It is generally agreed that cucumbers originated in India and have been under cultivation for at least 3000 years. From India, the plant was introduced into China and then into the West. Both the Greeks and the Romans knew and grew the cucumber. With the possible exception of some gherkins grown in the West Indies, they were not indigenous to the New World, but they quickly became popular after the European explorers introduced them. Benjamin Watson in his book Heirloom Vegetables states, “In 1535 Jacques Cartier mentioned seeing large cucumbers being grown in what is now Montreal, and in 1539 DeSoto found Indians in Florida growing this vegetable that was ‘better than those of Spain’.” In an 1848 Catalogue, it was described as 3 varieties, two principally used for pickling (then the most popular use for cucumbers) and one used for slicing.
Cucumbers are usually classified as either pickling or slicing varieties, but many varieties can be used as both. The fruits vary enormously in size and shape, but the colour is usually a shade of green – from dark to the palest greenish-white. Lemon cucumbers, however, are streaked with bright yellow.
Cucumbers require lots of water, but are very susceptible to root rot when young. It is best to water in the morning. Cucumbers do best in rich soil that is then fertilized when the plants are still young and upright. Once vines have reached 4 feet, the size of the vine can be controlled and fruiting encouraged by pinching off the fuzzy growing tip. It will not hurt the plant and it will increase the number of fruits produced.
As of June 2019:
This vegetable is majorly produced in cropping environments in Australia. At present, the largest producers are situated in Bowen and Bundaberg.