An increasing number of gardeners and summer residents find growing cucumbers in a barrel very convenient. This method of planting a vegetable solves several problems at once, however, it also has nuances that are recommended to be familiarized with in advance.
Advantages and disadvantages of growing cucumbers in a barrel
The cultivation of cucumbers in barrels, of course, has several advantages over the usual garden. First of all, this is a significant saving of space. "Vertical" beds allow you to intelligently organize space even on the smallest garden plot, where every square meter is worth its weight in gold.
At home growing cucumbers in a barrel, several disadvantages of this planting method can be noted, but even they are easily compensated by a large number of advantages. Here are a few of them:
- one barrel allows you to grow two or three bushes simultaneously, even if different varieties were planted;
- a two hundred liter barrel is able to replace a plot of up to two square meters;
- the container can be located in any place preferable for a vegetable crop, where it will receive the necessary amount of sunlight;
- top dressing with this method of growing is spent more economically;
- a cucumber bush planted in a container with soil is less susceptible to infectious diseases and pests;
- a small landing area significantly reduces the time of work with the soil (loosening, weeding);
- fruiting bush in a barrel visually gives the garden plot decorative and well-groomed;
- the main advantage of planting this vegetable crop in a container is the absence of weeds;
- watering a vegetable crop is much faster and more convenient;
- when ripening, cucumbers often begin to hang, thereby becoming contaminated on moist soil, and when planted in a barrel, the fruits always remain clean;
- in case of unexpected frosts, in comparison with the greenhouse, it is easier to insulate the container;
- You can start planting cucumbers in a barrel a few weeks earlier, and in the case of open beds, you must strictly adhere to the deadlines.
It should be noted and the disadvantages of this method of growing:
- limited space contributes to the rapid drying of the soil, therefore, the gardener is required to regularly monitor the level of humidity and, if necessary, water the plant;
- since most garden containers are made of metal, they quickly heat up when exposed to sunlight, so on hot summer days you need to water more often than you would normally plant on open beds;
- if the gardener does not have a free container at his disposal, there is a need to purchase it, and this is an additional cost;
- the preparatory stage of planting cucumbers in a barrel involves the manufacture of a substrate - a nutrient medium for the plant, to fill the entire container.
Barrel selection and preparation
The most important stage in deciding to plant cucumbers in this way is carefully completed preparatory work with the container. Depending on financial capabilities, you can get a barrel made of plastic or metal.
After the container has been selected, it is necessary to make several medium-sized holes on its bottom so that the excess liquid can drain and not stagnate.
Filling a container completely with fertile soil is a gross mistake.
In order for the plant to begin to bear fruit, it is recommended to adhere to a special “recipe” for filling the barrel for cucumbers:
- First, strengthen the bottom. To do this, fill 1/3 of the container with tops, compost or other food waste.
- The next layer is any organic fertilizer, for example, manure. When decomposed, it gives a large amount of heat to the root system of vegetable crops, thereby stimulating their rapid growth.
- The final layer should be fertile and previously loosened soil. There is no need to fill the container to the brim. It is even advisable to leave 7 cm of free space. In the future, this will provide an opportunity to cover the cucumber bushes with cling film, in order to protect the young plant from the adverse effects of the cold wind.
Find out what a barrel, soil should be, whether it should be covered and topped up with earth, find out in the following article:
It is worth paying special attention to soil preparation, since good soil is the key to a high yield. As mentioned earlier, the soil must be fertile and light in texture.
For planting in a container, pre-cleared soil from the garden site will also fit. It is mixed with compost and sifted several times in order to remove accidentally caught larvae of harmful insects. As an antiseptic, a strong solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin is used.
Preparatory work with the seeds of cucumbers takes place in a few simple steps:
- Selection of suitable seeds. To perform this step, soak the seeds of cucumbers in warm water for 6-7 minutes. Then take them out and place in a saline solution (proportions: 6 g of sodium chloride per 1 liter of liquid). Seeds that pop up, remove and discard. They will not germinate when planting. Rinse the seeds that remain on the bottom thoroughly in plain water and dry them.
- Hardening. The most popular and affordable way to harden cucumber seeds is to place them in a damp piece of cloth and place on one of the shelves of the refrigerator. So they should lie 72 hours. Then remove the seeds and leave to thaw for 9-10 hours.
- Disinfection. This procedure is necessary to protect seedlings from harmful insects and various infectious diseases. Place the seeds for several minutes in a pre-prepared solution of a mixture of potassium permanganate (1%) and acetic acid (1%). After which the seeds are again thoroughly washed in water at room temperature.
- Soak. The final step in preparing cucumber seeds is to place them in a moist piece of tissue until they are completely swollen. As a rule, the time taken to soak the seeds does not exceed 24 hours.
- Growth stimulating treatment. A stimulant can be purchased at any specialized garden store. However, experienced gardeners recommend using the following recipe. For 5 tsp. wood ash is taken 800 g of water. The resulting mixture is thoroughly mixed and poured the treated seeds of cucumbers.
Wood ash has a lot of nutritious and useful microelements, which not only contribute to the rapid growth of vegetable crops, but also strengthen its protective properties from harmful external influences. After 2 hours, the nutrient fluid is removed. Seeds are ready for planting.
Many inexperienced gardeners are of the opinion that the more stimulating solutions, the better the seeds will sprout. However, this is a fallacy. The fact is that the cucumber seed has a protective shell, which in no case can be destroyed, otherwise it will die before it is planted in the ground.
Repeated stimulation using various chemical agents only contributes to the destruction of the protective membrane, but not to the growth and development of the seedling.
Cucumbers for fast growth and development need good lighting. The plant is thermophilic, so the choice of location should be on the sunny side.
If the container is made of metal, then in hot summer days the container will overheat. This nuance is also worth considering.
The metal container can be protected from overheating on a clear sunny day. In order not to injure the stems of the cucumber with the sun's rays, it is recommended that you wrap the barrel with industrial film or lutrasil. Thanks to this simple method, you can not only protect the plant from a possible sunburn, but also give the old container a more decorative look.
For growing cucumbers in a barrel, an area that is slightly darkened and protected from wind or draft will be ideal. Do not forget that the gardener should have constant access to the container on each side.
Planting cucumbers in a barrel: a step-by-step process
The process of planting cucumbers in a barrel is quite simple to perform and even a beginner gardener who does not have extensive experience working with vegetable crops can perform it.
It is only desirable to strictly adhere to the algorithm of actions presented below, and then the plant will certainly bring tasty and juicy fruits:
- A few days before planting a vegetable crop, water the soil well, so that it sags a bit.
- Top up fertile soil to replenish the previous level.
- Carefully plow the soil and make small holes, the depth of which will not exceed 3 cm.
- Distribute the seeds so that the cucumber bushes are at the same distance from each other.
- It is recommended to plant seeds “with a margin”, since there is always a chance that some seed will not germinate. The extra bush can always be transplanted to the garden or in another container.
- Then each hole is sprinkled with humus from plant or animal debris.
- The wells are watered with exclusively warm, settled water. It is best to water with a watering can with a small sieve.
- The final stage of planting is to cover the container with cling film to create a greenhouse effect. So that the cling film does not slip, it is recommended to fix it with an elastic band or twine.
Regardless of the chosen method of growing cucumbers, this vegetable crop needs the constant attention of the gardener. If you want to get a healthy fruiting plant, you will need to make some efforts to care for it.
Watering and feeding
Watering a vegetable crop is carried out exclusively after drying of the soil, no more than twice every 7 days. Experienced gardeners offer the use of self-made drip irrigation. This is a device that is an ordinary plastic bottle. And its volume is designed for 3 liters of liquid.
Before installation in a container on a bottle, small holes are made with a preheated sewing needle or awl. Then the bottle with the holes is placed in the barrel, so that the neck is located strictly in the center. Further, the entire surface of the bottle is sprinkled with earth. Each time, adding water, the liquid will gradually drain and moisturize the root system of cucumbers.
For this particular growing method, it is recommended to use a concentrated organic fertilizer called liquid vermicompost. This solution must be diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 3. For one cucumber bush, 250 ml of the drug is used, no more.
It is noted that timely top-dressing contributes to abundant fruiting and strong immunity of the plant. Feeding is carried out only two weeks after the food film was removed from the surface of the barrel. Superphosphate (not more than 20 g) and potassium sulfate (not more than 10 g) are most often used as mineral fertilizers.
About the features of caring for cucumbers in a barrel, see this article:
Shaping and gartering of bushes
Cucumbers grown in a container must be tied up, thereby forming bushes. This will not only facilitate further harvesting, but also allow the plant to breathe, and also protect pests transmitted through open ground from infectious diseases and insects.
The most popular and affordable method of tying cucumber bushes to a barrel is a meter-long wooden (or metal) stick mounted in the middle of the container. On top of this stick, a cross is fixed to which garden twine is fixed.
When the bush grows, the lashes will begin to wrap around the stick, gradually moving to the cross, forming a kind of "umbrella". Such a design is not only convenient in caring for the plant, but also looks extremely elegant. Tying is recommended only after the plant appears more than 5 leaves.
Why leaves turn yellow
There may be several reasons for yellowing leaves on cucumber bushes:
- Lack of timely watering. An insufficient level of soil moisture leads to dehydration of the vegetable crop, and it begins to fade.
- Lack of fertilizer. During the growing season, cucumber bushes are in dire need of nitrogen top dressing. The appearance of the first signs of yellowness may indicate that the plant needs to be fed.
- Low temperature conditions provoke stress in heat-loving cucumbers.
- Yellow spots can be a sunburn. The cucumber bush is poured into the root without affecting the leaves. Therefore, it is advisable to water cucumbers only in the morning or in the evening.
- The presence of an infectious or viral disease. The most famous is fusarium. Affected leaves quickly turn yellow and start the process of withering of the whole plant.
- Violation of the integrity of the roots of the plant. If harmful insects got to the root system, or during the weeding process it was damaged, then the leaves acquire yellowish spots.
Nettles are a fairly common problem when growing cucumbers. This happens when planting fresh seeds. Seedlings first give a male flower - an empty flower, and only then - a female (ovary). To prevent this from happening, three-year-old seeds are recommended for planting, of which the ovaries appear before the empty flowers.
Another common reason is the misuse of fertilizers. An excess of nitrogen fertilizing has a detrimental effect on the vegetable crop, causing an active increase in empty flowers and lashes. A quick-acting phosphoric solution mixed with water (in a proportion of 1:10) or ordinary wood ash mixed with soil to the plant will help to correct the situation.
Diseases and Pests
Cucumbers in a barrel are also susceptible to various diseases and pests . The most common disease of cucumbers is fusarium. The danger lies in the fact that for several days the plant does not manifest any symptoms and the disease can be detected only after infection of the entire cucumber bush.
To defeat Fusarium may need only a series of simple actions. First of all, soil disinfection is necessary. This can be done by adding fungicides to the soil, available at any specialized gardening store.
In order to increase the resistance of the vegetable culture to Fusarium, it is recommended to resort to the help of a growth stimulator. The most famous is called Gumisol. It is equally effective, as at the time of processing the seeds before planting, and as a spraying agent during the growing season of a vegetable crop.
Among insects there are a considerable number of people who want to enjoy juicy cucumber foliage - aphids, spider mites, wireworms, whiteflies, etc. Their size is miniature, and the scale of the defeat is huge.
For many years, gardeners have learned how to effectively combat insect pests by spraying the leaves of a cucumber bush. Among insect repellent liquids, garlic tincture is especially popular. You can cook it yourself at home. To do this, you need to acquire:
- 2 l of water;
- 400 g chopped garlic cloves.
The ingredients are thoroughly mixed and left to infuse for five days. After time, the resulting solution is additionally diluted with two buckets of water. This tincture is sprayed on the entire surface of the cucumber bushes with a spray gun.
Collecting cucumbers grown in a barrel is a pretty enjoyable process. Since there is no need to constantly lean to the beds and sometimes collect heavily polluted fruits.
With this method of cultivation, it is much easier and more convenient to detect ripened cucumbers, as well as to collect them. There is access to the bushes from any direction, unlike plants planted in an ordinary greenhouse. Harvesting is permissible, both in the daytime and in the evening.
Cucumbers can be removed manually, tearing with your hands. However, experienced gardeners are of the opinion that it is preferable to use clippers. So there is no damage to the lashes or ovaries.
When collecting cucumbers, it is advisable to carefully examine the bushes. If any deformation of the sheets or signs of an infectious disease is detected, it is necessary to immediately remove the damaged area. This will save the neighboring bush.
According to the large number of positive feedback from gardeners and summer residents about the cultivation of cucumbers in a barrel, this method really allows not only to significantly save space on the garden plot or garden, but also to facilitate the process of caring for this vegetable crop.
Natalia, 47 years old, economist, Nizhny Novgorod region.
For a long time I could not get a good crop of cucumbers due to the endlessly appearing slugs. They literally ate all the roots of the bushes. The following year, she planted cucumbers in old barrels by the fence. The harvest was plentiful, and the bushes lush and strong. Now I grow cucumbers the only way.
Julia, 36 years old, seller, Yoshkar-Ola.
I became interested in this method of planting, after I saw how easy it was for a neighbor to care for cucumber bushes. No need to stand for several minutes in order to weed one bed. And watering is quick and convenient.
Sergey, 54 years old, driver, Small Puyal.
A convenient and original method of growing cucumbers. Containers with bushes set along the fence on the sunny side. Foliage stretches up the fence - it looks very impressive. Collecting fruits is also a pleasure. The only thing that I noticed was the need to periodically turn the containers around so that the lashes would not fade from sunlight.
To get a plentiful and tasty crop with this method of growing cucumbers is quite simple. The first harvest from the barrel takes place a few weeks earlier than in open beds, since the microclimate in the first case is more favorable for the vegetable crop. Carefully planted cucumber bushes in barrels visually give the garden plot a more decorative and well-groomed appearance.