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How To Get Early Cucumbers In Risky Farming Areas
How To Get Early Cucumbers In Risky Farming Areas

Video: How To Get Early Cucumbers In Risky Farming Areas

Video: How To Get Early Cucumbers In Risky Farming Areas
Video: Smart Farm: Cucumber Farming 2023, March

June zelentsy

growing cucumbers
growing cucumbers

In the spring, each gardener counts the days and weeks until the first greens and vegetables appear on their site. But, alas, cucumbers do not belong to this category in our Urals, which is not surprising, because this vegetable is thermophilic, and frosts until about June 15-17 are common in our country. As a result, most of the Ural gardeners sow cucumbers in the middle or even the end of May, and the first fruits are harvested at the end of July, being content with purchased cucumbers of more than dubious taste and quality, but at decent prices throughout the first half of the summer. I think the situation is the same in other regions of the risky farming zone.

And, nevertheless, it is precisely cucumbers that can quite realistically be considered as an early culture even in our difficult conditions, because their first fruits, if desired, can be obtained already in mid-June. True, this crop will have to be grown somewhat differently than is generally accepted.

Theoretically, there are two options for obtaining an early harvest of cucumbers - growing them with seedlings or sowing them with germinated seeds in a well-heated greenhouse for biofuel.

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The first option, which the most enthusiastic gardeners usually resort to, is not very effective, since growing cucumber seedlings at home usually does not allow you to get strong and used to sunlight plants. After planting in a greenhouse, such seedlings are very often burned by the rays of the sun, and even if this does not happen (say, it will be possible to save the plants for the first time, covering them with a covering material), it still does not give a large yield in the future.

That is, usually in practice, cucumbers grown through seedlings under our conditions can only be considered as a basis for obtaining several dozen early cucumbers, but not for mass harvesting of fruits. Therefore, those gardeners who prefer this path should sow a dozen seeds at home for an early harvest, and sow the rest of the seeds later in the greenhouse - it is these plants that will ensure the bulk of the fruits.

The second option allows you to form plants that are accustomed to the sun from the first shoots - strong and not elongated. But there are some difficulties here, because sowing must be done very early (we have been practicing the sowing option for many years in the last decade of April), when the ground in greenhouses has just thawed and is very cold, and not all the snow has even melted around the greenhouses. Of course, sowing cucumber seeds in such soil is completely pointless, so you have to carry out special preparation of both the seeds themselves and unheated glass greenhouses.

And, of course, sow only hybrids, since one of the main features of hybrids is their increased resistance to adverse weather factors and numerous diseases, which is very important for getting early production. Moreover, you need to choose highly productive hybrids, such as Break F1, Courage F1, Goosebump F1, Navruz F1 and others.

Ways to increase the cold resistance of cucumbers

There are agrotechnical methods recognized in practice for increasing the cold resistance of cucumbers, on which the possibility of obtaining an early harvest directly depends. Here are some of them.

Presowing hardening of seeds. Non-germinated seeds in a damp cloth are placed in the refrigerator for two days and kept at a temperature of 0 ° C, after which they are immediately sown. The fabric should be damp at all times. The event is quite dangerous, because if the seeds hatch, they will inevitably die. They will die at a lower temperature, although if all the requirements are met, this method gives good results.

Pre-sowing soaking of seeds in the growth stimulator Epin "or in the preparation Krezacin and regular (every 5-7 days) spraying of vegetative plants with the same Epin and humic preparations. These actions increase the cold resistance and endurance of plants to adverse conditions.

Growing on steam beds. Cucumber plants, in which the root system, thanks to the heated biofuel, is in normal temperature conditions, tolerate short-term drops in air temperature much easier, since the roots of cucumbers are more sensitive to low temperatures than the aboveground part.

Greenhouse preparation

It is necessary to start preparing greenhouses for early spring crops in the fall. At this time, all soil must be removed from them. In order to reduce the complexity of this operation (only in the absence of diseases in the past season), only the upper part of the soil can be removed, and the lower part can be left to form ridges. In this case, the soil from the lower layer is raked into several compact heaps. The fragments of the ridges freed from the soil are filled with a variety of organic residues (leaves, grass, tops, straw, etc.) - better mixed. In this case, the leaves or straw must necessarily occupy about two-thirds of the total volume (this is necessary for quick heating of the soil in spring). In the case of using leaves, they are sprinkled with lime, since the leaves from deciduous crops in our region have an acidic reaction.

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In mid-March, cover the entire surface of the greenhouse with a layer of snow about 15 cm thick so that after the snow melts, the soil is saturated with moisture as much as possible. At the end of March, the entire surface of the greenhouse is covered with a film (preferably black) in two layers to ensure maximum defrosting and warming up of the soil while maintaining moisture in it. True, this technique will have an effect only in the presence of sunny days, when the air in a closed greenhouse is very hot. In cloudy weather, the soil will thaw better in the absence of a film, but, alas, then it will have to be spilled with water afterwards.

After defrosting heaps of soil and organic matter, you should immediately start filling the greenhouse with fresh manure. Usually we have this in the first decade of April. Then the manure is sprinkled with fresh sawdust (sawdust increases the air permeability of the soil and absorbs excess nitrogen from the fresh manure) and, if possible, mix them with a pitchfork with organic matter laid in the lower layer. After that, it is advisable to spill organic matter with boiling water taken from the bath. And then immediately throw soil from the heaps prepared in the fall. If the soil has not thawed completely, then you should not wait for complete thawing (this is a long time). It is necessary to transfer the thawed soil at first, and from above evenly distribute lumps of frozen soil over the ridges. After that, you should close the ridges for a week with a film to warm the soil.

Sowing seeds

The hatched seeds are sown in small paper cups without a bottom a week before they are supposed to be moved to the greenhouse. Each cup is made in seconds by rolling a 7x21 cm strip of paper with a 5 cm overlap and stapling the edges at the top and bottom of the cup with a regular stapler. The resulting cups are placed in a wide basin or box with filled soil close to each other and filled with soil. This technique will allow to accelerate the appearance of the crop for a week and at the most crucial moment (the moment of emergence of shoots) will save the plants from difficult conditions, because they will spend a week in a warm room in a favorable environment. We do not consider this technology as growing seedlings, since the cucumbers are planted at the stage of emergence.

2-3 days before planting in the greenhouse, the entire surface of the ridges is covered with a film, the edges of which are carefully embedded in the soil - this allows you to achieve more active heating of the soil and create comfortable conditions in the area of the future location of the roots.

Then, longitudinal rectangular areas are cut in the film along the ridges in the places of the proposed placement of the cups with seeds - in standard greenhouses this will be two rows on each of the ridges (see diagram). The edges of the cuts are carefully covered with soil. Then the surfaces of the ridges are covered with a second layer of film.

growing cucumbers
growing cucumbers

Landing scheme

Immediately inside the greenhouse, additional shelters are installed in the form of arcs covered with thick covering material. The air gap formed between the glass of the greenhouse and the coating of the inner greenhouse works like a thermos - as a result, it will be much warmer inside the greenhouse.

Before planting cucumbers, the second layer of film is removed from the ridges, and the cups with seeds are planted in the marked grooves (the paper is not removed).

It is usually possible to remove additional arched shelters with us only after June 20, and the film covering the soil - a little later, but in any case before the onset of extreme heat, otherwise it will be too hot in the root area. Naturally, this film can be removed only by cutting it beforehand, therefore, for such purposes it is wiser to use the film material from greenhouses that has already served its life.

Care during the growing season

growing cucumbers
growing cucumbers

Cucumbers prefer very fertile light air-permeable soils with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction of the environment. Heavy clay soils with a close water table are not suitable for cultivation.

The roots of cucumbers are demanding for aeration and do not tolerate compacted soils, however, it is difficult to loosen the ridges with cucumbers, since a large part of the roots is located very close to the surface. Therefore, it is wiser to refuse loosening, but immediately after removing the mulching film layer, it is imperative to mulch the soil around the plants with a humus layer of 3-5 cm, and from above with foliage (it can be collected in the fall after the fall of birches and other deciduous species).

Cucumbers are very photophilous - if there is insufficient light for a normal harvest, you can't wait for them to come out. As for moisture, it is somewhat more complicated here - on the one hand, cucumber is a moisture-loving culture, and it needs to be watered often, and only with very warm water (+ 33 … + 35 ° С). But watering is not very abundant, so as not to provoke the appearance of root rot.

Highly productive cucumber hybrids belong to the so-called intensive type hybrids - that is, they require fractional application of increased doses of fertilizers. Such intensive nutrition can be provided in two ways - through a series of frequently carried out dressings or using long-lasting fertilizers (for example, APIONs), since such fertilizers provide a continuous supply of nutrients. If your choice is in favor of dressings, then they will have to be carried out once a week with complex fertilizer, for example, Kemira - best of all in the form of a liquid solution, enriched with huminates every time.

But that's not all. Cucumbers consume nitrogen very actively, and at low temperatures and on cloudy days they require large doses of potassium, so you need to carefully monitor the plants and additionally, depending on the situation, feed with urea or potassium sulfate, respectively. The use of slurry as nitrogen fertilization is undesirable, since this can provoke the development of root rot.

It is worth noting that feeding cucumber plants with weak solutions of nitrogen fertilizers can be carried out until the end of the growing season, but this should be done only if signs of nitrogen starvation are noticeable (that is, by the type of plants and fruits), otherwise the accumulation of nitrates in the fruits is possible.

In order to stimulate the development of plants, as well as to accelerate the ripening period and increase the yield, it is worth spraying them with growth and development stimulants (Epin, Citron, etc.) about once every two weeks.

And also to carry out regular spraying with stimulants of fruit formation (Ovary, Bud, etc.), otherwise the fruit setting may turn out to be poor due to cold weather, strong changes in day and night temperatures, too high temperature in the greenhouse in the sun on hot days and other reasons …

Shaping and garter

growing cucumbers
growing cucumbers

The first rule for the formation of cucumber hybrids is to remove the ovaries and lateral lashes from the first four leaves. They do this so that the first zelentsy do not take all the nutrition on themselves - this allows you to quickly form a powerful vegetative mass, which will provide a large harvest.

In the future, you should pinch each side lash over the second or third sheet. This option of pinching the side lashes will lead to the formation of a crop not only on the main trunk, but also on all the fragments left of each side lash.

The main shoots are tied vertically to the supports located at the top of the greenhouse. In this case, the lashes should be distributed in such a way that the top of any shoot is always as illuminated as possible - the lack of light reaching the top of the plant is one of the reasons for the sterility of the pollen of future flowers.

When the lashes reach the upper part of the support for further growth, they are directed vertically down, and not along the horizontally located supports of the greenhouse, otherwise the horizontally growing lashes with their leaves will cover the entire light space from above. This will lead to a sharp decrease in the illumination of plants and, as a consequence, to a decrease in yield.

In addition, it is necessary to promptly remove all yellowed leaves on the plants, as well as leaves that are located below the fruiting zone, leaving 2-3 leaves until the first green. The leaves in the fruiting part of the lash do not bring absolutely any benefit, at the same time absorbing their share of nutrients and creating excessive shade. In addition, they prevent the resumption of fruiting in this part of the lash due to the additionally growing lateral shoots.

Protection against diseases and pests

Cucumbers have both diseases and pests in abundance. Of the diseases, the most dangerous are root rot, powdery mildew (common and false) and olive spot. Of the pests, the most dangerous are spider mites and aphids.

To prevent the appearance of root rot, when sowing seeds, drugs such as trichodermin are added to the soil. In the future, in no case should water be allowed to enter the root collar and near it - that is, plants need to be watered at some distance from the root collar. And in cold and humid weather, the root collar zone should be periodically sprinkled with crushed coal.

In order to avoid the appearance of powdery mildew and olive spot, preventive spraying with drugs that increase the immunity of plants (Immunocytophyte) and biological drugs against diseases (Gamair) are carried out.

As for aphids and spider mites, it is advisable to carry out treatment for these pests at the very beginning of the growing season, when there are still few pests, but there are still no fruits, since insecticides can still be used at this time. If the moment is missed, then you will have to do several treatments with alternative means, for example, Fitoverm. Using infusions of various herbs with soap for spraying is, of course, also possible, but very laborious and less effective.


It is imperative to pick cucumbers early in the morning (at 6-7-8 am) and regularly - in hot weather every day, in cool weather - every other day. The total yield with this type of collection will be much higher, and the fruits will be of better quality. The collected fruits are either immediately canned, or put in ajar plastic bags and sent to the refrigerator.

Good luck to everyone in the new season!

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg

Photo by the author and Olga Rubtsova

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