How to Grow
Kakdi (Airex Cucumis) Plant - Facts, Benefits, Care & How To Grow at Home
Kakdi or Airex Cucumis or Armenian Cucumber is a famous summer vegetable. Easily identified for their curved shape, this vegetable is a rich source of potassium.
It tastes and looks like a cousin of cucumber or kheera. But they are different in looks, shape, and taste. Kheera, or cucumber, has to be peeled before eating, while peeling isn’t essential for snake cucumbers or Kakdi.
Kakdi is a natural coolant and a rich source of vitamins A, K, and C. Having kakdi in cummer season is highly recommended for its high water content.
We shall discover the following facts about Kakdi in this blog:
- Interesting facts to know about kakdi
- Amazing health benefits of kakdi
- How to care for kakdi
- How to grow kakdi at home
Hope you are excited! So, let’s get started.
Interesting facts to know about kakdi
- Although called as cucumber, Kakdi is a type of muskmelon
- They are of yellow-green to dark green in color
- Do you know that kakdi is hugely popular in Middle Eastern market? They like pickled kakdis.
- The shape of a kakdi is curvy and not straight, like other cucumbers
- Kakdis are soft-skinned with smooth flesh that can be used for preparing pickles
Amazing health benefits of kakdi
Kakdi is mostly eaten as a salad and is quite famous in Indian households. It has the following health benefits: -
Aids in digestion
Kakdi is enriched with dietary fiber that facilitates gut cleansing, smooth bowel movements, and easy digestion. You can eliminate digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and acidity by regularly consuming kakdi. Kakdi also helps produce digestive enzymes that break down our food.
Good for diabetic patients
Kakdi aids in increasing insulin production and breaks down the glucose in our food. It also facilitates the smooth absorption of blood sugars in the blood stream. Therefore, never forget to eat your kakri.
Boosts healthy hair
According to experts, with regular consumption of kakdi, your hair will become stronger and healthier. Your hair will get softer and silkier if you frequently take a juice made from carrots, kakri, and spinach.
Keeps heart healthy
Kakdi is good for your cardiovascular health because of its rich potassium content. It also helps in maintaining blood pressure. When regularly taken, kakri helps control cholesterol, reducing the risk of stroke and other heart-related problems.
Keeps hydrated in summers
The human body is 70% water, so to keep the pH balance in check during the summer, we should consume 3-5 liters of water daily. If not, a number of health issues, including headaches, constipation, and nausea, could develop. 90% of kakri is water, and that’s what your body requires in the hot and humid summer months.
Helps in weight loss
About 90% of kakdi is water, and there is also a high amount of fiber in it. By keeping your stomach full for longer, both of these aid in weight loss.
Blood purification or cleansing is essential to flush out toxins from the body and maintain good health. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells of your body and removes waste materials. Eating foods that help purify the blood is important to prevent various diseases. Kakri is one such vegetable that should not be missed due to its blood purification properties.
Good for skin
Having kakri as a salad before lunch or dinner is highly recommended. It assists in blood purification, preventing pimples and acne breakouts on your skin. The high water content of kakri aids in the retention of moisture on the skin.
How to care for kakdi
Kakdi is a water- and sun-loving plant. Apart from that, there are also some other requirements that you must meet to take care of your kakdi plant. Follow the instructions mentioned below to take care of kakdi properly: -
A loose, humus- and nutrient-rich soil with good water retention would be perfect for the growth of kakri at home. You can increase the nutrient content of your soil by adding compost, cocopeat, or cow dung manure.
The two most crucial nutrients for kakri production are nitrogen and potassium. When kakri plants are in their flowering and fruit-bearing stages, they require these nutrients more. Therefore, fertilizers are necessary for the effective growth and development of kakri plants. You can use trichoderma mix water, neem cake, cow dung compost, bone dust, and cocopeat for successful production of kakri at home. When your kakri plant is more than 45 days old, feed it with a tablespoon of 15:15:15 (NPK) fertilizer per plant or scatter some vermin compost in the soil surrounding each plant.
Kakdi is a sun-loving plant. So, it would require full sunlight to grow successfully. The raised soil beds should be in a sunny spot on your terrace, balcony, or outdoor garden.
The ideal location is in a greenhouse or along a south-facing wall, as the plant requires a lot of heat. Kakri plants can also be grown on balconies or in raised beds. In the garden, it is best to plant the Kakri plants on a south-facing slope, as the soil warms up more quickly there and excess water can drain away.
Armenian cucumbers, also known as kakdi or kakri, are thirsty plants like other cucumbers. Over the course of the summer, water it regularly. Never allow the soil to entirely dry out. Stored rainwater would be the ideal type of water for kakri growth at home. So, gather rainwater throughout the monsoon and utilize it to irrigate your kakri plants. Never give plants water that is too cold because that could damage the roots and stunt growth. Don't water the leaves either. In order to avoid diseases like mildew, water the soil directly.
Kakdi or Kakri requires warm and bright weather. Thus, the perfect temperature for its growth would be between 10 and 50 degrees Celsius.
Hand pollination (optional)
Use your hands, a paintbrush, or a cotton bud to apply pollen from male flowers to the stigma of a female flower. Although it is optional, this step will boost overall kakris production.
How to grow kakdi at home
It's not that hard to grow kakdi at home. You just need the proper guidance, space, and sunlight. Read below and follow the instructions to grow kakri at home easily: -
For growing in container/pot
- Buy kakri seeds, and for this cultivation, take 10–12 of them
- You need to soak these seeds in water and cover them for 4-5 hours. This will facilitate faster germination
- Take four strong disposable plastic glasses and prepare the soil bed
- This soil bed should be a mix of 50% cocopeat and 50% vermin compost
- Take out the kakri seeds from the water and distribute them among the four glasses. Slightly press them into this potting mix.
- Now, add trichoderma mix water to prevent fungal disease and promote better seed germination. Use a sprinkler for this purpose.
- Keep the glasses in a partially shaded area for a few days
- After 10 days of sowing seeds, you will see new shoots developing
- It is now time to transfer them to a bigger and wider container
- Use nice, sturdy, big, wide containers to grow kakris
- Prepare a soil bed for this large container. Use 50% garden soil, 40% cow dung compost, 5% neem cake powder, and 5% bone dust, and mix them very well.
- Sprinkle some trichoderma water into this potting mix to prevent all types of soil diseases that may affect the kakris
- Now carefully take out the root ball of the kakri from the plastic glasses
- Create holes in this big container that are half an inch to one inch deep with your hands, then place these kakri seeds within
- When planting the seedlings, keep an equal distance between them
- Add an adequate amount of water now
- You must treat the plant with extreme caution moving forward. Every ten days, mustard cake liquid fertilizer
- After 45 days of seed sowing, you will notice the emergence of kakri flowers and the development of the plant
- To support this vine, use sticks and thread all around the container
- Because the plants are more vulnerable to insects at this point, you need to take better care of them
- Every seven days, spray a neem oil solution to prevent insect attacks
- After 60 days of seed sowing, you will see the growth of baby kakri
- After 70 days of seed sowing, the kakris are ready for harvest
For growing in your garden
The approach would be slightly different if you want to grow kakris directly in your garden field.
- Make the soil bed ready by digging a 40 cm-wide trench
- By dispersing the removed soil along the trench and in the middle of the bed, a wall can be constructed
- To the ditch walls, apply semi-rotted fertilizer and then cover with composted soil
- If you choose to have an outside garden, begin planting in mid-May
- Now place the seeds 3 cm apart from each other and cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil
- Once you notice tiny shoots, you can transplant them 20 cm apart so that they have room to grow
- Be very careful while transplanting them
- Create a trellis to provide the vine with the necessary support
- Apply fertilizer frequently during the growing season to ensure that the soil is never deficient in nutrients
- Your plant will be ready for harvesting one month after seed sowing
Hope you enjoyed reading about the process of kakri cultivation at home. You should grow snake cucumber, or kakri, at home and enjoy it with your meal as it is loaded with nutrients. You might opt for kakri cultivation at home because it is a plant that is easy to cultivate and needs little maintenance.
FAQ about Kakdi
How long does Kakri take to grow?
Kakri is an easy-to-grow plant that typically matures into harvest-ready fruit in 40 to 45 days.
Is Kakdi good for health?
Yes, Kakdi is good for health. It contains potassium, vitamins A, C, and K, along with dietary fiber. All these help in the regulation of blood pressure, weight management, reducing blood sugar, and aiding in digestion.
Which vitamin is present in Kakdi?
There is a presence of vitamins A, C, and K in Kakdi.
Is Kakdi and Kheera same?
No, kakdi and kheera are not the same. Kheera has a firm structure and a tube-like shape, while Kakdi has a soft structure and a curved shape.