and harvesting and for controlling the incidence of diseases. Effective cross pollination is being done by honey bees `and harvesting starts 28 to 30 days after sowing. Fruits of a size of 12 mm to 25 mm length are taken for processing, discarding the larger fruits, as they fetch too low prices. Gherkin fruit borer, Melon fly, Melon thrips, aphids, etc. attack the plant and diseases like downy mildew, powdery mildew, fusarium wilt, etc. are common diseases. Care has to be exercised in using pesticides, insecticides, etc., as any residue exceeding the international standards will result in rejection of the product. Crop rotation, natural methods like baits, etc. are used as preventive measures.

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