Comparison of Organic vs. Conventional Cucumber

Background and methodology

The experiment on the growth of organic and conventional cucumber crops (Cucumis sativus cv. Sardes) was conducted in Menderes, Turkey, within a long-range protection zone near Tahtal Dam in 2001. The on-farm trial used a polyethylene-covered greenhouse erected over galvanized steel hoops with side and roof ventilation and covered with insect net. The experimental design was split-plot with three replications. The main plots were irrigated at two different levels and four different applications of organic fertilizer (at two rates of farmyard and poultry manure, with and without organic bacteria or algae supplements). During the growing period, pests and diseases were monitored weekly and allowed preparations were used when needed. Plant diseases did not create any significant problems, but the pest population, in particular spider mites, increased.


No significant differences in cucumber yield were found in the different fertilizer and irrigation treatments tested. However, the yields from the lower rate of farmyard/poultry manure with organic supplements were the same as the higher rate of farmyard/poultry manure used by itself. Due to reduced production costs and a price premium for organic products, the organic produce yielded more than twice the return per square meter than the conventional produce. The results indicate that, under present conditions, organic greenhouse cucumber production has less environmental impact and is more economic than conventionally grown cucumber crops due to reduced chemical input and reduced operating and initial investment costs.


Tuzell, Y., Gul, A., Tuncay, O., Anac, D., Madanlar, N., Yoldas, Z., Gumus, M., Tuzel, I. H., & Engindeniz, S. (2004). Organic cucumber production in the greenhouse: A case study from Turkey. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 20(4), 206 – 213.