Summer residents prefer to plant cucumbers for seedlings when they want to get an early harvest. Seedlings after planting in the soil are resistant to disease and unstable weather. In order to grow strong seedlings of cucumbers, it is important to properly prepare the planting material and create favorable conditions for the vegetable crop.
Preparation of planting material for sowing
Planting cucumber seeds in containers for seedlings is recommended fresh. Over time, grains show a poor germination percentage. When collecting seeds for sowing seedlings on your own, you need to understand that if the grains were collected from vegetables of hybrid varieties, then you should not wait for a crop with last year's fruiting and taste qualities. If you want to get a vegetable with ideal characteristics from seedlings, you will need purchased planting stock. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the varieties of cucumbers that give the greatest yield.
Seed preparation begins with sorting . From small grains and irregular shape get rid immediately. Healthy seedlings of cucumbers are unlikely to grow out of them, rather fragile sprouts that will quickly die. Quality-looking seeds are soaked in salt water. The solution is prepared at the rate of 250 ml of pure water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Wait a little while and separate the seeds that have surfaced.
Only those that have settled to the bottom are suitable for planting in seedling containers. They are rinsed with running water and laid out on gauze to dry naturally.
But that is not all. To increase the protective barrier of cucumber seeds, it is important to carry out the hardening procedure . The grains are placed on a wet cloth napkin, here they must germinate. Next, the napkin, along with planting material, is sent to the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, a napkin is taken out and kept at a comfortable room temperature. Repeat manipulation should be another 2-3 days, until the cracking of the shell of the grains.
All this time, make sure that the piece of fabric does not dry out. The material must remain wet.
To achieve high germination, the grains are dipped in an aqueous solution of a biostimulant. Soaking lasts 10-12 hours.
Sanitizing seeds for seedlings will help disinfection . There are several ways to carry out this procedure:
- For half an hour, seeds are poured with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate in a pale pink shade. Next, the grains are thoroughly washed and dried.
- You can place the seed in the oven for 3 hours. The temperature regime that is set is 60 degrees. Gardeners replace the oven with incandescent lamps.
- Before sowing seeds of cucumbers for seedlings, it does not hurt to place seeds under an ultraviolet light fixture. 5 minutes is enough.
- Prepare the infusion with the addition of wood ash. In 1 liter of warm water, dilute a couple of tablespoons of ash. Leave the solution to brew for three days. Grains are kept in solution for half an hour, then dried.
Before sowing cucumber seeds in containers, if the planting material is not of very high quality or has been stored for a long time, it is recommended to germinate the seeds. Gardeners recommend not wasting time and sow only those cucumbers that have already sprouted.
Although the germinated seeds have a significant drawback - they need a warm temperature and frequent watering. Having allowed the dryness of the shells and insufficiently deep placement of seeds in the ground, the gardener should know that the seedlings are not able to get rid of the peel themselves. You can help them by sprinkling the seed coat with water, using the spray gun. When the surface gets wet, the shell is carefully removed with a toothpick.
The optimum temperature for germinating the seeds of a vegetable crop is from plus 25 to 28 degrees. Follow the step by step instructions:
- Place the seeds in a container or on a saucer, spreading 2-4 layers of wet toilet paper. You need to take thick paper, which will not disintegrate after liquid gets on it.
- Then the container is placed in a plastic bag in a warm room for a couple of days. Cotton wool and gauze are not suitable for germinating cucumbers.
To activate the growth and development of seedlings of cucumbers, you can spend soaking in fertilizers. Especially this method helps gardeners who plant seeds in badlands. Soaking in a nutritional composition is similar to a procedure using ordinary water:
- Grains are laid out on paper, a piece of gauze and fabric.
- Then pour the prepared solution with fertilizer.
- Cover and track fluid levels.
Seeds should be in a nutrient medium from 12 to 20 hours. Processing is carried out at a temperature of from 20 to 28 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is lower, the procedure may be ineffective. Then the granules increased in size are laid out in a gauze bag and left for germination until the root forms at a temperature of plus 25 degrees.
Beginners are interested in what fertilizer is suitable for preparing a nutritional composition:
- You can take Epin. In Epina, the seeds are left for at least 16-24 hours. 2 drops of the product are dissolved in 100 ml of water.
- In Zircon, it is necessary to withstand the planting material of cucumbers for 10-12 hours, 1 drop is added to 150 ml of water.
- A solution of humates of potassium and sodium is also suitable - one day is enough for soaking. The solution is made 0.005-0.01%.
If the seeds of cucumbers for seedlings were stored for 6 to 7 years, it is better to sparge before sowing - the seeds are enriched with oxygen. For young seeds, it makes no sense to carry out this procedure, the effect is minimal. Sparging occurs as follows:
- Seeds are placed in a bag made of gauze.
- The bag is lowered into a jar filled with water at room temperature, it does not need to be heated.
- Air is supplied to the jar using an aquarium compressor.
- Air passes through the tube, and it enriches the bag with seeds with oxygen. Bubbles are visible in the bank.
If there are a lot of grains in a glass container, it is better to replace the water with a new one in a day. If the seeds of the cucumbers were purchased in the store at an impressive cost, most likely they have already been calibrated and treated with a fungicide, a growth stimulant.
This is easy to understand by the changed color of the grains - when you open the bag, you will see colored planting material. Self-processing can harm such cucumbers. Plant them in a container for seedlings without preparatory work.
In more detail about how the correct preparation of seeds of cucumbers should be carried out before sowing, they say in the video:
Dates of sowing cucumbers for seedlings
Sowing seeds of cucumbers for seedlings is necessary, first having decided on the date of transplantation of seedlings in open ground. Dates depend on the weather outside the window:
- If the summer resident lives in the middle lane, seedlings are transferred to the garden at the end of May or on the first dates of June.
- If the gardener lives in the south of the country, sowing may be early, in early May.
And it is better to trace the average temperature of the May days in past years. If the temperature outside the window did not fall below plus 5 degrees, then it is already possible to plant seeds for seedlings.
Based on the data of the Lunar calendar, to sow vegetable seeds for seedlings for subsequent cultivation in the garden or in the greenhouse, in 2018 you need to:
- In April - 10, from 18 to 21, from 23 to 28.
- May - seedlings will show the best germination when sowing seedlings on the 4th day, 5, 9, 13, 14, 16-25, 31.
- June - 6, 10-13, 15-17.
Do not neglect the data of the lunar calendar. Sowing seeds for seedlings, started on an unfavorable date, is fraught with frail seedlings and a small crop with poor taste characteristics of cucumbers.
The necessary conditions
You can choose the soil for cucumber seedlings for a long time. But experts advise taking land similar in characteristics to that in which the seedlings will develop later. This is due to the fact that then the roots of a young plant are easier to grow in a new environment and gain a foothold in it.
A bright and cool place is chosen for the container with seedlings, as soon as the first cotyledon leaves are formed on the shoots. This will ensure that there is no extension of the stem section under the cotyledons. Seedlings will grow strong and fleshy.
Cucumbers love light, but can’t tolerate direct sunlight. Tender young leaves under the influence of ultraviolet light can get burns.
Watering cucumber seedlings is carried out with warm water. Spraying the leaves is carried out before noon. Cucumbers love high humidity, but they prefer a night's rest with dry green mass. Wet leaves at night affect fungi and mold.
The appearance of diseases on plants is also dangerously warm and, conversely, hypothermia of seedlings. Under these conditions, the seedlings are attacked by the black leg. A black area forms at the base of the shoot. It provokes cell death and the death of the green area. It is almost impossible to save the immature sprout. They tear it out and throw contaminated soil with it. Seedlings, on which the black leg has not yet spread, are treated with a fungicide to avoid infection.
You can prepare the soil for cucumber seedlings yourself. Mix the following components:
- Soddy soil or with humus content.
- Washed river sand.
- Drainage layer - placed at the bottom of the container to avoid excess soil moisture. Expanded clay is suitable for arranging drainage, vermiculite, sunflower husk and other adsorption materials.
If the earth is taken from the beds, the substrate is disinfected. Place an earthen lump in a preheated oven and leave for 30-40 minutes. You can also steam the soil in a water bath and even treat with freshly boiled water.
Ways of planting cucumbers on seedlings
Those who want to save space on the balcony, in the old fashioned way, use special boxes and cassettes as containers for sowing seeds. But experienced gardeners know that for cucumbers this is not the best option.
In stores you can also see plastic glasses, inside of which are peat tablets. Despite the nutritious and useful composition, after swelling the peat adheres to the walls of the container and in order to extract the sprout with the root, it is necessary to completely cut the glass.
Choosing cassettes from dense material, cutting will have to suffer. If the plastic is soft and pliable, the cassette with developing seedlings of cucumbers bends in all directions and does not hold its shape. Rearranging such pots is extremely inconvenient.
In some glasses, the bottom rises. To get seedlings, just push the bottom outside and the seedling will come out with an earthen lump. However, if the soil is too loose, it will come off the roots and cause damage.
Peat containers are ideal containers for planting cucumbers on seedlings. Choose large tablets with a volume of 400 ml and a height of 10-12 cm. The roots of seedlings grow too quickly, after a couple of weeks the seedlings will become crowded in small pots. Peat cartridges are not worth buying, they are too tiny.
If you are constrained in finances, you can take glasses from yogurt, wash with soapy water, scald them with boiling water and use them to plant cucumbers for seedlings. Sowing is carried out taking into account such stages:
- Washed containers are filled with a soil mixture. If peat pots are used, they do not need to be prepared.
- In glasses in the middle, one cucumber seed is sown, dipping it into the soil with a blunt end.
- Sprinkle the top with a grain layer of soil with a thickness of 0.5 to 1 cm and watered with warm water.
- Glasses are best placed on a pallet. When water begins to flow from below, it will fall into the sump and dirt will be avoided. For individual glasses and a common drawer, you can take a whole pallet.
- To recreate the greenhouse conditions for growing seedlings of cucumbers, the containers are covered with a piece of glass or food-grade plastic wrap.
After the first shoots appear above the ground, the glass is removed, and the container itself is placed on the windowsill.
The subtleties of picking
If the sprouts develop in a common box, during the formation of the second true leaflet, a pick is to be carried out - the separation of plants into separate containers. In order not to damage the fragile root system of cucumber seedlings, the earth under the seedlings is abundantly moistened for a couple of hours. One by one, the sprouts are removed from the glasses and, together with the ground, are transplanted into glasses.
The stems are deepened to the place where the cotyledon leaves begin to grow. The earth is compacted with hands so that the seedling does not fall on its side under its weight.
If weak plants are found during a dive, do not leave them, they still will not survive transplanting to the garden. Deformed specimens are also removed.
A successful pick is considered an event for the healing of cucumber seedlings. However, be prepared for the fact that the procedure will slow down the development of seedlings for 5-7 days.
A tasty and large crop of cucumbers can be grown by approaching the planting of a vegetable crop for seedlings reasonably. Follow the recommendations of specialists, and the result will exceed all your expectations.