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Video: How To Grow Cucumbers Outdoors
One centner of cucumbers with four lashes
Every gardener or gardener has already read a lot about the methods of growing cucumbers, and, it would seem, there is nothing to add here. And yet, presenting my experience in cultivating this crop in the open field, I hope that someone will find rational methods for themselves, which I successfully tested on my site and brought a rich harvest of cucumbers last summer.
Having achieved excellent results in growing cucumbers in a greenhouse, I suddenly realized that it is probably easier to grow them in the open field, especially since working in a greenhouse is always associated with a great risk to health.
Cucumbers have been grown in Russia since the 16th century. Among all vegetable crops, cucumber is our most favorite vegetable. Even now, I still have a vivid picture before my eyes that I saw in my childhood on the market: barrels with unusually tasty pickles - strong and crispy. But then they were grown not in greenhouses, but in the open field.
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And I also decided to try growing cucumbers in the open field, abandoning greenhouses. It all started with choosing a place for a new warm ridge. I already had a little experience in growing cucumbers in the open field - when growing cucumbers in greenhouses, I sometimes planted extra seedlings on somehow prepared warm ridges.
Preparing the garden
The choice of a place for a ridge of cucumbers must meet the following requirements:
- good illumination;
- protection of the ridge from cold winds.
Having found such a place on my site, I put together a box as high as a kitchen table and measuring 1x3.5 m. This was my future ridge. It ran from north to south. And the whips of cucumbers from it had to go down to the east, west and south.
Since autumn, having selected the soil in a box up to clay, I laid there a thick layer of wood chips (25-30 cm), on it - the selected sod land with perennial weeds. He leveled and trampled the ground. Then he threw sawdust into the ridge with a layer of 15 cm. I didn't have any manure then. And then all autumn we put in this box plant waste from other ridges, except for waste from vegetable marrows, pumpkins and cucumbers. In late autumn, we sprinkled the waste of plants with Azophos, sprinkled them with earth and trampled them down. The box was half full. In this form, he left for the winter.
In the spring I brought dung. And in April he continued filling the box. I again poured a thin layer of sawdust (5-10 cm) into the ridge. And then there was a thick layer of fresh manure - 15-20 cm, a layer of hay was laid on the manure, a layer of fertile soil was poured on the hay, then a layer of manure, hay and earth began again. And all this layered "cake" was tamped tightly as it filled.
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Finally, the box turned out to be almost full, from above I poured fertile soil 5-10 cm above the edging.After all, during the burning process, the ridge will settle, so such high ridges must be done in two steps: it is better to fill two-thirds in the fall so that the ridge settles over the winter … I sprinkled the ground with sawdust on top, with a rake and a hoe, mixed them evenly with a layer of earth 15-20 cm deep. I have very fertile land on the site, so I'm not afraid to add fresh sawdust to the top layer.
It must be remembered that fresh sawdust eat up nitrogen from the soil and acidify it. Therefore, it is better to use rotted sawdust. I get rid of excess acidity with the help of ash, which I sprinkle on all newly made ridges. The introduction of sawdust makes the top layer of the ridge air and moisture permeable. Having again leveled the ground with a rake, I sprinkle it with ash, then spill it with warm water with potassium permanganate. Then I cover the ridge with an old foil for warming up in the sun.
On April 20, the filling of the ridge was ready. I immediately proceeded to the second stage of preparing the ridge - I began to build a mini-greenhouse frame over it. This frame looks like a short, long birdhouse with an eastward slope. The roof protrudes in all directions by 10-15 cm. This is done so that the oblique streams of rain do not flood the roots of the plants. The height of the mini-greenhouse: the western side is 80 cm, the eastern side is 50 cm, the drop is 30 cm.The roof is simple, with a new foil its ridge is nailed to a long bar from the east side, so that later you can roll the foil upwards during watering and into especially hot days. I cut the sides of this ridge with an old film. Making a mini-greenhouse is not difficult, I make it from waste.
For such a warm ridge, I needed 14 cucumber plants. In mid-May, the land in the ridge is already glowing with heat. I open a mini-greenhouse from the western, higher side. From the ground I remove the "warming up" film, loosen and water the ground. I make 14 holes, 7 on each side, plant cucumber seedlings and again cover the western side of the film. Such a mini-greenhouse keeps the ridge warm well.
On especially cold nights or in case of frost, over this mini-greenhouse I throw in an additional old film. On especially hot days, from the ends I slightly open a part of the film at the top (as if making windows), both from the south and from the north. Indeed, without airing on especially hot days, you can burn the planted seedlings. The cucumbers planted on the ridge quickly take root, get fat, the leaves turn dark green. One feels that the roots have begun to work, penetrating deep into the ridge.
Watering for the first time is limited, only when absolutely necessary. We are waiting for the growing moon. We begin to water the growing moon. If the need arises, you can feed the plants once, give them an initial impetus, but I do this only if I notice some kind of lag in development; if the plants look cheerful and healthy and develop normally, there is no need for feeding. By the end of the first decade of June, the area of the mini-greenhouse is usually already covered with lashes of cucumbers. The frost has passed, the lashes are resting on the film, they must be released.
Distribution of shoots and lashes
I nail slats or thin bars at a height of 20 cm from the ground around the perimeter from all sides to the frame of the mini-greenhouse. These are the beams through which cucumber whips will be thrown and released outward. On the first day, we open the film from the south side - remove the film from the top to the crossbar. In the resulting window, we take the lashes of the shoots, abutting the southern end, and tie them to the crossbar. The next day we open the western side, we do the same operation to tie the lashes to the crossbar. In a day or two we will open the eastern side.
All shoots and main cucumber lashes are evenly distributed around the perimeter of the crossbar. We do not open the northern side. The film remains from the bottom of the ridge to the crossbar and is attached to it with nailed chips, which creates a favorable climate inside the ridge. It turns out the following picture: cucumbers grow like a "wave". Shoots and whips, reaching the edge of the greenhouse, rise to a height of 20 cm and fall outward in three directions. This operation is necessary so that the roots of cucumbers are not blown through by winds and drafts after watering, i.e. they are at the bottom of the bowl, and on the north side they are covered with foil. The top film (roof) is not removable, it also helps to create a favorable microclimate for plantings. This film rolls onto the timber only during watering and on particularly hot days.
And by mid-June, all the most complex operations have been completed. There remains only care, which consists in watering and feeding. Cucumbers begin to bear fruit abundantly in late June - early July. As the yield increases, we also increase the intensity of irrigation. Twice a season we feed the cucumbers with double superphosphate, in the form of a light solution when watering. The first time - at the onset of abundant flowering. The second time is during the period of maximum harvest. Twice a season we do foliar feeding with microfertilizers on the tops, in the evening or on a cloudy day. I water the cucumbers abundantly in the morning with slightly podzolic warm water. On especially hot days, the ridge has to be watered twice, the second time - at 5-6 in the evening, so that the tops dry out before nightfall. Double watering usually coincides with the maximum number of cucumbers.
In August, watering only in the morning, and the amount depends on the weather. At this time, it is already difficult to water the ridge, since lashes with cucumbers are 1 m, and sometimes even 1.5 m, lie in a continuous carpet around the ridge on the ground. On such a warm and fertile ridge, cucumber whips reach three meters in length and even more. They entwine the ridge and the space around it in a solid ring.
Until mid-summer, the planting of cucumbers feeds on the hay laid in the ridge, and in the second half of the summer, the mullein becomes available to the roots, which by this time is half burnt out. When the roots of the cucumbers get to the manure, the tops turn green again and look younger before our eyes.
Caring for plantings in summer also consists in the fact that every ten days it is necessary to inspect the root collar of plants and sprinkle it with ash, remove rotting shoots. Otherwise, the root collar can rot and get sick. The harvest from such a ridge is very plentiful, the taste of the grown cucumbers is great, real cucumber, such fruits cannot be grown in a greenhouse.
It is necessary to harvest regularly, every other day, otherwise they quickly outgrow. If such a ridge is cared for and cherished, then it gives a huge amount of cucumbers. I do not have time for thorough care, I only have time to regularly water, examine the root collars of plants and harvest. I don’t have time to work properly with tops, it grows by itself.
The only thing that I strictly adhere to is to follow the development of cucumber plantings according to the lunar calendar. At the initial moment, I enter the plant into the lunar calendar. I plant seedlings, relying mainly on the weather. After planting seedlings, I am waiting for the moment when it is necessary to disperse the tops of the plants on the growing moon. And then, with each growing moon, I abundantly and regularly water the plantings, feed them if the tops stop growing.
On the waning moon, watering is also abundant, but less often, I let the soil dry out, this stimulates the growth of roots. You can also feed the roots with Ideal fertilizer. So by watering and feeding, I direct the development of plants in accordance with the lunar calendar. Therefore, cucumber plants do not "tumble" in their development. The root grows, followed by the development of the tops, the root grows again along the grown tops - and so on until the cold weather.
The upper film (roof) protects the ridge from premature cooldown, especially in August. Cold rainwater is also harmful to plantings and chills the ridge.
Having grown cucumbers once on such a ridge and having received an excellent harvest of fruits, I refused to grow them in a greenhouse. The ease of maintenance in summer and the harvest of cucumbers exceeded all my expectations.
At the same time, I had another experiment. After planting seedlings on the ridge, I have four free plants left. I urgently made a box measuring 1x1x1 m. I filled it in the same way as the ridge on which the cucumbers grew, made a mini-birdhouse above it and planted the remaining seedlings in the box.
I performed these operations carelessly, literally within two days. But the care technology was the same as behind the ridge. However, the result turned out to be much better, since in this box much more fruits were collected from one cucumber plant. So, for over 10 years growing cucumbers, I have reduced the number of seedlings in a long bed.
And for a long time there has been a desire to make a mini-garden for only two cups of seedlings. In the 2007 season, I realized my idea. On April 30, at the dacha, we sowed cucumbers for seedlings in cups of two seeds each. All the seeds in the cups sprouted well, developed well, and on May 18 were planted on a mini-garden.
From a mini-garden, where only two cups of seedlings were planted, with rather careless care, I got a crop of 100 kg of cucumbers. Nearby there was a mini-ridge of the same area, on which I planted four cups of seedlings. But two plants planted inside the ridge, after the first fruiting, began to weaken, got sick, and they had to be removed. The ridge was overloaded with tops, the lashes on this ridge crushed each other. The end result was much worse on her.
This convinced me that the first mini-ridge for two cups of seedlings (just to clarify again, we sow two seeds in each cup, so that two main cucumber lashes develop from it) is more rational and "ideal" for cucumbers. If the lashes of cucumbers are rooted on the second stage of the box, where they descend from the first, the yield will be much larger. I already have experience in rooting cucumber lashes at the second stage. The results were impressive.
But in the 2007 season, I did not have time to carry out this operation in time and thoroughly, and I did not work with the tops and did not harvest the crop on time. I think this ridge design is ideal, because melons and some varieties of watermelon can be grown on it, using the same technology as cucumbers.
In the beginning of the season, I will try to conduct an experiment on growing watermelons and melons in such a bed, and further in the plans - a mini-bed for strawberries and other crops.
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