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Video: Pikuli, Gherkins, Zelents
Features of agricultural technology of different types of cucumbers
It's time to sow cucumbers. Are all gardeners well versed in the large sea of seed bags that can now be found in stores and at exhibitions?
I was prompted to write this article by a conversation with a gardener. She complained to me: “This summer I was left without cucumbers. Already in early August, cucumber plants ceased to bear fruit …”. It turned out that she was using hybrids that do not branch, i.e. do not give lateral shoots, on which we usually get the main crop.
Therefore, when planning to buy cucumber seeds, decide for yourself: for what purpose you need them. If you want to start harvesting cucumbers very early, sprinter varieties are suitable, which will begin to bear fruit 36-43 days after germination.
Such varieties usually bear fruit for a month or a little longer. They do not branch or branch weakly, their fruit size is gherkins or pickles. Such cucumbers are mainly suitable for canning, i.e. in marinades with vinegar. They are not very suitable for salting. Why have breeders invented such hybrids? For a month of fruiting, the plants do not have time to accumulate diseases and give up the entire crop without any chemical treatments. After harvesting the entire harvest, these cucumber lashes are removed, and the vacant area can be occupied by other vegetables.
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By the size of the fruit, cucumbers are divided into gherkins - 6-8 cm (sometimes 9 cm), if the fruits 3-5 cm long are pickles, they are also called mini-gherkins. Gherkins are tied in a knot of 3-7 pieces of fruit. At the same time, in the lower part of the plant there may be 3 cucumbers per node, and in the upper part - already 5-7 cucumbers each, since usually the parthenocarp is higher in the upper part of the plant. This applies to all types of plants - pickles, gherkins and greens - in all the parthenocarp is higher in the upper part of the cucumber plant.
In terms of agricultural technology, gherkin and pickle varieties are slightly different from zelentzovy ones, to which we are accustomed. The temperature requirements for growing seedlings are the same for all of them. In my practice, I did not pay attention to how plants behave when germinating. When germinating cucumber seeds and when seedlings appear, I harden the plants, but I did not analyze how gherkin and pickle varieties behave in this case. Breeders also do not give us accurate information on this matter. But there are still some peculiarities when growing gherkins and pickles. And they must be taken into account.
The soil for them needs to be prepared looser and more fertilized than for ordinary green plants, in which the length of the fruits is 10-12 cm or more. The acidity of the soil needs a pH of 6-7. If gherkins form a crop in 1-1.5 months, then a constant and even balanced nutrition will be required (drip irrigation is better). Manure for such cucumbers is recommended to be applied up to 10 kg per 1 m², mineral fertilizers are also required: nitrogen 18 g per 1 m² by active ingredient, phosphorus - 25 g per 1 m² by active ingredient, potassium - 20 g per 1 m² by active ingredient, magnesium - 5 g per 1 m² by active ingredient. All this must be introduced into the soil when digging the ridge before planting seedlings.
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After planting it on the ridge, I start feeding seedlings of all types of cucumbers in 10-15 days. There are formulas for the minimum nutrition, we study them in detail in gardening courses, it is impossible to describe this in one article. I'll try to tell you this with an example from my own practice. I fill the ridge with manure once every five years, since it is precisely once every five years that we purchase this expensive fertilizer now. In other years, hay serves as a biofuel for cucumbers. I put it on the bottom of the ridge, sprinkle it with ammonium nitrate or urea. Better - complete mineral fertilizer. On top of the hay, I pour the compost of three years old with a layer of 15 cm.
Instead of manure, I pour humus into the holes, which turned out during the storage of canned manure (we put part of the purchased fresh manure immediately on the beds, and part of it can be preserved - we lay an even layer on the ground in a special slate enclosure, put on rubber boots and trample the manure tightly in them Then we cover it tightly with a foil so that it does not weather out. We use the resulting humus annually until we buy a new batch of manure).
Mineral fertilizers are mandatory. I make additional fertilizing with "Solution A" - this is an easily soluble fertilizer. Its formula is good for cucumbers: nitrogen - 10%, phosphorus - 5%, potassium - 20%, magnesium - 5% and plus trace elements. Sometimes I feed it with potassium nitrate once. On the same bed, I grow both gherkin varieties and greens. At the same time, zelents are both sprinters and stayers - they bear fruit for up to four months, but I give the same food for everyone, and the soil is the same for everyone, and light and warmth.
And if a gherkin hybrid instead of three cucumbers in a node grows one, and two dry up, then this is your fault, and not a deception of breeders. So, dear gardeners, if you want to sow sprinter hybrids that do not branch in order to take care of them less, then in this case you need to carefully monitor nutrition, light, heat, the presence of carbon dioxide, otherwise you will have one instead of bunches of cucumbers " crackers "(dried ovaries).
It is imperative that when growing different types of cucumbers, the following requirement must be observed: picking pickles must be carried out daily, picking gherkins - three times a week. This simple requirement is difficult to fulfill - you will be attached to these cucumbers. If you do not remove such cucumbers on time, then in other bundles the babies will dry out. You don't have to focus on pickles at all, since we can get them in the fall on cucumber hybrids that bear fruit for 3-4 months. In September, when we remove such plants from the greenhouse, and I do this at the very end of the month, then at least half a bucket, and sometimes a whole bucket, are collected for small (undergrowed) cucumbers. At one time I was fond of canning this small fry, and now my family admitted that there is nothing special about them, we distribute them or bury them in the ridges along with the tops.
Gherkin plants are very sensitive to cold, so it is better to grow their seedlings, wait until the soil warms up to + 14 … + 16 ° С. Seedlings can be grown to the stage when 4 leaves have formed and the fifth has already appeared. This is about 3-4 weeks in age, the capacity for such plants is needed at least 0.3 liters. I believe that for seedlings of this age, 0.3 liters is not enough, 0.5 liters is needed, and the capacity is not high, but wide.
Gardeners think that if the plant does not branch, then the plants can be planted denser. Breeders advise 3-3.5 plants per square meter. This is the same norm as for branching plants. I believe that the planting density in our greenhouses should be 2-2.5 plants per square meter, but if the variety is not branching, then three plants can be placed on this area. I plant such varieties at the rate: three plants per 1.5 square meters.
True, little is written about the peculiarities of growing such plants, even on bags with seeds, a formation scheme is drawn that is the same for all hybrids. For example, cucumber Lord F1 is a bee-pollinated hybrid for open and protected ground, branches, bears abundantly until late autumn, forms greens 10-12 cm long.And another cucumber hybrid - Trump card F1 - parthenocarpic bundle gherkin, branches below average. But the picture on the formation on the bag is the same.
Plants that do not branch or branch weakly must be shaped differently. In the lower part of the plant, it is necessary to dazzle by 4-5 nodes, i.e. leave one leaf along the central shoot. The lower the load in the lower part of the plant, the faster the plant goes up, the parthenocorpium there is higher, which means that the yield will be higher. Sometimes in such plants, cucumbers do not tie at all on weak lateral shoots, or only units are formed. Such lateral shoots themselves perch themselves, i.e. limit growth themselves, as do the central shoot. It will stop - and that's it! I also had such plants. I tried to force them to continue fruiting, fed them, rejuvenated them (I put the entire shoot in a ring on the garden bed, covered it with compost) like plants that bear fruit for 3-4 months. But nothing worked with them. For many years I have been growing a hybrid of a cucumber Cheetah F1. This is a sprinter,always tied early cucumbers 11-13 cm long.
In the knots, as it is written, it was on bags with seeds, it forms 1-3-4 ovaries, however, he did not tie more than two cucumbers, but on the central shoot 2-4 fruits were poured at once. It was beautiful, especially since the cucumbers were at least 13 cm long, as I like. But this hybrid usually reached the trellis, then grew a little more, and that's it - it was completed. I planted it in the middle of the ridge between other plants. Of course, he did not have enough light, which is probably why he did not give four ovaries in a knot. Why did I plant it in the middle? Because it finished fruiting early, I cut it out, making room for the development of highly branching cucumbers. At the bottom of the F1 Cheetah I blinded up to four knots.
Plants of the gherkin and pickle type require more frequent watering, but breeders do not justify the reasons for this. Maybe this is because new cucumbers are growing rapidly, they need to be removed every day or every other day, or maybe their root system is weaker than that of strongly branched cucumbers.
These hybrids suffer a lot from stress. We have it raining with snow, then + 25 ° С in the shade, then there is no sun for weeks. A lot of drugs are offered. I don't use them, so I don't even remember how they work. I can use “Healthy Garden” and “Ecoberin” as a last resort. These are homeopathic peas. I use them only in their pure form, according to the instructions, without any impurities and fantasies.
I am interested in growing highly branching cucumbers, which begin to bear fruit in late May - early June and yield until October 1. I grow seedlings, I wait for the soil in the greenhouse garden to warm up at a depth of 15 cm to + 14 … + 16 ° C, this happens around May 1-2 or May 10-12, it all depends on spring, then I start planting. And immediately in the greenhouse I make additional lutrasil shelter.
It is not so easy to grow seedlings, therefore weakly branching cucumbers are not very profitable: the plant bears fruit for only 1.5 months, and more seedlings will be needed. Often gardeners accuse sellers of cheating buyers. Like, the packet says that it is a parthenocarpic cucumber, and it blooms with male flowers. And there are no cucumbers, but time goes on. And everything is explained simply: the gardener sowed seeds directly into the ground, and late, since it was cold. And when the seeds finally sprouted, it was already June, there were white nights. And from this, as the observations of breeders have shown, there is a sex change in cucumbers from female to male.
Here is what the Manul specialists write about this: “The sex of a cucumber is genetically inherited, but it can change under the influence of the external environment (some hybrids are stronger, others weaker). This is due to the fact that in pumpkin crops, flowers at an early stage of their development have signs of bisexuality. Their sexualization is determined by the genotype of the plant and the growing conditions. Factors such as a short day, low night temperatures, high solar radiation, optimal and increased levels of nitrogen in the soil, carbon monoxide aeration (carbon monoxide generated during combustion) increase the expression of the female sex. A long day, high night and daytime air temperatures, low humidity of air and soil, excess potassium shift the sex towards the male side.
Knowing this truth, you can not be afraid to sow seeds for seedlings earlier (early April, and sometimes I sow on March 30) and not be afraid of low night temperatures (I usually have + 10 … + 11 ° С) in the greenhouse.
Luiza Klimtseva, experienced gardener
Photo by Olga Rubtsova