The balcony is often used for growing flowers, herbs and even vegetables. If you try a little, you can provide yourself with fresh, environmentally friendly cucumbers at any time of the year. We learn about the intricacies of growing cucumbers on the balcony, and what varieties are suitable for this purpose.
Which balcony is suitable for growing cultivated plants?
The best option for the growth of cucumbers and other vegetables is the exit of the balcony to the south side. Under such conditions, you can grow vegetables for six months. If the balcony faces north, you can’t do without a greenhouse or a greenhouse. The north balcony must be insulated.
Vegetables need special conditions for development and fruiting. The main growth factors for cucumbers are light and heat. The lack of both adversely affects the crop, moreover, there may not be any fruits on plants.
The south balcony is more suitable for growing vegetables, but access to the south side is not a prerequisite - favorable conditions can be created under any circumstances.
The best "balcony" varieties of cucumbers
It is not the first variety that is planted on the balcony, but special balcony cucumbers. On the packaging should be written that these are seeds for indoor and balcony growing.
Requirements for varieties for growing on a balcony or window sill:
- Self-pollinating. Growing cucumbers on the balcony, it is difficult to expect that bees will fly there. For the balcony, varieties with bouquet tying and female flowers are suitable. If you choose a non-self-pollinating variety, you will have to pollinate the flowers manually.
- Shade tolerance. On the balcony, plants are lit less than in natural conditions. Cucumbers receive natural light only in the morning or afternoon - the time and duration of lighting depends on the location of the balcony.
- Small leaves. The small leaf surface minimizes plant shading.
- Bush type of plant. Plants with long lateral shoots and internodes are more suitable for balconies.
Balcony varieties produce fruits that are as good as their counterparts grown in traditional garden beds or in greenhouses.
Popular varieties of cucumbers for balconies .:
- City Cucumber. Unpretentious and hardy variety. Gherkins of a bunch type - the fruits grow in "clusters." Scourges with short internodes and small leaves. It tolerates temporary shading. In nodes - from 4 to 10 ovaries. Length - 10-12 cm, weight - 75-95 g. The fruit is delicious fresh, suitable for canning. The variety is suitable for greenhouses and open ground.
- Swallowtail. A variety with high immunity. Differs in early ripening of fruits. The hybrid has female-type flowers. Belongs to gherkin, bunch varieties of parthenocarpic type. The internodes are shortened. The lashes are short, densely covered with leaves. In one node - 2-11 pieces.
- Balcony miracle. Undemanding and viable variety. It requires a minimum of soil - thanks to a dense and compact root system. The fruits have juicy flesh, without bitterness. It tolerates shading. The flowers are female. The length of the lashes is 2 m. There are many short internodes; 3-5 ovaries form on each. Fruit length - 10 cm, weight - up to 110 g. Very tasty, suitable for pickling and canning. The variety is universal - suitable for growing in a greenhouse or open ground.
- April. Self-pollinating hybrid with female flowers. Low bush type plants. Height - up to 30 cm. Tuberous fruits with white spikes. Weight - 220-250 g. There is no bitterness in the taste. Fruits should be picked on time so that they do not turn yellow and outgrow. With 1 kg, you can get up to 15 kg of cucumbers. When cultivated on the beds, the yield increases to 40-50%.
- The booth. Shade tolerant, drought tolerant, precocious. It has a strong and compact root system. The leaves are small, the internodes are small, at the nodes - 3-9 ovaries. Fruits are small, not prone to overgrowth. Ripening of fruits - 40-42 days. Resistant to disease.
- Debut. Hybrid self-pollinating type. Ripens early, fruitful, flowers - female type. For fresh consumption. Not suitable for workpieces. The length of the fruit is 12-14 cm. Weight is 100 g. The plants are low with bundle ovaries. Side lashes are fast growing. Resistant to disease, unpretentious care.
- Zozulya . A variety with high immunity and vitality. Bushes are small, not sprawling. The length of the fruit is 20-22 cm, weight - 220 g. Great taste, with juicy pulp, fragrant and sweet. There is no bitterness in taste. The variety bears fruit well under the film.
- Hummingbird Hybrid gherkin type. It does not need pollinators. Lateral shoots of small length, small leaves. The internodes are short, with 3-10 ovaries in them. It tolerates shading. Fruits are not prone to overgrowing.
- Masha . Early ripe hybrid. The first fruits appear 36 days after planting. The variety is viable. The fruits are tuberous, with a thick skin. Cucumbers are crispy, with a very good taste, without bitterness.
- Graceful . This is the only bee pollinated variety suitable for growing on the balcony. With 1 sq. m collect up to 7 kg Spreading plants, fruits with a tuberous surface. Eat fresh and pickle. Resistant to disease, cold-resistant, can serve as a pollinator for other varieties.
- Garland. Very productive hybrid. Due to the abundance of fruits, it seems that the plants are hung with garlands of cucumbers. The fruits reach a length of 13-16 cm, weight - 125 g. The taste of the fruits is excellent, they are eaten fresh, salted, pickled.
Variety "City Cucumber"
Cucumbers grade "Machaon"
Cucumbers "Balcony Miracle"
Variety of cucumbers "Balagan"
Variety of cucumbers "Zozulya"
Cucumbers varieties "Masha"
Variety of cucumbers "Garland"
Conditions for growing cucumbers on the balcony
The biggest problems when growing on the balcony are related to temperature and lighting. Cucumbers require a lot of light and heat to grow and bear fruit.
An important condition for the growth of cucumbers is good lighting. In the summer, enough light penetrates the balconies and loggias through the double-glazed windows. The problem may appear in March, when natural light is not enough for the growth of vegetables. To eliminate the deficit of light, on the balcony they put special lamps for greenhouses - they are left on for the whole night.
The ideal temperature for the growth of cucumbers is 18-22 ° C heat. To ensure such a temperature on the balcony, ordinary glazing is not enough. Cucumbers are sown in February, when it is still very cold outside. In order for the temperature on the balcony to be at room temperature, it must be additionally insulated.
At temperatures above + 22 ° C, the plants wither, and the soil dries up - it has to be moistened more often than necessary, which contributes to the development of fungal diseases. If the thermometer column drops below + 18 ° C, though the bushes will grow, they will not give ovaries.
Preparation for landing
In order for cucumbers to be not just balcony plants, but truly fruitful vegetables, it is necessary to correctly prepare the planting site and cucumber "beds".
Prepare containers and place
In order for cucumbers to grow on the balcony without problems, you need to think through the control system to the smallest detail - at the slightest frost, cucumbers die. Depending on the growing period, provide optimal temperature and lighting.
The role of "beds" will play various capacities. Features of the choice of containers:
- To obtain seedlings, you need a small container, for example, disposable plastic glasses. Even better - peat glasses. But not for precocious varieties - their root system grows faster than peat containers dissolve.
- Large boxes are suitable for planting seedlings. Also, cucumbers can be grown in pots, trays, buckets. The roots of cucumbers like space, therefore adult plants are grown in 5-10 liter containers. If boxes are used, then plastic, wooden can only serve as a cache-pot.
- Any container for growing cucumbers should have openings for the outflow of excess water. To prevent water from spreading over the balcony, containers with seedlings and adult plants are placed on trays or pallets.
Seedlings grown in peat glasses are transplanted into the soil with the container - it will not only dissolve over time, but also fertilize the soil.
Bags are also suitable as containers. 2-3 bushes are placed in one bag (3 plants per 1 sq. M).
Cucumbers need loose and fertile, well-fertilized soil. You can buy universal soil - "for seedlings." Dry peat lands must be enriched by introducing black soil, humus and sawdust. The soil is friable with the help of river sand, perlite or vermiculite.
The soil for cucumbers can be prepared independently, taking in equal proportions
Urea - one teaspoon, and nitrophosk - one tablespoon are put on a bucket of the mixture prepared according to this recipe. It is recommended to add ash and complex fertilizer to the soil mixture - 50 g each.
Sowing seeds for seedlings begin in March or even in February. The time for sprouts to land is April. Many balcony varieties belong to early ripening, on average 2-2.5 months pass from sowing to fruit ripening.
- Seeds are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate).
- After 20 minutes, the seeds are removed from potassium permanganate and laid out on wet gauze, laid out in a deep bowl. Gauze is moistened with water heated to 60 ° C.
- Seeds germinate for 2-3 days, periodically moisturizing gauze.
- When the seeds “hatch”, they are carefully planted in glasses so as not to damage the sprouts. In one glass, one seedling is grown. Depth of landing - 1.5-2 cm.
To get good seedlings, the seeds must be germinated. Keep crops in the room - on the glassed balcony they will be cold.
Care for young seedlings
Young seedlings are helpless in the cold. The main thing is to provide them with optimal temperature conditions. Crops can be set on the windowsill 3-4 days after planting seeds in the ground. When the room is aired, glasses with crops are taken to another place, or covered with something.
If the room in which seedlings are grown lacks light, turn on artificial lighting. Lamps for illumination are positioned so that the seedlings are at a sufficient distance from light sources.
Direct sunlight should not fall on seedlings.
Watering and feeding
- Sprouts are watered daily.
- For water use water + 27 ° C - this is room temperature. It must be surely settled.
- If artificial lighting is used, the frequency of irrigation can be doubled.
- If a lot of water flows through drainage holes, reduce the rate or frequency of watering.
To seedlings were strong, prepared for transplantation to the balcony, they are raised in the room for about a month. During this time, it is recommended to feed the plant three times.
The composition of top dressing for seedlings:
|When to feed||Structure|
|10 days after sowing||Urea solution. For 3 liters of water - 1 tbsp. l Half a glass of solution per plant.|
|10 days after the first feeding||In 8 l of water is dissolved:|
- potassium nitrate - 12 g;
- superphosphate - 25 g;
- magnesium sulfate - 4 g;
- ammonium nitrate - 4 g.
|10 days after the second feeding||Any of the two above formulations.|
Planting seedlings in containers is made 30 days after sowing. The last top dressing should be done at least 7 days before transplantation.
The order of planting cucumber seedlings:
- One hour before transplanting, the seedlings are watered with heated water.
- In one container - a pot or bucket, planted one plant. The approximate dimensions of containers are from 30x30x30 cm. Each container should have a drainage and a drain. The role of the latter is played by pallets on which the pots are installed.
- A hole is made in the center of the soil container.
- Watered the recess with warm water.
- The roots of the seedling are moved to the hole along with a lump of soil.
- Sprinkle with soil, and carefully compact it.
- Water again.
In order for seedlings to take root and take root better, it is recommended to transplant it into the soil, similar in composition to the one in which the seedlings were grown.
Tanks with planted seedlings are arranged so that they do not stand in the open sun. They are also contraindicated in a draft. It is best to place drawers and pots near the side walls of the balcony and in its corners. Immediately after arranging the containers, you can put devices for the lashes - trellis or net.
Cucumber care on the balcony
In order for the plants to grow well and bear fruit, it is necessary to provide them with optimal conditions. Cucumbers need watering, top dressing, loosening the soil.
Features of watering cucumbers on the balcony:
- For irrigation use settled non-cold water.
- Cucumbers are watered every day. It is necessary to ensure that the soil does not dry out.
- If water stagnates in pallets, the rate or frequency of watering should be reduced.
- Do not overmoisten the soil - root rot may begin.
It is important to moisten not only the soil, but also the air - if low humidity is observed. To do this, install a humidifier or spray the space from a conventional spray gun. You can also increase humidity by installing water containers.
When irrigating air from a spray gun, water must not be allowed to enter the plants.
After absorbing moisture, the soil is gently loosened. If the soil in pots and containers settles, you need to add it to the original level.
Fertilizers for cucumbers
It is believed that cucumbers do not bear fruit well from an excess of fertilizers. But if top dressing is applied on time and in the right quantities, they will only benefit. Fertilizers are applied so that they do not fall on the leaves.
The first 3 top dressings are carried out even before the seedlings are planted, then the plantings are fed every 10 days. To get many fruits, it is recommended to diversify the diet.
If the plants begin to dry out, they lack nutrients. The first 2 weeks after planting, the plants are given nitrogen fertilizers, after the appearance of the first lashes, the bushes are fed with potassium.
There are many special fertilizers, but you can use the available tools. Inexpensive, but effective top dressing for cucumbers:
- Infusion of wood ash. This top dressing will provide plants with potassium and phosphorus - they are needed during flowering. They process leaves and soil. For 2 liters of water - 1 tbsp. l ashes. They take boiled water. Before use, the infusion must be filtered.
- Eggshell . This is a source of trace elements - they are needed throughout the entire growing season. The infusion smells unpleasant - this must be taken into account when applying. On 3 l of water - a shell of four eggs. The jar is kept in the dark by opening the lid. When the infusion becomes cloudy and acquires a specific smell - it is ready for use.
- Banana peel . Dried and crushed peels are brought into the ground - this is a good source of potassium.
- Onion peel. The infusion is applied during flowering. For 5 l of water - 20 g of onion husks. Insist 4 days. Filter before use.
Infusion of wood ash
Banana peel as a fertilizer
Onion husk fertilizer for flowering cucumbers
Foliar top dressing:
- During flowering and fruit setting. Plants are sprayed with a solution of boric acid (1%). Processing is carried out repeatedly, with an interval of 10 days.
- After intensive fruit setting, a solution of potassium permanganate is used. This treatment makes the fruit tastier. The solution is prepared at the rate of 10 crystals per 1 liter of water. An alternative may be spraying with a solution of urea - 5 g per 3 liters.
The schedule of top dressing under the root:
|Period||Top-dressing composition||Consumption per plant|
|Beginning of the fruiting phase||infusion of ash (per 10 liters of water - 1 liter of ash)||1 cup|
|During the growing season with an interval of 10 days||ROST-concentrate potassium NPK (for 3 l of water - 6 ml of the drug)||according to the manufacturer's recommendations - 20 g|
The formation of cucumber whip
In order for the plant to bear fruit well, and not waste energy on the formation of excess green mass, it is nipped. Nipping is done taking into account the characteristics of the variety.
How to pinch cucumbers depending on the variety:
- Self-pollinating. Nip off the first 2 or 3 ovaries. Next, you can remove the side lashes over 3 or 4 fruits. Self-pollinating varieties are easier to care for - they do not even always need pinching.
- Pollinated by insects. In these varieties, the fruits are tied mainly on the side shoots. Therefore, the main stem is pinched here - when the third true leaf appears, it is torn off, capturing the growth point.
In order not to mess with pollination, choose self-pollinated varieties. Or parthenocarpic varieties - they do not need pollination at all. All other varieties must be pollinated. In the open ground, bees are engaged in this business. On the balcony you have to pollinate the flowers yourself.
The first thing you need to learn to distinguish between flowers. In female flowers, the ovary is similar to a micro cucumber. They have a large whisk painted in bright colors.
- Tear off a male flower. It should be fresh, fully revealed.
- Tear off all the petals of the male flower.
- Run the stamens along the female flower - along the stigma of its pestle.
Pollinate the flowers in the morning. There should be enough pollen. If it is not enough, you can’t count on a large fruit. With successful pollination, after 10-12 days, fruits will form. Ovaries that were not pollinated, yellowing, fall off.
Male flowers are open one day, female flowers - 4 days.
Growing cucumbers on the balcony, we must try to do without chemistry. With the help of folk remedies, it is fashionable to cope with most cucumber pests. Balcony cucumbers have three main enemies:
- Aphid. Against it, tobacco broth is used. You need a pack of cigarettes. Tobacco extracted from them, pour 1 liter of water. The mixture is boiled for 10 minutes. Then add 1 liter of water to the broth. The solution is sprayed with leaves.
- Whitefly For this pest, you need a stronger, than for aphids, tobacco broth. Whitefly can also be destroyed with a vacuum cleaner - it is turned on at minimum power, and pests are collected from plants.
- Spider mite. Processed with infusion of garlic. The head is crushed and insisted in 1 liter of water for 1.5 hours. The resulting solution is filtered. So that the solution better adheres to the surface of the plant, 15 g of soap is diluted in the infusion.
Read more about pests and diseases of cucumbers here .
Features of growing cucumbers on the balcony in winter
Cucumbers grown on balconies do not have enough natural light. The problem is especially relevant in the winter. Lamps are needed for this period. When the seedlings emerge, they provide it with light from 8-00 to 24-00 h.
The best option for highlighting cucumber plantings is phytolamps. You can also use fluorescent lamps. They are suspended directly above the plants - at a distance of 15 cm. As the seedlings grow, the lamps are raised.
Watch the video in which the home gardener shares his experience of growing cucumbers on the balcony:
On the balcony, the fruits must be picked as they reach the normal size for the variety. Too large fruits weaken the bush. See the maximum seed length on the seed bag. The more often the fruits are harvested, the more they grow. Having dropped the crop, the plant again directs its forces to fruiting - flowering begins, fruit set, etc.
Most varieties yield 55–70 days after sowing seeds. Ripened fruits should be saturated green in color, with careful squeezing - solid. It is necessary to carefully cut the fruits with a secateurs, you can not pluck them - you can damage the lashes.
If the cucumbers are provided with favorable conditions, the harvest will be enough not only for daily salads, but even for small harvests. Each plant gives at least ten fruits, and after trying, you can get 35-40 pieces.