Early season production of grafted seedless cucumbers in high tunnels

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2017: $200,000.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2021
Grant Recipient: Purdue University
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:
Wenjing Guan
Purdue University
One challenge of growing seedless cucumbers in high tunnels is low soil temperatures in the early season that suppress plant growth even when air temperatures would be adequate. Grafting cucumbers to enhance crop tolerance to suboptimal temperature stresses has been widely used in Asian countries. However, little information is available in the United States about graft compatibility, cold hardiness, and seasonal extension potential of growing grafted seedless cucumbers in high tunnels. In this study, we tested the effects of grafting with two winter squash (Cucurbita moschata) rootstocks (‘Titan’ and ‘Marvel’) on vegetative growth and yield of three seedless cucumbers (‘Excelsior’ pickling cucumber, ‘Socrates’ Beit Alpha cucumber, and ‘Taurus’ long-type cucumber) in the spring seasons of 2016 and 2017 in high tunnels located in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zone 6. Nongrafted plants were included as controls. All grafted plants survived the suboptimal temperature stress during transplant period, whereas 59% of nongrafted plants died in the 2016 season. Irrespective of rootstock and cucumber cultivar, vine growth rates of nongrafted cucumbers in April of both years were lower than those of the grafted crops.
Peer-reviewed Journal Article
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.