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Video: Growing Cucumbers - The Subtleties Of Agricultural Technology
Some secrets of growing everyone's favorite cucumber
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Our compatriots' cucumber does not need a special introduction: everyone knows it, loves it and eats it. It belongs to the Pumpkin family, and warm India is traditionally considered its homeland, although since ancient times cucumbers have grown in Africa, Greece, and Ancient Rome. They still grow in natural conditions in the tropical regions of India and China. True, the fruits of wild cucumbers are quite bitter.
We have a cucumber - a favorite vegetable at any time of the year and in any form: both fresh fragrant - only from the garden, and salted or pickled - from a jar carefully rolled up for the winter. But always appetizingly crispy and tasty. There are a wide variety of varieties and hybrids of this culture in the world, which is very popular in all countries.
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Varieties can be conditionally divided into three groups: greenhouse (with long smooth fruits - up to 30 centimeters or more, garden varieties (for open ground with fruits 10-15 cm in size) and gherkins (fruit sizes do not exceed 10 cm). By the way, breeders do not sleep: in China, a variety was bred with fruit sizes up to 1.5 meters! And now it is grown in industrial greenhouses in many European countries.
In the central and northern regions of Russia, cucumbers are grown mainly in greenhouses - this guarantees a harvest in any summer, regardless of weather surprises and whims. The seedling method in this case is the most suitable option: about a month before the expected date of planting in the ground, pre-soaked and germinated seeds must be planted on seedlings in separate cups. Such a planting will help to avoid problems with the survival rate of plants in the event of their inevitable picking, if sown with a carpet method.
In the middle lane, it is permissible to sow seeds directly into the soil - it is advisable to do this at the end of May, when the ground is already sufficiently warmed up (the temperature in the upper layer is not lower than 15 ° C) and the danger of frost has passed. For the northern regions, of course, these dates are shifted. When planting, the seeds are buried in the ground to a depth of about 2 cm. Practice shows that it is enough to place no more than 5-7 plants per square meter of the garden.
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I want to draw your attention to one more nuance. Probably, many gardeners were faced with the fact that, having rushed to sow seeds in open ground in a cool spring, they did not wait for the shoots. Some then look for the reason for this in poor-quality seeds or in unfavorable planting days … In fact, the reason is that the seeds in cold soil simply lose their germination and decompose. Therefore, it is better not to rush, trying to overtake neighbors, but wait for stable heat or use the seedling method.
Cucumber is a moisture and heat-loving culture. This means that our task is to provide comfortable conditions for its growth. That is why now, even in the middle lane, cucumbers are most often grown under film shelters, at least in the first half of summer, when the weather is still not stable enough and there are significant cold snaps. The optimum temperature for the normal development of cucumbers ranges from 23 … 30 ° C. Air temperature below 15 degrees leads to oppression and cessation of plant growth at any stage of development. Frosts are destructive for them, especially for young immature plants, temperature drops inhibit growth.
A well-lit and protected from cold winds area with loose fertile soil, generously fertilized with organic matter, is allocated for cucumbers. For example, when planting in open ground, you can use corn as such a “living barrier” from the wind, sowing it in two lines on the sides of a cucumber patch, leaving only the south side open. This neighborhood has a beneficial effect on both cultures.
The soil should be sufficiently water-absorbing, since the root system of cucumbers is shallow and small. To save time and effort and if there is a lack of organic matter, it can be applied locally - directly into the planting pits or trenches. The hole or trench should have a depth of 40-50 cm. A layer of organic matter is laid on the bottom and mixed with the soil, then clean soil is poured on top (with a layer of about 10 cm) and cucumbers are planted. When organic matter decomposes, a lot of heat is released, so beloved by cucumbers - their growth and development are noticeably accelerated.
Cucumbers on a warm trench with organic matter
Another interesting option for growing cucumbers in the absence of real manure is the device of the so-called warm beds. Usually it is made in the fall, but it can be arranged in early spring. A hole of arbitrary configuration and area is dug to a depth of about 0.5 m - there is someone who plans cucumber beds as they are: rectangular narrow, wide, even just a narrow long trench is acceptable. Foliage, thin twigs after cutting trees and bushes and all plant residues from the garden (excluding, of course, those affected by diseases) are laid in this hole and covered with the extracted soil.
Cucumbers are then planted on this "pillow". In spring and summer, in the garden bed there is an active decomposition of all laid organic matter with the participation of earthworms and microorganisms, causing the same heat release as manure. Cucumbers in such a garden feel great! One caveat - this bed will need to be watered more often than usual.
Throughout the season, caring for cucumbers is classic - weeding, watering and feeding, if there is little organic matter in the soil. It is especially important to monitor the constant soil moisture at the beginning of summer, since at this time the most active plant growth occurs. To retain moisture in the ground, plantings can be mulched with cut grass. This will also suppress the growth of weeds and preserve the loose structure of the soil.
A few tips from experienced gardeners
Greenhouse with cucumbers
Yellowing and abscission of cucumber ovaries occurs with a thickened planting, which contributes to waterlogging of the soil and the occurrence of nutrient deficiencies. It is necessary to let the earth dry out and then feed it with a solution of mineral fertilizers or ash. Organic liquid solutions may contain the causative agents of fusarium; solutions based on infusion of weeds can lead to viral diseases, for example, the tobacco mosaic virus remains viable for almost a year.
By the way, when making top dressing, you need to remember that in cold, cloudy weather, plant growth slows down, and there will be no sense from fertilizers: cucumber roots are able to actively absorb nutrients at a soil temperature of at least 10 ° C. And one more note: to avoid burns, water the plants with fertilizers strictly on the soil, trying not to get the solution on the foliage. If the soil is dry, it is first spilled with clean water.
Sometimes only "male" flowers are formed in the planted cucumber seedlings. To stimulate the formation of flowers with ovaries, it is necessary to stop watering for several days, letting the soil dry out. And they pinch the growing point, then lateral shoots with "female" flowers develop. Depending on the variety of cucumbers, it is recommended to pinch the main stem after the 5-6th leaf. This technique stimulates branching and, accordingly, increases productivity.
Regular, frequent harvest of fruits promotes more massive fruit formation, slowing down the aging of the plant and increasing yields. Cucumbers of short-fruited varieties are harvested in 1-2 days, long-fruited (greenhouse) - in 3-4 days. During the period of active fruit formation, it is necessary to carefully monitor the soil moisture: even a short-term overdrying leads to the appearance of bitterness in cucumbers, which then cannot be eliminated by any watering. This is where good mulch comes in! At the same time, the water should only be warm - several degrees above the air temperature. Watering with cold water leads to inhibition of growth and the appearance of gray rot. By the way, in greenhouses, high humidity is also beneficial for cucumbers: their large leaves evaporate a lot of water.
The root system of cucumbers needs air. Frequent watering will compact the uncultivated soil, and loosening will damage the delicate roots. To provide air access, using garden forks, punctures are made in the ground to a depth of 10-15 cm.
Monument to a cucumber in Shklov (Belarus)
When growing cucumbers in the open field during prolonged rains, there is a danger of the rapid spread of gray rot in thickened lashes of plants. Good results are obtained by tying them on trellises: meter-long strong stakes are driven into the ground, twine is pulled between them and cucumber lashes are tied (like vineyards).
I think it's no secret that cucumber is the only vegetable that we eat unripe. It consists of 95% water (almost distilled!), Contains proteins, sugars, vitamins and microelements - all this has a beneficial effect on the functioning of organs and systems of the human body. And cucumber juice is one of the best cosmetics for the skin, known for a long time. By the way, it is not for nothing that cucumber is a favorite snack, and its pickle is a favorite hangover remedy. It turns out that this very cucumber water, which contains 95% of it, effectively removes toxins and harmful substances from the body.
In 2007, in the city of Shklov (Republic of Belarus) - this particular city and region is considered the Belarusian cucumber Mecca, where unusually tasty cucumbers are grown, they know how to store them for the winter - a monument to a cucumber was opened for all his "merits". I think the cucumber is worthy of this assessment. So grow and enjoy this crunchy vegetable in all its varieties: fresh, salted, pickled.