Growing cucumbers in a greenhouse is no less troublesome than getting a crop in the open ground. Shelter does not protect against pests and diseases, it requires additional material investments and forces. But this method makes it possible to obtain fruits at any time of the year and in large quantities.
Features of growing in greenhouse conditions
The cultivation of cucumbers in closed ground suggests its own characteristics:
- the possibility of cultivating salad long cucumbers that are not suitable for open ground;
- closely monitor the quality of the soil, because in a limited area, the amount of nutrients is quickly consumed by plants;
- annual soil replacement or planting after cucumbers of intermediate crops to prevent the development of diseases;
- Harvesting at any time of the year, regardless of climate;
- with the vertical method of growing, the color of the fruit is uniform;
- lack of probability of mechanical damage and the influence of weather conditions on the vegetation of cucumbers.
Two conditions are important for growing cucumbers indoors: a suitable greenhouse and its equipment. When choosing a shelter, note that polycarbonate greenhouses have more advantages than those based on film or frame. They are convenient in transportation, rearrangement and assembly, wear-resistant, have minimal impact of weather conditions, more airtight.
The size of the shelter should be at least 10 square meters. m, and a height of about 2 m. It is not recommended to build a higher greenhouse, because maintaining a microclimate in it will be problematic because of the large layer of air. But a lower height when growing cucumbers is unacceptable. This is due to the fact that there will not be enough space for cucumber lashes in a vertical arrangement, their length can exceed 3.5 m.
Of great importance is the choice of location for the installation of the greenhouse. This should be a flat surface or a slight elevation, so that groundwater does not flood it and does not provoke the appearance of mold.
The greenhouse should be installed in the direction from north to south in order to optimize the receipt of natural sunlight and heat.
After choosing a place and installing a shelter, preparatory work should be done. They consist of the following activities:
- Inspection of the greenhouse for cracks and their elimination. This will protect cucumbers from the negative effects of drafts.
- Be sure to carry out the treatment inside the shelter with an antifungal composition to avoid contamination of the soil and seedlings.
- Consider the location of the beds and choose the method of their formation. Most often, longitudinal rows are located along the shelter. Their width is about 50 cm, the passage should be left at least 90 cm. If the size of the shelter allows, you can use a location method that involves constructing a shortened garden bed with a circular passage in the middle and 2 rows along the length of the sides of the greenhouse.
- Cucumbers are a heat-loving culture, therefore, depending on the plans for their cultivation, it may be necessary to organize a warm floor under the beds to heat the soil during year-round cultivation of cucumbers.
- In a shelter, it is advisable to install containers with water, which will perform 2 functions: warming up during the day, give off heat at night and be a source for irrigation with warm water.
- Provide a ventilation system. It can be additional vents or an automatic ventilation system. Moreover, the location of the vents on the roof and on the walls under the ceiling makes it possible to ventilate the premises without drying the soil, as happens when opening the door and vents on the opposite wall.
Choosing the Right Grade
Growing cucumbers in an enclosed space suggests that pollinating insects will not have access to the flower stalks of the plant. Therefore, for such a case, choose varieties capable of self-pollination or those that do not need pollination at all — parthenocarpic. These properties are indicated on the package with seeds.
It is important to distinguish cucumber varieties from their hybrids. When planting varietal types of vegetables, their properties will be repeated from year to year, it is possible to obtain own seeds of their most successful harvest.
When using hybrids, self-collected seeds from cucumbers do not carry the properties and qualities of the previous crop. This means that hybrid seed needs to be purchased annually.
Consider some varieties and hybrids suitable for growing in a shelter:
- Adam F1. A hybrid from the Netherlands with the ability to self-pollinate and obtain a rich early ripe crop. The first vegetables can be harvested after 1.5 months, and the fruiting period is quite long. Under favorable conditions, cucumbers are tied in 5-7 pieces. in one node. Fruits are small in size, dark in color with the presence of small thorns. Suitable for harvesting and fresh use.
- Herman F1. A wonderful hybrid of Dutch breeding. Very early, with a long fruiting period. Small cucumbers develop in bundles of 6-7 pcs. The fruits are juicy and dense. The hybrid is resistant to temperature changes and diseases. Good in fresh and canned form. Possible planting in open ground and greenhouses.
- Son-in-law F1. Hybrid parthenocarpic species. Fruits develop in nodes of 3-7 pcs. up to 10 cm long. Can be collected at any stage of maturity. Cucumbers are delicious, yield up to 6 kg per plant. Resistant to powdery mildew and root rot. Adaptive to sudden changes in weather conditions.
In addition to the presented species, it is possible to sow the seeds of the following cucumber varieties: "Snowstorm", "Prestige", "Ararat", "Tatyana", "Well-fed dad", "Everyone envy", etc.
Seedlings are ready for planting in a greenhouse at the age of 25-30 days. Knowing this, it is possible to count 30 days of growth and 5 days for stable seedlings from the estimated date of planting, the resulting date will be optimal for sowing seed material for seedlings.
This formula is universal for regions with any weather conditions. It’s worth choosing a suitable date for planting seeds, given the equipment of the greenhouse with heating and an additional light source.
For sowing seeds of cucumbers, it is preferable to use peat pots, rather than reusable containers. This is due to the fact that culture does not like transplants when its root system is disturbed.
Soil for filling sowing containers can be purchased in specialized stores and departments. Such a soil mixture will be disinfected and have a special composition suitable specifically for growing cucumbers.
The second option for obtaining soil for planting seeds is self-preparation. To do this, take the following components and mix them thoroughly:
- sod - 1 part;
- compost - 2 parts;
- peat - 1 part;
- sand - 1 part.
Such a soil mixture should be subjected to a disinfection procedure before use. To do this, you can use one of the options:
- bake it in the oven at a temperature of 170-180 degrees for 20 minutes;
- process in a special steam generator for half an hour;
- dilute 15 ml of Fitosporin in 10 l of water and pour the soil.
After processing, fertilizing is necessary in the planting mixture in order to enrich it with nutrients and elements. For 10 kg of soil add:
- wood ash - 200 g;
- phosphoric fertilizers - 50 g;
- potassium sulphide - 35 g.
After thoroughly mixing the mixture, it must be moistened. High-quality soil is ready for sowing seeds of cucumbers.
Properly prepare the seeds for sowing
Seeds purchased in factory packaging do not need additional preparation. If the seeds are collected on their own or purchased in another way, then the following preparatory procedures must be carried out:
After choosing containers, preparing soil and seeds, you can proceed to the direct planting of seed material for seedlings. To do this, follow the algorithm of work:
- At the bottom of the peat pots, lay out the drainage layer, top up with prepared soil for 3/4 of the pot. Place the container in a tray and moisten.
- In the middle of the pot, make a depression about 1 cm deep, and place a couple of seeds in it. Cover them with soil, slightly compacting it.
- Using a spray gun, moisten the surface of the soil with water and cover with glass or plastic wrap.
- Transfer the pots to the sunny windowsill or to another place with a temperature regime of 25-28 degrees.
Remove glass or film daily, moisturizing and ventilating crops. This will prevent mold from appearing on the surface of the soil.
Humidification of the soil is carried out not by irrigation, but by spraying water using a spray gun.
For seed germination, the correct temperature regime is important. Shoots appear after 5-6 days at a temperature of 27-28 degrees. When leaves appear, you should adhere to the daily regimen at the level of 19-22 ° С, and at night - 15-17 ° С.
When the first leaflet forms on the seedlings, fertilize with a solution of complex fertilizer.
Make sure that the plants do not stretch toward the light source. To do this, periodically turn the containers. As the plants grow, move them away from each other so that the created shadow does not interfere with their quality development.
How and when to plant cucumbers for seedlings is described in more detail here .
After 14 days from seedling seedlings must be gradually hardened in order to prepare for temperature changes and strengthen the immune system. To do this, determine it at night in a well-ventilated area or on a warm loggia.
Ground preparation in the greenhouse
Cucumbers grow well on loose and fertile soil that retains moisture and is breathable. That is why fruits cannot be obtained on clay or sandy soils. The first ones are not able to let in the necessary air, and the second soil is too quickly drained, conducting water to deeper layers.
What to consider:
- If the forerunners of cucumbers in the greenhouse were gourds or pumpkin crops, then it is better to replace the soil with a new one, because it is depleted in food and there is a high probability of the appearance of common diseases and pests. Planting cucumbers preferably after cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers.
- It is necessary to prepare greenhouse beds in the fall. Remove all plant debris and dig up the soil, making humus or compost, 1 bucket per square meter. m. With this option, you can forget about organic dressing for 2-3 years, using only mineral fertilizers.
- Another solution for replenishing nutrients during the autumn digging of beds is the distribution per square meter. m of land 2 tbsp. l superphosphate and 1 tbsp. dolomite flour (can be replaced with wood ash). In the spring, 2 weeks before the seedlings are planted, add peat, sawdust, humus to the soil, and dig again shallowly.
- Be sure to prevent the cucumber diseases, treat the surface of the beds with a solution of copper sulfate. For its preparation, dissolve 1 tbsp in 10 l of water. l the drug. The consumption rate is 1 liter per 1 sq. Km. m
- A good solution is to plant green manure such as mustard leaf in the fall. Before frost, dig up beds together with plants. During the winter, they will undergo decomposition, enriching the soil with food and disinfecting it.
An important nuance for growing cucumbers is the heating of the soil. If there is a warm base of the beds, seedlings can be planted at any time of the year. If such equipment is not available in the greenhouse, then there are 2 solutions: wait for the natural heating of the soil or warm it with organic matter:
- To do this, remove the upper soil layer to a depth of 15-20 cm, lay the straw, distribute humus and compost from above, and backfill the soil layer.
- Spill the beds with hot water and cover with a dark film. When decomposed, organic matter releases not only nutrients, but also the heat necessary for seedlings. These events are held a few days before transplanting.
In the greenhouses, without additional heating, plant seedlings no earlier than the end of May, when the soil temperature inside reaches 14-16 degrees, so that weak roots do not freeze, but can adapt to new conditions. To measure the level of soil warming, in the morning lower the thermometer into the soil to a depth of 20 cm for 30 minutes.
Cucumbers can be planted in heated shelters as soon as 4 leaves are formed on the seedlings. This occurs approximately 35 days after sowing the seeds.
Most often, the following scheme for planting cucumbers in a greenhouse is used:
- in a longitudinal garden place two rows of cucumbers;
- the distance between adjacent bushes in a row withstand 30-40 cm;
- seedlings in one garden, but the adjacent rows are planted, adhering to a parallel or checkerboard pattern, observing a distance between them of at least 50 cm;
- the hole should be strictly under the trellis, or between the rows pull the cucumber net.
The algorithm for planting seedlings in a greenhouse:
- Moisten the soil in the beds with hot water.
- Make holes and distribute peat pots with seedlings over them. The recess should be such that the top edge of the tank protrudes above the ground. Tamp the ground lightly.
- Sprinkle a 2-centimeter layer of peat with sawdust on top, mulching the basal part of the plants.
- Do not water the planted seedlings for 2 days.
Watch the video about planting cucumber seedlings in a greenhouse:
Optimum conditions for the growth of cucumbers
For high-quality vegetation of cucumbers, it is necessary to create and maintain a microclimate with certain conditions, as well as timely agricultural work.
Cucumbers need regular watering of the beds, while making sure that they do not swamp. Warm the water for the procedure in the sun or take it from containers inside the greenhouse. If watering is carried out with cold water, a culture infection will be provoked by rot and spotting.
If the temperature of irrigation water is too low, narrowing of the middle part is noticed on the fruits, cucumbers are deformed.
After watering, loosen the soil to prevent crusting on the surface. It will become an obstacle in the way of air to the root system and will serve to more quickly lower the moisture into the lower soil layers. Also, this procedure will help to cover the soil with the soil, washed as a result of moisture. Mulching contributes to the long-term preservation of moisture in the beds.
It is very important for the culture to carry out sprinkling. It consists in abundant spraying of the green part of the plant with water. Thus, the liquid flows to the root system slowly, allowing the cucumbers to better get saturated with moisture. In addition, humidity inside the greenhouse rises, which favorably affects plants.
Treat soil fertilizer in a greenhouse especially reverently, since the formation of ovaries and the ripening of fruits directly depend on this. Keep in mind that an overabundance of mineral components in the soil is as undesirable as their deficiency. Calculate the total amount of fertilizer applied per season, including in the amount of the substance of the fence and mineral fertilizing. The number of procedures for applying nutrition to the soil for cucumbers should not exceed 5.
With a lack of nitrogen on the fruits, the tip is narrowed and its color changes to yellow. If there is a potassium deficiency in the soil, pear-shaped cucumbers are formed.
Cucumbers respond particularly well to the introduction of infusion of chicken droppings, humus and mullein. For cooking, mix 150-200 g of organics and 10 liters of water. Leave in a warm place for fermentation for 2-3 days, periodically stirring the composition. Add 30 g of superphosphate. The distribution rate of infusion is 1 liter per 1 square. m beds or 4-5 plants.
During flowering in such an infusion, add 30 g of potassium salt.
The amount of mineral nutrition per 10 liters of water (per 1 sq. M) in different phases of cucumber growth is slightly different:
- before fruiting:
- ammonium nitrate - 5-10 g;
- superphosphate - 20 g;
- potash fertilizers - 10 g.
- during the formation of fruits:
- ammonium nitrate - 20-25 g;
- superphosphate - 20 g;
- potash fertilizers - 20 g.
Top dressing can be applied by the root and extra-root method. It is advisable to carry them out in the evening or in cloudy weather.
For the growth and development of cucumbers, a 10-hour daylight is quite sufficient. With a decrease in the amount of light, the growth rate decreases significantly. Therefore, in the absence of sunlight, due to weather conditions, you can not do without the use of phytolamps or other sources of artificial lighting.
Cucumbers are very dependent on the temperature in the greenhouse. So, in different phases of growth, you need to maintain a different level of heat:
- planting seedlings - 20-22 degrees;
- flowering - 25-28 degrees;
- fruiting - 25-30 degrees.
At a temperature of 17 to 19 degrees and from 35 to 40 degrees, the formation of ovaries does not occur.
Critical temperatures for cucumbers:
- stunting - 15 degrees;
- growth termination - 10 degrees;
- death - 7-8 degrees.
Cucumbers are very demanding on the level of humidity, so it should be maintained in the range from 90 to 95%. With a decrease in that indicator, the ovaries cease to form and cucumbers slow down their development.
The ventilation procedure is necessary to prevent the spread of diseases, especially rot, which develop in a moist, warm environment. In addition, this is an additional access of clean air to the greenhouse. Airing helps to reduce the temperature in hot days to the required level.
Formation helps to avoid thickening of the bush and optimize its yield qualities. Cucumber plantings become not only beautiful, but evenly illuminated by the sun, accessible for aeration, convenient for various agricultural work. This procedure involves pinching the processes and tying with a further direction of the head lash.
It is important to remember that all manipulations on the formation of a bush of cucumbers are carried out strictly before the onset of flowering. When the first flowers appear, any work related to the movement of lashes is prohibited.
The need for the formation of a bush is explained by the following arguments:
- With excessive branching, the root system does not cope with the saturation of the entire plant. From this, the fruits are formed deformed, their taste is deteriorating.
- Dense vegetation does not allow air to penetrate through the greenery. This negatively affects fruiting and creates a favorable environment for pathogens of various diseases.
- Weeding, loosening, spraying and watering is more convenient with the formed bushes of cucumbers.
Pinching helps reduce leaf mass for a more active and longer fruiting period. Removing lashes with male flowers that do not bear fruit stimulates the development of female fruit-bearing inflorescences. The quantity of the crop and its quality are increasing.
To correctly perform the procedure, you need to be able to distinguish between male and female flowers among themselves:
- female inflorescences are formed in pairs, and empty flowers are 6 pieces each;
- the leg of the female flower is longer than the male;
- ovaries are present only on female inflorescences.
Pinching does not produce only specially bred hybrids that have a one-day development or an excessive amount of empty flowers is not formed on them.
For self-pollinated varieties, leave as many male flowers so that their number is approximately equal with female. For parthenocarpic varieties, the presence of male inflorescences is not required.
The pinching procedure after tying up the cucumbers is as follows:
- When forming 5 leaves, all shoots and mustaches located below it are removed.
- When 7-8 leaves appear, a pair of processes from the central stem are left.
- After the 11th leaf, pinch the tops of the shoots, provoking their peripheral development and ovaries. On each shoot, 3 leaves and 3 ovaries are left.
- Parthenocarpic varieties form, leaving one stem. By growing it to 50 cm, the mustache, flowers and branches are removed, and the lateral processes pinch to the 1st leaf.
Stepsoning forms a bush in the form of an inverted pyramid.
Cucumbers are tied to:
- the lashes did not interlock with the help of a mustache;
- simplified the process of caring for the plant and harvesting;
- the bush had enough sunlight for the entire plant part.
These measures enable the horizontal cultivation of cucumbers and the formation of a bush. Prevents mechanical damage to vines and fruits and their rot on the ground. Tie-up should begin when the seedlings in the greenhouse grow to 30-40 cm. At this time, the liana is still flexible and does not break when its position is changed.
For carrying out garter work, you will need:
- wooden or iron supports;
- strong, tightly stretched wire;
- trellis net for cucumbers;
- garters from long strips of cotton or nylon fabric about 3 cm wide.
Do not use thin laces or wire for tying cucumbers, because in the process of growth they will squeeze the stem. Disinfect all garter material before boiling or bleaching.
You can purchase special plastic garters. Their clamp is adjustable notches, and use repeatedly.
Diseases and Pests
It is reckless to consider that indoor soil protects cucumber plantings from pests and various diseases. So you need to know what dangers threaten the crop, and how to deal with them. The following diseases are often found:
- White rot. A fungal disease characterized by the presence of light almost white plaque not only on the fruit, but also on the entire surface of the bush. It spreads rapidly, destroying plants. The fungus is stored in the soil. Control measures include the destruction of affected plants and a change of soil.
- Gray rot. It is determined by slippery gray spots on the surface of fruits, flowers and ovaries. At the first stage of infection, 1 tsp is sprayed with a solution of copper sulfate. and 1 tbsp. ash on 5 liters of water. The drug "Barrier" is effective. With the advanced state of the disease, only radical methods can help.
- Root rot. Drying of the leaves, discoloration of the plant, the appearance of cracks in the stems are all signs of infection. Too much rot can cause seedlings to be too deep, excessive watering, and cold water when wet.
Sprinkle the affected areas with crushed chalk or wood ash, dry. Do not allow moisture to enter the plant when watering. The dead plants are destroyed by the action of fire, and soil is removed from the holes, spilling them with a solution of manganese or copper sulfate. After the pit, fall asleep with new soil.
- Powdery Mildew It is characterized by the appearance of white plaque, first on the leaves of cucumbers, and then on the stems. The fungus actively spreads under warm and humid conditions, so if it is detected, carry out an early treatment of cucumbers. The action against powdery mildew have the drugs "Topaz" and "Barrier". Their use in the preparation of the solution is mandatory taking into account the instructions.
- Downy mildew. It is determined by the appearance of spots on the leaves of cucumbers, resembling burns. In a couple of days, the sheet dries completely. To stop the spread of the disease and its destruction, spraying is carried out using the “Quadris” tool (5 g per 10 l of water). Watering should be stopped and the greenhouse should be aired more often, avoiding excessive humidity.
- Brown spotting. When infected, stains of a wine-brown hue oozing from the inside appear on the fruits. Further, the rot spreads to the entire plant. Spots of the same color are seen on leaves and stems. Plants die in a week.
Control measures are reduced to the destruction of diseased plants and lower soil and air humidity in the greenhouse.
- Black mold. Manifestations of the fungus are noted in the appearance of spots on the leaves, which eventually merge into a single one and are covered with black spider mold. Prevention measures include the use of pickled seeds and the disinfection of soil and premises.
In addition to diseases, attacks on the culture of insect pests are possible in the greenhouse. Some of the most common are:
- Gourd aphids. The negative effect of aphids is manifested in torsion and wrinkling of leaves on the lashes. If you turn them over, then on the lower side of the leaf plate you can notice the accumulation of small insects. They feed on the juice of the plant, which leads to a lack of nutrients, stunting and drying of the crop.
In small areas against aphids, it is recommended to use alternative methods of struggle. This can be an infusion of onion peel or an ash solution with laundry soap. At large greenhouse farms, chemicals are used.
- Spider greenhouse mite. It is difficult to detect due to its small size, but a spider web coating on the plant is a sign of the presence of a tick. The appearance of insects is due to the presence of weeds in the greenhouse and conditions suitable for the parasite.
It is recommended to deal with it only using chemistry so as not to miss valuable time. Allowed the use of drugs: "Plant-pin", "Actellik", "Fitoverm" and others. Processing them to produce strictly in accordance with the instructions for the drug.
You can harvest cucumbers from 7-14 days from flowering. It depends on the type of culture and the size of the fruit you need. It is advisable not to allow the growth of cucumbers more than 10 cm long and 5 cm thick. This reduces the formation of new ovaries, and hence the total yield. Remove green stuff at least 2-3 times a week.
Problems and solutions
It happens that infection by diseases is excluded, but some problems still arise on the plantation. Let's analyze some of them.
Causes of the formation of ovaries on cucumbers:
- insufficient ventilation;
- mineral deficiency in the soil;
- impossibility of pollination (on pollinated varieties);
- adverse temperature conditions, or microclimate in general.
The lower branches dry out
Such manifestations are possible for several reasons:
- scorching sunbeams;
- hit on leaves of mineral root top dressing;
- waterlogging or lack of moisture in the soil;
- deficiency or surplus of nutrients;
- lack of light and air.
Fruits grow slowly
Slow fruit growth due to:
- poor quality seed material;
- failure to comply with the timing of planting seeds or planting seedlings;
- microclimatic disturbances;
- lack or excess of food;
- dense landing without bush formation.
Cucumbers are bitter
A bitter aftertaste (excess of cucurbitacin norm) in cucumbers can be observed due to plant stress for several reasons:
- too bright scorching sunlight;
- sudden changes in temperature;
- violation of the temperature regime necessary for fruiting;
- lack of nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil;
- interruptions in irrigation or cold water;
- plants interfere with each other due to their proximity.
It is not easy to grow cucumbers in greenhouse conditions. A high-quality crop and its quantity depends on many factors that need to be thought out from the preparation stage to the fruit collection stage. Observing all agricultural technology and creating the necessary conditions for culture, you will enjoy the cultivation, and cucumbers will delight you with fragrant fruits for a long time at any time of the year.