Cucumbers are very popular among farmers, they are grown for fresh consumption, canning and cooking various pickles. Cucumbers summer residents allocate the best place on their site. Knowing and following all the tips for caring for the crop, you can collect a large crop of vegetables.
How to choose a variety for growing cucumbers in the open ground?
Choosing a variety is not so simple. To date, a huge number of them have appeared, and they all have different characteristics.
What to look for when choosing a variety of cucumbers:
- Varieties with different ripening dates. In the open field, it is better to grow several types of vegetables. Some should produce crops in early summer, others in the middle, and still others at the end. This is convenient as you will be picking cucumbers throughout the summer season.
- Self-pollination. It is better to opt for plants that do not need additional pollination. Self-pollinating varieties are described in this article .
- Cold resistance and shade tolerance of a grade. No one can accurately predict what the weather will be like throughout the summer, so choose those varieties that can survive any precipitation and climate change.
- Salad or pickling. Here the main task is to decide on the purpose of cultivation. Some varieties are suitable only for salting, others are excellent fresh, but not suitable for preservation. Pay attention to this, but rather plant several varieties of cucumbers.
- Branching. Excessive branching causes a lot of worries when caring for the crop. A large amount of greenery takes away the strength of the plant, and fruiting from this is reduced. Therefore, it is better to choose varieties characterized by a compact bush.
Rules for growing cucumbers
A simple planting of cucumber seeds will not be successful, since it is necessary to strictly follow the algorithm, as well as follow certain rules for sowing cucumber grains into the ground.
Almost all summer residents grow cucumbers by the seedling method, since the seeds of this culture germinate well.
The seed material of cucumbers keeps germinating for 6 years, but it is better not to delay the sowing, and use seeds no older than 3 years for growing seedlings.
If you have used seeds since last year, then you know how they germinate and how quickly. But if the seed was purchased, it is better to process it in advance and prepare for sowing. First, select the best specimens (large, whole, without spots), and throw out the bad ones.
Specialty stores sell pelleted or glazed grains; they do not need processing, since they have already been fully prepared for planting. Such seeds are sown immediately in dry form.
After selecting seed, disinfect. Use phytosporin, dilute it strictly according to the instructions. This procedure will help get rid of the harmful microflora that has remained on the shell of the grains.
Many gardeners recommend using a weak solution of potassium permanganate, but some of their opponents believe that this tool is less effective than phytosporin. Dressing must be carried out for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse the grains with cold, clean water.
The best effective way to prepare seeds for planting is soaking and germination. Be sure to disinfect them before. For germination, take cucumber grains, place them in moist gauze, put on a plate, wrap the packet on top and put it in a warm place (+ 22 ... + 26 degrees Celsius). Under these conditions, the seed will germinate within 2 days.
If you are a summer resident from a harsh region, then it is better to conduct additional hardening. To do this, place the germinated seeds in the refrigerator, but not in the freezer, and hold there for 5 days. After hardening, plant the seeds in pots with a substrate.
Dates of sowing seeds for seedlings
Sowing dates directly depend on the region of culture germination, as well as on the place of planting: in a greenhouse or open ground. With a favorable climate, the absence of repeated frosts, plant seeds in early March, and possibly at the end of February. But if the climate does not allow, and your summer comes late, then seedlings should only be grown in April.
Planting seeds for seedlings: a step-by-step scheme
The best soil for growing cucumber seedlings: peat, turf land, sawdust and humus (all mixed in equal proportions). In the absence of the ability or desire to make the mixture with your own hands, you can purchase it in the store.
Gardeners note two options for growing seedlings:
- In one container with a future transplant of sprouts.
- In separate cups.
This culture does not always tolerate transplantation, so it is better to plant plants immediately in separate cups. Despite the method you have chosen, the seeds need to be placed in the grooves without deepening them, mow the soil slightly on top. Just do not forget to moisten it in advance. After sowing the sprouted grains, again pour a little soil from the sprayer, and place the cups (one container) in a warm place.
To make the seeds feel comfortable and germinate quickly, they must be covered with a film or glass. When the sprouts appear, be sure to remove the shelter. At a temperature of + 20 ... + 26 degrees Celsius after 5-7 days, the first leaves should appear. During this period, water the plants as the soil dries.
If the window sill is very cold or constantly blowing in the wind, then do not place containers there. Put them in another place, and compensate for the lack of light with additional lighting.
As soon as the cotyledons have unfolded, gradually lower the temperature indicator to + 15 ... + 17 degrees for 2-4 days, so that the seedlings do not start to stretch or do not drop. The following days, the temperature is kept at + 17 ... + 19 degrees, at night it is lowered to +14 degrees.
Cucumbers are very kind to the presence of light, therefore, in cloudy weather, seedlings must be placed under a phytolamp . If plants germinate in greenhouses, then they are additionally opened so that the sun's rays fall on the shoots as often as possible.
Seedlings of cucumbers without proper watering will die. The soil must be constantly moist, but stagnation of moisture must be avoided. Water is brought in warm or at room temperature. The root system of culture perishes from cold water.
When planting seedlings in separate pots, in each sowing 2 grains. If both of them sprout, then you need to choose the strongest, and cut off the second with scissors. It is not recommended to pull out the sprout, otherwise there is a risk of damaging the root system of a healthy remaining plant.
Throughout the entire period of growing sprouts, you need to sprinkle the earth several times as the plants grow. Just be careful not to spill the soil above the cotyledon leaves. This technique will help strengthen the root system of plants and ultimately increase fruiting.
If you decide to use a large box for growing seedlings, then in the phase of several sheets the sprouts should be dived, that is, transplanted into separate containers. To do this, gently take a tablespoon, carefully pry off a seedling with a lump of soil and transfer it to another container with moist ground. Then add a little soil and moisten it.
This culture is very delicate and fragile, so it is difficult to dive. Even the plants are too sprawling root system, which is intertwined between other plants. During the transplant, seedlings are often damaged.
It is better to immediately plant the seeds in separate cups, then you can avoid problems with picking.
Hardening seedlings before planting
Hardening helps to strengthen the immunity of plants, it should be carried out a week before transplanting cucumbers into open soil. The process consists in bringing the sprouts to fresh air. The first time you keep outside is about a quarter of an hour, then increase the time.
Transplanting seedlings in the open ground
Seedlings are considered to be grown and ready for transplanting into open soil when it reaches the age of 20-30 days and grows to a height of 0.3 m. Sprouts must be strong with a well-developed root system.
Soil selection and preparation
For the good development of the plant, you need to plant the sprouts in a multi-layer warm bed. Plot look sunny and calm. First, lay the drainage layer, you can use branches, straw or grass. Place the layer at a depth of about 0.3-0.5 m, and tamp it well. Place fresh manure on top.
Do not touch the bed until the beginning of spring, during which time the layers will settle slightly. In early May, make a layer of fertile soil. Set the arcs and pull the film. After a couple of days, proceed to the direct planting of cucumbers.
Manure will begin to burn out under fertile soil, and accordingly it will produce heat, which is necessary for the plants of this crop. In addition, cucumbers will receive all the nutrients they need. This bed is prepared in the fall, but you can make it in the spring.
The algorithm for creating a warm bed for cucumbers in the spring:
- Lay a layer of manure on the drainage (in this case, you can also take the unripened one), mix it with 3 cups of wood ash and 100 g of nitrofoska (per 1 sq. M).
- Sprinkle on top with a fertile layer of soil, cover with a film and press down with some heavy load.
- Do not touch the bed for at least 10 days.
- Make holes in the beds and plant seedlings.
If it’s difficult to buy manure, then you can make a special compost. It is created in the summer: they collect grass, weeds and foliage, throw everything away into one hole and from time to time turn it over with a shovel or pitchfork. In the spring there will be ready garden compost.
Planting cucumbers in the open ground
As soon as 2-3 real leaves appear on the seedlings, seedlings are transplanted into warm beds. Before transplanting plants, the soil is moistened and recesses are made in it for seedlings.
The seedling method of growing cucumbers gives a good result, provided that temporary shelter is created from unforeseen first frosts.
The best time to plant seedlings is the end of May.
After the threat of cold weather disappears, you can remove the shelter and start growing cucumbers on the trellis. Depending on the type of crop, do the distance between the seedlings within 0.3-0.5 m.
What varieties of cucumbers will give the best yield in the open ground can be found here .
Culture is very fond of water, so do not allow the soil to dry out. Water the culture with warm, settled water; cold plants cannot be tolerated and often die from it. If the weather is not sunny, then water at any time of the day, but if it is too hot - only in the evening.
For 1 square. m - 6-12 liters of water.
Experienced gardeners believe that plants grow better if they are sprayed from a watering can, thus increasing air humidity. After making water, loosen the soil, just do it very carefully so that the root system of the cucumbers is not damaged. Thanks to this procedure, cucumbers receive a greater amount of air, the evaporation of moisture also decreases, so photosynthesis will begin to occur according to all the rules.
The best fertilizer for the crop is manure. For 1 square. m - 5 kg of product. Mineral top dressings also bring excellent results, only they should be applied carefully, because cucumbers are very sensitive to changes in soil, and an overabundance of any elements affects the culture not very well. For 1 square. urea (10 g) + superphosphate (25 g) + potassium sulfate (15 g) is taken.
Feed with phosphorus and potassium in the autumn, and with nitrogen - before planting.
Potassium top dressing is no less useful, the best remedy is wood ash (per 1 sq. M - 100 g). It is unique in that it does not include chlorine, which cucumbers do not like. Wood ash also reduces the acidity of the soil. In addition, ash has been known for many years, so its effectiveness has been tested by time.
Hilling is also useful for cucumbers, it should be carried out 2 times per season. This action will help plants to grow roots and protect sprouts from various fungal diseases.
The formation of the crown is necessary in order to stimulate the growth of lateral shoots, on which female flowers will appear. The process is carried out by pinching the central shoot over the 6th sheet. Please note that early ripening varieties do not form; the procedure is necessary for late and mid-ripening plants.
These vegetables are not stored for long, therefore, their seeds can not boast long-term storage. Varieties with thick skins are longer than the rest. After collecting from the garden, clean the vegetables in a refrigerator or other dark and cold place. When warm, they will lose their beneficial properties and excellent characteristic taste in 24 hours.
How to increase the yield?
Gardeners have long understood that quality care and the formation of bushes are not all the requirements and ways to increase the yield of cucumbers. There are other options for the formation of a huge number of female flowers.
Tips of experienced summer residents:
- Stop watering before flowering. This method stimulates plants, and gives them time to "think" that they die. In a stressful situation, cucumbers begin to form ovaries faster.
- Growing several varieties in one plot. The best option to increase fruiting is over-pollination.
- Banding of stems. Make a small incision under the first pair of leaves. Perform this activity only in dry weather. Ringing will complicate the outflow of nutrients to the root system and help the plant form as many ovaries as possible.
- Foliar top dressing in the season of formation of greens. Use urea (for 10 liters of water - 20 g of the product).
- Removing the first ovary. This method strengthens the roots and gives plants the strength to form the ovaries.
- Attraction of bees to the site. They will improve pollination. You can also plant honey plants.
- The location of the plant vertically. The whole thing is in the supports, they can be different, but it’s better to use vertical ones so that the cucumbers feel comfortable on them, the fruits will be aired, the harvest will become easier, and the plant will begin to bear fruit better.
How to get a rich crop of cucumbers in the open ground? How to grow seedlings of cucumbers? How to feed cucumbers? You will learn all this if you watch the video to the end:
Caring for cucumbers during fruiting
As soon as the plants begin to bear fruit, they collect all the useful components from the soil. Their absence leads to poor productivity. During this period, seedlings should be fertilized with potassium, nitrogen and magnesium.
Fertilizing is carried out twice:
- At the beginning, when it is necessary to increase the quantity of the crop and its quality. Mix potassium sulfur (30 g) + water (10 l) or dissolve 1 tbsp. l nitrofoski in 5 l of water. Procedures are better spent on a cloudy day. To enhance the effect, top dressing in moist soil. You can also use wood ash (1 cup per 5 liters of water).
- In the end, when you want to extend the fruiting period. Mix urea (15 g) and water (10 l). The stimulator of repeated flowering is the infusion of mowed grass in a ratio of 1: 1 with water.
Cucumbers are a thermophilic culture; plants cannot bear fruit well without proper care. They bring a good result after feeding , hilling, cultivating and forming a bush. Take care of the culture, and it will delight you with a plentiful harvest.