Planting cucumbers: a guide for beginners and the secrets of the first successful harvest
It is impossible to imagine a Russian garden without cucumbers. And even if there are practically no nutrients in this vegetable, crunching a green cucumber right from the garden is a definite pleasure. Cucumbers plant everything, for it is not difficult to do. For very early consumption, seedlings are even grown, but even when sowing seeds directly into the garden, summer crops are always guaranteed.
Selection and preparation of soil and landing site
In various climatic conditions, the design of beds for cucumbers is somewhat different. And if in the southern regions plantings are usually carried out on a flat surface, then more or less high ridges are equipped in the middle lane. To create a better air-thermal regime on heavy soils, ridges are poured higher, on light warm soils they are lowered. On the slopes, ridges are made across the slope, on a flat surface - taking into account the best solar warming - from east to west.
In areas with a high occurrence of groundwater and with heavy cold soils, sowing of cucumbers in separate elevated bulk holes, located at a distance of one meter from one another, is widely practiced. In summer practice, cucumbers are often found on wall ridges with or without film cover. To do this, use the southern walls of buildings or blank fences. If this is not possible, cucumbers are grown on trellises, protected on the leeward side by a shield from boards or film.
The fence is an excellent natural support for cucumbers, at the same time protecting them from the winds.
In addition to thermophilicity, cucumbers require higher, in comparison with many crops, doses of fertilizers, especially organic ones. Without good filling of beds with nutrients, yields are delayed and are small. Even fresh manure is well suited for cucumbers, especially if it is repaired for autumn digging. But it is better, of course, that the manure be at least half-ripened, cucumbers can use such fertilizer at the very first time. Peat-and-compost mixtures are also suitable, but mineral fertilizers are still added to any organic matter - 100 g / m2 nitrofoski or at least a half-liter can of wood ash.
Cucumbers feel good on high warm beds. To equip them at the end of last summer, they dig a hole up to 30 cm deep in size of the future beds. Various wastes are dumped into it: plant tops, small branches, fallen leaves, household garbage, various cleaning. All this is periodically watered with infusion of mullein or chicken droppings, sprinkled with earth or peat. In the fall, good soil is poured and a ridge is formed, limiting it along the sides with boards or slate.
In the spring, the bed is sprinkled with ash, loosened, watered with warm water and covered with a film up to sowing cucumbers. In the northern part of our country, the film is not removed at all, but holes are made in it, where seeds are sown or seedlings of cucumbers are planted.
Seed selection and preparation
Cucumbers by biological nature belong to pumpkin plants. There are bush cucumbers, but more common are climbing ones with different lengths of whips. Another classification divides cucumbers into lettuce and pickles. There are varieties of universal purpose. By maturity, cucumbers are divided into early ripening, mid-early and mid-ripening.
There are also cucumbers pollinated by insects and parthenocarpic (self-pollinated). Some varieties are intended for cultivation in greenhouses, others in open ground (but many grow both there and there). Therefore, the choice depends on the preferences of the gardener and the available conditions for growing.
The number of varieties and hybrids of cucumbers in stores is now measured in hundreds, but, apparently, one should not forget the old, time-tested domestic varieties. Fortunately, the seeds of cucumbers do not need to be bought every year, since they retain viability for a very long time. Fresh seeds are even worse than those that have been lying for two or three years: they have a larger proportion of male flowers.
There are gardeners who want to buy the latest hybrids every spring, and there are those who plant their varieties from year to year and take seeds from them. The situation is ambiguous: self-confidence, of course, is greater, but serious companies are now selling very good hybrids. True, to collect seeds from them is useless: it is not known what will grow from this.
Most hybrid seeds are sold ready for sowing, and you need to work a little with your own.
It is not necessary to carry out all the existing stages of preparation, but experienced gardeners choose the most, in their opinion, necessary from the following list.
- Calibration The seeds of the cucumber are quite large, and the most puny ones are easily separated by hand. It is safer to lower the seeds into a solution of salt (dessert spoon in a glass of water) and shake. After a few minutes, the weak will emerge, it is better not to sow them.
Cucumber seeds are quite large, so the worst can be determined by touch
- Warming up. Fresh seeds are kept at the heating battery for a couple of days before sowing; this increases the proportion of female flowers.
- Disinfection. For seeds prepared for sale, this operation is optional. Your seeds should be treated for 15-20 minutes with a strong solution of potassium permanganate, then rinse well with clean water.
Seed dressing requires a very strong potassium permanganate solution
- Soaking in growth stimulants. Some lovers use this technique to increase the survivability of future plants. The most harmless is aloe juice, diluted 5 times with water, from the purchased drugs - Zircon or Epin.
Plant growth stimulants are completely harmless to humans, do not be afraid to use them
- Soaking in water. Even many gardeners try to soak even purchased seeds before sowing, even before swelling. To do this, they are kept for about 24 hours in water at room temperature or slightly warmer, then dried slightly so that the seeds are easily sown. Such a procedure can accelerate the emergence of seedlings no more than a day, so the meaning of it is not too great.
- Hardening. It is not necessary to harden the seeds for planting in the greenhouse, but for an unprotected soil this operation is useful. Hardening of cucumber seeds is carried out by sending soaked seeds in a wet tissue in the refrigerator for a day.
- Germination. Seeds are most often germinated in wet sawdust. It makes sense to do this before the appearance of the primary root - no more than a centimeter long, otherwise they will be difficult to sow. True, some lovers germinate seeds directly in a rag and before the appearance of cotyledonous leaves, but to plant such seeds in the garden will be very difficult. For seedlings, at home, in comfort, you can. But the meaning is lost: you can just sow the seeds in pots early.
If you germinate the seeds right up to the leaves, you have to sow them very carefully
Is it possible to do nothing from the above list? Sure. The author of these lines always sows cucumbers with dry seeds, directly from the package. And they sprout beautifully, only a little later. Although, of course, if you have time, you can do whatever your heart desires.
Dates of planting cucumbers
The timing of sowing seeds or planting seedlings is linked to the fact that they are sensitive not only to frost, but also to low temperatures. Seedlings and seedlings, if not protected, can die when the soil temperature drops below 10 ° C. Cucumber seeds germinate when the soil warms up to at least 14 ° C. Based on this, we can conclude: in the middle lane sow with dry seeds should be after May 25, and sprouted - in the early days of June. Cucumbers begin to grow and develop normally when the daytime air temperature reaches 25 ° C.
As for the southern or northern regions, there the timing of sowing seeds in the soil is shifted by 1-2 weeks in one direction or another. Based on the foregoing, it is possible to evaluate the timing of sowing seeds for seedlings. They will depend on whether they plan to plant seedlings in the greenhouse or in the open ground. From the moment of sowing seeds to planting seedlings in the garden should take 30–35 days. So, in the middle lane, sow seeds in cups at the very end of April. It will be possible to plant seedlings in a good greenhouse already in the first days of May, which means that crops for seedlings begin around April 1.
Planting cucumbers on seedlings
Since in many early ripening hybrids the first cucumbers can be tasted already 33–38 days after emergence, the need for compulsory seedling cultivation is doubtful. But if you want to get your own products as early as possible, the gardener must grow several bushes of seedlings. To do this, highlight the most lighted window sill.
Cucumbers are very painful to tolerate any transplant, so the seeds are sown immediately in individual cups with a capacity of 300 ml, or better - in medium-sized peat pots. For a dozen bushes, it is better to buy soil in a store, but if you have everything at home to prepare light moisture-absorbing and breathable soil, you can do it yourself, be sure to add fertilizers (compost, ash, nitrofoska) to it. Sowing cucumber seeds in cups is not difficult.
- Lay 1-2 seeds on the surface of moist soil (2-3 is better, but the seeds have become very expensive!).
Since each seed already costs more than one ruble, you have to sow one in a cup
- Cover the seeds with a layer of soil about 1.5 cm thick.
- Water the crops very neatly, better from the spray gun.
- Put the cups in a warm, lit place (optimally with a temperature of 25–28 ° C) and cover with glass or film.
Glass above glasses creates a greenhouse effect.
The emergence of seedlings of cucumbers occurs after 4-8 days, depending on the variety and temperature. A few days after germination, the most frail plants should be carefully trimmed with scissors. As soon as the shoots appear, the glass is removed, and the temperature is lowered to 18 ° C, at night several degrees lower, and so leave for five days. If this is not done, the seedlings will stretch and will be very weak.
In the future, the optimum temperature is about 24 ° C during the day and 18 ° C at night. If solar lighting is not enough, it is necessary to organize illumination with fluorescent lamps or diode lamps. The rest is in the care of seedlings - as for any vegetable plants: moderate watering, if necessary top dressing, hardening before planting in the ground.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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Planting cucumbers with seeds in the ground
Sowing cucumbers with seeds directly into the garden is no different from sowing any other crop, you just need to choose the right time and, if the heat is delayed, prepare cover materials.
- On previously prepared beds, a corner of the chopper or any other convenient object holds grooves according to the selected scheme. Most often use a tape landing. In this case, when sowing early varieties, 30-50 cm are left between rows, for the rest - 40-60 cm.
In order to mark the grooves, even any board is suitable
- Grooves are well watered with water from a watering can without a strainer and, after its absorption, the prepared cucumber seeds are laid out. At what distance? But it’s not a pity: in the end, extra plants will have to be removed, leaving the strongest at distances of 15-30 cm from each other.
If there are a lot of seeds, you can even “salt” the soil with them, but deficient seeds are laid out one by one
- Sprinkle the seeds with soil taken from the side of the groove, or humus, with a layer of 2-3 cm. To preserve moisture and heat, cover them with a plastic film (immediately after emergence, the film must be replaced with a spunbond).
At first, the film can be laid directly on the ground, but if you have to hold it for a long time, you should make arcs
Video: sowing seeds in the garden
Cucumber planting patterns
There are various layouts of cucumbers in the garden. Three most common ones can be distinguished.
- The ordinary method involves planting cucumbers on the bed in only one row, therefore, between the rows they organize a free passage, the distance between the rows is about a meter (in greenhouses it is reduced to 70 cm). Plants in rows are located at a distance of 15-30 cm from each other.
- The tape (two-line) method involves placing two rows on a standard bed at a distance of 30-50 cm from each other. If there are several beds (and therefore ribbons), between 90 and 150 cm are left between them. Sowing (planting) of cucumbers is carried out with approximately the same density as with a single row arrangement.
In summer cottages, tape landing is one of the most popular
- Square-nest landing pattern. In this case, the nests are located at a distance of 65–70 cm from each other, sometimes in a checkerboard pattern. Up to a dozen seeds are sown in a hole with a diameter of about 12 cm, and after emergence, 5–6 most developed and conveniently located plants are left. Assuming such a scheme, it is already possible at the seedling stage to grow several copies in a pot at once.
Ways to plant cucumbers
In addition to the completely natural cultivation of cucumbers on the beds "as is", that is, with the location of the lashes on the ground, there are various options aimed at saving space in the garden. And if in greenhouses cucumbers were always grown on trellises or, at least, tied up lashes in the vertical direction, then the trellis method has become almost traditional for relatively small dacha owners relatively recently. And after him appeared more exotic options.
It was noticed that cucumbers planted near trees themselves easily climb to inconceivable heights, as a result of which apples and cucumbers can be picked from one tree. It is difficult to say why, but in my garden cucumbers are more indifferent to powerful apple trees than to less solid cherries or plums.
Using this fact, many gardeners plant cucumbers next to natural supports (for example, a fence) or specifically build them for them. Vertically growing cucumbers not only save space in the garden. It is much easier to care for them, they are easier to collect, the fruits hang neat.
Video: cucumbers under the apple tree
When growing on a trellis, a denser planting of plants is possible (reduce the distance both in a row and between rows). Therefore, the amount of fertilizer should be increased. Since it is undesirable to grow one crop for several consecutive years in one place, the craftsmen provide a trellis design that is easily collapsible or portable. At the same time, the distance between the posts is observed about 1 meter, and several rows of wire are pulled over them.
In order for cucumbers to climb the trellis, it is often necessary to carry out the initial tying of plants with soft twine. A simpler situation is if there is a grid with large cells (at least 15 cm). By placing such a grid vertically, you can not worry: cucumbers will behave like a vine. You can act differently by pulling only one wire at a distance of about 2 meters from the ground. Cucumbers are tied with twine at a height of 10-15 cm from the ground, and this twine is tied to a wire. The very technique of sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings does not differ from that in conventional cultivation.
A vertically placed grid solves many problems with the agricultural technology of cucumbers
Growing cucumbers in a barrel
Using old barrels is becoming a popular way to grow many vegetables that grow in large bushes. So planted, for example, melons, watermelons, pumpkins, even strawberries. This saves space in the garden (a barrel can be placed anywhere), and the plants are in well-warmed soil. Any barrel, but preferably iron, dark-colored and full of holes, is half-filled with all kinds of organic debris, and above is placed fertile soil, well spiced with humus. In spring, the contents are infused with mullein infusion and covered with a film for heating.
Already in mid-May (for the middle lane), cucumber seeds can be sown in a barrel under temporary shelter. Since bushes grow faster in warm soil, it is more profitable to plant the earliest ripening varieties in a barrel, they can catch up with greenhouse varieties. Over time, due to decay of the residues, the soil in the barrel will still settle, therefore, there is no problem with temporary shelter of bushes from cooling. And by the beginning of this summer, the shelter is removed, and the whips are either allowed to hang down, or sent to specially constructed arcs.
Barrels with planted cucumbers even decorate the site
The advantages of using barrels are obvious, it is much easier to take care of cucumbers in them, but you have to water more often than in the garden.
Video: planting seedlings of cucumbers in a barrel
Growing cucumbers in bags or tires
Instead of barrels, with the same success you can use large garbage bags. Most often they take for this purpose bags with a capacity of 100-120 liters. True, they are less stable than barrels, so they are strengthened with any wooden frame. Drive in and stake inside for tying lashes. Watering cucumbers in bags is often necessary, in hot weather - daily.
Bags with cucumber plants can also be moved from place to place
Instead of bags, sometimes several old tires from the car are used, laying them on top of each other with a cylinder (if they are the same size) or a pyramid. Since the tires are black, the soil inside them quickly warms up by the sun. In the lower part of the pyramid, drainage material is laid, and then nutrient soil. Planting and care - like in barrels or bags.
After what crops can I plant cucumbers
Cucumbers should not be grown in one place for two years in a row, it is advisable to plan the return of the crop to the garden for the third or fourth year. This is due to the fact that they very deplete the soil with nutrients, especially nitrogen. Therefore, it is best to plant them after those crops that absorb little nitrogen, and even better - enrich their soil. Such vegetables exist: these are beans, beans and peas. After the fruiting of the legumes, they are not pulled out, but cut off: nitrogen-fixing bacteria are present on the roots, so the roots are left in the soil.
Good precursors are garlic or onions, which well cleanse the soil of harmful microflora and are excellent orderlies: after them, you can plant almost any vegetables. Solanaceous (tomatoes, peppers) behave similarly. Cucumbers also grow well after potatoes, carrots or beets. Good precursors are various cabbage vegetables.
Do not plant cucumbers after any pumpkin crops (zucchini, squash, watermelon, melon). Plants of the same type have the same pests that can remain wintering in the soil. And they consume nutrients mainly in the same proportion.
What can cucumbers be planted nearby
Numerous tables describing the neighbors in the beds agree that corn is the best neighbor for cucumbers. They do not interfere with each other in terms of competition for light and food. But tall stalks of corn slightly cover the cucumbers from the winds and serve as an ideal support for the lashes. A similar situation with sunflowers. It is shown that these neighbors cause a quarter increase in the yield of cucumbers.
Corn helps cucumbers better than other neighbors
Rows of beans or peas planted along the edge of the bed feed the cucumbers with nitrogen. True, help in this option is only symbolic, but at least legumes do not interfere with the growth of cucumbers. Various aromatic plants and flowers, especially garlic, dill, calendula, are of great benefit. They heal the air and drive away pests. The radish acts in a similar way, saving cucumbers from the spider mite.
Do not plant tomatoes next to cucumbers: together they are good only in lettuce, and the living conditions in the beds vary greatly. Cucumbers also feel bad next to potatoes. And, of course, if nearby such powerful trees as apricot or walnut are located, they will not leave either water or food for the cucumbers.
Cucumbers grow almost throughout our country, although in the northern regions they are planted in greenhouses. But real tasty cucumbers get in the open ground, in natural sunlight. This is far from the most difficult crop to grow, so every summer resident seeks to plant at least a dozen bushes: after all, the most delicious cucumber is just picked from its garden.