A popular practice among gardeners is planting cucumbers in bulk bags filled with soil. The method allows you to collect large crops without the presence of large areas and even engage in the cultivation of vegetables in the wrong place - on the balcony or terrace.
Features of the landing method
Regardless of the variety, cucumbers to the soil are demanding. They need fertile, warm, loose, moistened soil. And this result can be achieved by planting vegetables in bags: woven, polyethylene, sugar bags and other bulk products. They mix land mixed with fertilizers and provide for a drainage and irrigation system.
In volumetric containers, the root system deepens faster, where it receives maximum nutrients. The fruits are actively growing and developing. In addition, in bags (if you install them in the right place), the soil does not overheat, and the roots breathe and do not suffer from excess moisture - it leaves without additional drainage.
According to the technique, there are more than 10 plants in bags per square meter, while in open ground it is possible to grow no more than 4 healthy roots.
The method of planting vegetables in bags - the "vertical bed" - is simple and suitable for any site, even a small one, saves space in the garden and allows you to grow cucumbers on a large loggia, balcony, porch. Bags serve several seasons. After harvesting, the earth is poured out, the cloth is dried, so that next year to use the "beds" repeatedly.
Pros and cons of the method
Choosing the technology of planting cucumbers in bags, gardeners get rid of many problems associated with growing this crop in open ground or a greenhouse. The advantages of the method:
- Space saving, compact. A good harvest is collected from a small area.
- Vegetables ripen earlier than in open ground.
- Mobility. The vertical bed can be dragged in case of emergency. It makes it possible to grow vegetables in inappropriate areas for this: under the fence, on the balcony, etc.
- Lack of weeds and parasites. Weeds do not have time to grow, moles can not get to the roots, and a dangerous late blight disease with proper watering does not damage the plants.
- The convenience of hilling and maintenance in general.
- Vegetables are clean and not susceptible to rot.
The presented agricultural machinery has few disadvantages, but they exist. Those who tried to grow cucumbers in bags, called the painstaking method, it requires thoughtful thorough preparation. Among the disadvantages are also:
- the need for additional materials;
- the importance of correctly calculated landing times;
- difficulties with watering and adjusting the drainage system (you can not overfill the bushes, and with a lack of water, cucumbers will be bitter);
- the moisture level in the bags needs strict control.
Preparation for the organization of a vertical bed begins with the selection of materials. For landing you will need:
- soil and fertilizers;
- sticks and ropes for gartering plants;
- watering pipes (plus hoses).
The choice of bags must be approached with particular care: choose products of the right volume and material so that the root system develops inside without being exposed to drought or rot. Subsequently, care for such a bed will not bring much trouble. How to choose bags?
- The optimal volume is at least 50 liters (optimally: 70-120). They plant one plant in small containers, and two roots in larger bags.
- The best materials: polypropylene fiber. Bags are made from it for sugar and other bulk products. Cloth and polyethylene are allowed, but these materials do not pass water well and heat up.
- Light material will not overheat in the sun, so it’s good if the bag is white.
For seedlings of cucumbers, used bags of flour, sugar, construction waste, even dense plastic waste bags, are suitable. The fabric should easily pass air and moisture, have a weave. New products do not need additional processing, and if they have already been used before - the bags are washed, dried, treated with fungicides.
The selection of fertile soil for cucumbers is a paramount task. Vegetables prefer organic matter, compost, rotted manure. Experienced agronomists add a little bit of everything to the soil, as well as complex fertilizers. But to fill the entire volume with fertile land is unprofitable, especially large containers, so they are half filled with plant waste. The practice is this:
- The bottom layer is drainage, accounting for half of the total volume. The bottom is clogged with grass, hay, fallen leaves and not rotted compost. You can add fresh manure if it is assumed that the roots will not reach the humus. You can not put sharp branches, slivers - they can break the bottom.
- The middle layer is a quarter of the volume and consists of rotted compost or manure. This is a breeding ground for cucumbers.
- Loose garden earth - the top layer.
- If necessary, make nutrients in the ground: ash, potassium, phosphorus, complex fertilizers.
If a bag of standard volume (50-70 l) is selected for planting vegetables, the soil composition for one bed looks something like this:
- 2 buckets (20-24 l) of land;
- a bucket (10-12 l) of humus;
- hay, sawdust and other organic waste - 10 l;
- potassium - 10 g;
- superphosphate - 10 g.
The bags are filled with soil in the place where it is planned to leave them, so that then they do not drag a heavy bed.
When the "beds" are filled with soil and humus, the soil is watered moderately. The bags are tied, put in a sunny place for 5-8 days, so that the earth warms up, then they carry it into the shade. Cucumbers prefer a cool feel well under the trees, not far from the gazebo or greenhouse, at the fence. The bags are untied, deepened a little, dug into the ground so that the bed stands firmly. You can plant cucumbers.
Before planting seeds in bags, gardeners take care of the drainage and support system. For the latter, a long (1.5-2 m) stick is set into the ground, at the end of which a nail is hammered and a tight rope or fishing line is tied. The support reaches the bottom and is located in the center of the garden.
The stick is set before planting so as not to damage the roots of the plants. Next to the support - if drip irrigation is planned - insert hollow tubes with holes (more about them later). 24 hours before planting seedlings or seeds, the soil in bags is abundantly watered.
There are several ways to grow cucumbers: the seedling method and sowing seeds in open ground - in this case, this is a bag. It is preferable to choose a variant with seedlings, since it is not very convenient to grow seeds if there is a sticking out stick of support. But some gardeners choose this technique, as it saves time and does not require transportation of sprouts.
This method is suitable for warm regions where comfortable weather is established in the first ten days of May. It is advisable to choose a two-year, three-year seed material.
Before planting the seeds, they are prepared:
- soaked in water in a transparent container for 24 hours;
- for 3 days they are placed in the cold for hardening;
Only seeds sinking to the bottom of the container are suitable for cultivation. Rising to the surface are empty, they are thrown away. Seed planting scheme:
- They begin landing at the end of May.
- For each bed there are 15-20 seeds.
- The bag is abundantly watered, holes are made in the soil at an equal distance from each other.
- Pre-prepared seeds (dried, processed if desired with parasitic agents) are deepened into the ground by 3-5 cm.
- 3-4 seeds are planted near the central support, the rest are placed in the side slots made in the bag.
- Planting is covered with cellophane to ensure optimal humidity and temperature. Do not remove until the first shoots.
Seedlings are chosen in colder areas. Sow seeds at home in late April and early May. A separate cup is provided for each sprout, in which nutrient soil is added as the plant grows. At the end of May, 3-4 leaves are formed on each seedling. When a stable plus is established on the street, sprouts can be planted. Landing Plan:
- The day before planting, cucumbers in peat cups are abundantly watered to easily remove the root system along with the soil.
- In the soil in the bags are made recesses to the size of a cup. The bottom of each hole is wetted with warm water.
- Seedlings are alternately stacked in the holes, sprinkled with earth, so that all the roots are covered.
- Seedlings are shaded for 3 days to seedlings accustomed to the soil.
How to plant cucumber seedlings in bags, an experienced gardener will tell in the video below:
Bag cucumber care
When the seedlings are planted, the bags should take their place. Their edges are folded, forming low sides. So the earth will not get enough sleep. Vertical beds need to be provided with moisture and slightly obscured, for example by placing them under trees.
If everything is done correctly, care for the garden will not take much time. Labor costs are much lower for several reasons:
- there is almost no weed, so weeding is minimal;
- due to the fact that the ground in bags is ventilated, there is no need for loosening and digging;
- if the soil is supplied with nutrients, top dressing is not done;
- such cucumbers are watered less often than those that grow on ordinary beds.
For vertical beds, watering cucumbers can be arranged in the usual way, but experienced gardeners using this technique recommend that it be dripped. We'll have to tinker with it, but the system has certain advantages:
- reducing the risk of root decay and damage to their fungal diseases;
- ripening of the crop earlier by several;
- slow growth of weed grass.
It is necessary to organize an irrigation system before planting, so its readiness is taken care of in advance. Take a plastic pipe with a diameter of 2-4 cm and cut it so that it is 15-20 cm longer than the bag. Two such pieces per bag are required. The lower part, deepened into the soil, is equipped with holes made at a distance of 15 cm from each other. Irrigation pipes are set apart from the support.
Adapters are inserted into the upper part of the pipe, connected to a hose through which the water settled in the barrel is supplied. Excess moisture drains into pallets if the bags are indoors and into the ground if outdoors. Watering frequency - according to the weather, 2-3 times a week in the evening.
It is more convenient to supply nutrients to the roots through the tube used for irrigation. Fertilizers are poured through a funnel or a cut-off plastic bottle.
What top dressing is required for cucumbers:
- Three times during the whole season, starting from the moment of emergence of sprouts by 2-3 pairs of real leaves, mineral fertilizers are applied to the soil. These include potassium salt and superphosphates.
- Organic mineral fertilizers are added a month after watering: honey solution, nettle infusion, chicken droppings.
- Several times during the summer, the leaves are sprayed with a solution with useful trace elements.
Sprouts grown by 20-30 cm with 5 real leaves are ready for garter. It is carried out in two ways: vertical and horizontal, but only the first option is suitable for a vertical bed.
How the garter is carried out:
- A nail is nailed at the top of the support, ropes (threads, fishing line) are attached to it - one end for each process.
- The knot is tied between the second and third leaf. It should not be too tight, because the sprout will increase in size.
- The threads are pulled and fastened to the support.
Traditional varieties of cucumbers on the lateral stems form female flowers, they are fertile, and on the main shoots are male empty flowers. To form a larger number of lateral stems and female flowers, pinching is carried out. The top of the central stem breaks off after the sixth leaf. Lateral shoots are attached to the central stem on a stick so as not to interfere with the formation of cucumbers. Several side stems are left.
The formation of the bush is necessary in order to limit the growth of a large number of side lashes, on which the plant will give all the nutritional strength.
Difficulties in bag growing
From the point of view of care, vertical beds are better than traditional. But even in experienced gardeners, the process of growing cucumbers in bags causes difficulties. And the main thing, according to amateur agronomists, is soil moisture. The soil on top may be dry, but moisture may stagnate inside the bags, leading to rotting of the root system. Best of all, the drip irrigation system handles the moisture problem.
Among the other difficulties of growing vertical beds are:
- Overheating of the roots. The bags are heated in the sun, especially if they are in direct sunlight.
- Planting density. Gardeners plant 4 or more seedlings in one bag, which reduces their fruiting.
How to increase productivity?
In order for cucumbers to develop well, in a single bag with a capacity of 50 l, a certain amount of seeds is planted - no more than 20 - and 3-4 bushes, if it is seedling. Quality, not the number of shoots, is the key to a good harvest. Experienced gardeners share their secrets of growing cucumbers. An important role is played by pollination:
- You can increase the yield of bee pollinated varieties if you spray the plants with sweetened water in cloudy weather, which will attract insects.
- The quality of pollination of varietal cucumbers will increase the content of female inflorescences and specimen with male flowers.
- Pruning the lower leaves allows pollinators to reach the lower ovaries.
To prolong fruiting and collect the maximum amount of yield will help timely harvesting. It is advisable to shoot fresh cucumbers as they mature, even every day. Zelenets left on a branch inhibits the development of new ovaries. It is possible to determine that a cucumber has ripened by the following signs:
- the structure of the fetus is formed;
- the secondary flower fragment has dried;
- coloring is uniform.
Some gardeners remove cucumbers earlier, preferring young fruits - gherkins. They are smaller in size, ideal for workpieces. In addition to fresh fruits, gardeners should regularly get rid of all sick cucumbers - remove hooked ones, with scratches and spots. The latter may indicate the development of the disease.
Diseases and Pests
Cucumbers growing in bags are less likely to be affected by diseases and attacked by pests . The more carefully the gardener, the earlier the first signs of the disease will be noticed and measures will be taken. Methods for controlling common diseases:
- Powdery mildew is sprayed from the fungus with special solutions, fungicides, sour milk.
- Copper chloroxide and Bordeaux liquid help with brown spotting.
- Leaves affected by rot (gray, white) are removed. The plant is sprayed with fungicides.
- Root rot is difficult to treat. Healthy lashes root and change the watering regimen in a new way.
Proper cultivation of cucumbers on a vertical bed guarantees a good harvest with a minimum of physical and time costs. But you need to plan the cultivation of vegetables at the initial stage: prepare the bags, install them in a good shady place, provide support and a drip irrigation system, plant seedlings at an optimal distance from each other. Given all the nuances, you can even collect a good crop of cucumbers even on the balcony.