With all the variety of modern varieties and hybrids of cucumbers, many gardeners prefer the old proven varieties "from the past." After all, cucumber is a traditional culture, and many years ago there were no special problems with their cultivation. Therefore, the proverb about the "old friend" is quite appropriate here. One of the favorite Soviet varieties is the Graceful cucumber.
The history of cultivation of the Graceful cucumber variety
Cucumber Graceful is already half a century old. Back in 1966, an application for registration of the variety was sent by the Moscow Region Institute VNIISSOK (now the Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable Growing) to the State Register. In 1971, the variety was registered and approved for cultivation in almost all climatic regions with the exception of the southernmost ones. When creating the variety, it was supposed to be used in the Far East, Siberia and the Urals, but as a result, Graceful was planted almost everywhere.
This cucumber is highly cold-resistant and can grow well in short summer conditions. Rarely planted in greenhouses, it is a variety used to growing outdoors and pollinated by flying insects. According to the entry in the State Register of the Russian Federation, it is intended for commercial production, that is, it is grown not only by ordinary summer residents, but also in large agricultural enterprises.
Cucumber seeds Graceful are produced by various companies
Description of the variety Graceful
Cucumber Graceful - a time-tested worker, easy to grow. Its bush is quite powerful, the main stem is capable of reaching two meters in length. The branching is solid, a lot of leaves are formed on the plant. Without the forced formation of a bush, usually 4 to 6 long lateral stems are formed on it. It is on them that the main crop is formed, since most of the flowers on the main stem are male, and female flowers appear on the lateral ones. This is a feature of most common varieties (non-hybrids) of cucumbers. Therefore, it is customary to pinch the main stem after the formation of the 5th or 6th leaf, and the lateral ones are allowed to grow at least half a meter, after which they are pinched to increase branching.
Zelentsy of the Graceful variety are able to tie only with natural pollination of flowers with the participation of bees. Therefore, with the forced cultivation of this cucumber in a shelter, it is necessary either to give access to flying insects there, or to learn how to artificially pollinate flowers. The fruits of this cucumber have a classic shape, grow up to 10–12 cm, weigh from 90 to 140 g. The skin is thin, the color is standard green, the tubercles on the surface are small.
Zelentsy are covered with small tubercles, they seem to be velvety
Characteristics of the cucumber variety Graceful
The Graceful variety cannot be called high-yielding by modern standards: about 7 kg of fruits are harvested from a square meter of plantings per season. However, this is mainly due to the short duration of fruiting. This cucumber belongs to the early maturing. It is customary to grow it by direct sowing of seeds into the ground. If this is done in the last days of May, then by the middle of summer the first cucumbers grow. Depending on climatic conditions, it can take 40–55 days from germination to the beginning of fruiting. Fruiting is abundant within 2-3 weeks, but then it sharply decreases.
The variety is universal: greens are suitable both for fresh consumption and for canning for the winter. They are suitable for salting, pickling, cooking assorted vegetables.
Graceful is not one of the varieties with high disease resistance. If, for example, the disease with olive spot is not typical for it, then the variety "picks up" powdery mildew in adverse weather conditions often. Therefore, dense planting in climate-problematic regions should be excluded. Cucumber and aphids are often affected. They fight both powdery mildew and aphids mainly by well-known folk remedies.
Powdery mildew - the scourge of the Graceful variety
The main advantages of the variety are:
- good presentation of fruits;
- pleasant taste and aroma of zelents;
- cold resistance;
- lack of hard seeds;
- versatility of crop use.
The disadvantages are as follows:
- short time period for fruiting;
- high susceptibility to powdery mildew;
- dependence of the taste of fruits on the quality of irrigation.
Since Graceful is not a hybrid, the seeds from its harvest can be used for planting in the following years. This variety is considered a good pollinator for bee-pollinated varieties and female flowering hybrids.
Video: characteristic of the Graceful variety
Growing Cucumbers Graceful
The agrotechnics of the Graceful cucumber does not differ from that for the majority of early-maturing bee-pollinated varieties. True, it is known that some cucumbers are able to grow normally in partial shade; this does not apply to the Graceful. For its planting, a well-lit area with light fertile soils is chosen. The best predecessors are peas, cabbage, tomatoes. A tall, warm bed, equipped with a large amount of compost, is ideal. It is possible to plant this cucumber in barrels or bags with soil.
For cucumbers, tall beds are often equipped, well seasoned with organic matter.
This variety is rarely grown in an upright version, since the bush is carried in a multi-stem form and it is not always productive to tie up bushy plants. It is quite possible to arrange the whips horizontally. If you want to get an early harvest, seedlings are grown, but more often the seeds are sown directly in the garden in late May or early June (under temporary shelters - two weeks earlier). There are no more than three plants per square meter.
Water the Elegant often, using only settled water heated by the sun. They try to feed them weekly, using infusions of mullein and wood ash. To attract bees during the flowering period, many gardeners spray the plants with a weak solution of honey (spoon on a bucket of water).
Some gardeners do not pay attention to the formation of bushes, but at the same time it will not work to achieve normal yields. It is important to pinch the main stem over the 5th or 6th leaf, and the rest is not so important. At least this operation will make it possible to obtain 5–6 lateral lashes with female flowers, and whether or not to achieve the formation of third-order shoots is the business of the owner, this is no longer the main thing. Greens are collected every 2-3 days, preventing them from overgrowing.
Cucumber Graceful is one of the varieties that have been tested for decades. Of course, it also has disadvantages (weak disease resistance, not very high yield), but the ease of care and good presentation of the crop leave the variety among those that are in demand every year.
In 1971, the register of breeding achievements of the USSR was replenished with another promising variety of cucumbers. The latter was intended for cultivation in the harsh conditions of Siberia, the Urals, the Far East. The variety was bred in the experimental fields of the now All-Russian Research Institute of Breeding and Seed Production of Garden Crops. Today, Central and Northwest have been added to the recommended growing regions.
It is a determinant plant. The sturdy central stem does not exceed 2 m in length, which is why the variety is often grown horizontally, running on the ground. Flowers that form in the axils of the leaves are pollinated by bees, which is why it is more preferable to cultivate "Graceful" in the open field. Branched shoots are densely covered with medium-sized foliage of bright green color.
Upon successful pollination, an ovary forms instead of flowers. During the period of technical ripeness, cylindrical green fruits with white stripes are removed from the whips. The tuberosity of the dense skin is moderate. Pubescence is white. Zelentsy are leveled, their length is on average 10-12 cm. The weight of one cucumber is 120-150 g. The pulp is dense, crispy with a well-pronounced cucumber aroma.
Cucumbers of the hybrid form "Gunnar" are very susceptible to following the rules of sowing and growing seedlings:
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- after sowing and before the first shoots, the temperature should be maintained at 26-27 ° C
- the emergence of seedlings requires a gradual decrease in temperature to 20 ° C in the daytime and 19 ° C at night
- 24 hours before transplanting the seedlings to a permanent place, the temperature should be reduced by a couple of degrees
- the soil at the time of planting seedlings should be warmed up to 21 ° C.
Cucumbers "Emerald City": features of the variety
Seeds should be sown on ridges when the topsoil warms up to 16 ° C at a seed placement depth of 1.5-2.0 cm.When cultivated in unheated greenhouse structures, seeds are sown at the beginning of May, and seedlings with 3- 4 true leaves, planted in mid-May.
The fruits are elongated ellipses of saturated green color, 8 to 15 cm long and weighing 130-150 grams. Cucumbers usually have a bumpy surface and white fluffiness. The peel of the fruit is thin, the flesh is very juicy, and the taste is very pleasant. Application universally - both for salads and pickles.
The yield is 6-8 kg per square meter, which is not a high indicator in comparison with other varieties.
Growing Graceful Cucumbers
The growing process will not be difficult. It is important to monitor the growth of plants, to take care of them in a timely manner. When the seedlings grow up, tie them to the trellis. The variety does not require pinching: planting does not form dense bushes.
Plants are watered only with warm water 1-2 times a week, and during flowering and fruiting - 4-5 times a week. You can not wet the leaves, otherwise diseases will develop. Also, do not water the cucumbers with cold water: the root system will get sick, and the ovaries will die.
Top dressing is applied at the same time:
- Organic fertilizing is applied a week after planting plants in open ground. It includes infusion of mullein (1 part of cow dung to dilute in 5 parts of water), bird droppings (1 part of droppings and 20 parts of water), infusion of herbs (pour chopped nettle with water in a ratio of 1: 2). Feed with solutions once every 10 days throughout the entire growth of cucumbers.
- Mineral dressing. Fertilizers are sold in a specialty store. The best are: "Ceovit Cucumbers", "Agricola", "Bio-Master".
Attention! If extra ovaries appear, take measures to form bushes - remove the flowers, leaving four male inflorescences.
Grade "Graceful" is hygrophilous. But when cultivated in regions with frequent precipitation, additional moisture may not be required. When the moisture reserves in the soil layer are depleted, the plants are watered every 3 days with warm water. The procedure is carried out early in the morning or in the evening under the root, trying to avoid getting drops on the shoots. Water in the leaf sinuses can trigger the development of the fungus.
The systematic application of fertilizers not only provides adequate nutrition to the plants, but also allows them to maintain their health and form excellent immunity.
Top dressing, which are at the same time preventive measures for plant protection, is carried out three times during the growing season:
- 14-15 days after the emergence of seedlings or planting of seedlings using nitrogen-containing complexes.
- In the flowering phase, adding wood ash.
- During intensive fruiting, superphosphate and potassium sulfate.
To maintain the cleanliness of the beds, as well as the "porous" structure of the soil, the ground under the cucumbers is loosened and weeded.
The depth of soil cultivation should not exceed 3 cm, otherwise the vegetable grower can injure the roots of the culture, which will lead to a weakening of the immune system or even death.
The soil is loosened and weeded only after precipitation or watering, so that the earth is moistened and there is no moisture deficit. To increase the time interval between procedures, as well as to protect the roots from nighttime drops in temperature, the beds are mulched using peat or sawdust. It is very important to pay attention to compliance with these requirements.
When growing horizontally, the procedure is not carried out. And in the case of the trellis method, even a determinant plant is formed. Since the bushes are not very tall, they pinch the central shoot above the third true leaf, which allows you to get 5-6 lateral shoots and increase the yield from 4 to 6-7 kg / m2. The lashes must be fixed on the trellis with a string that will support their weight with fruits.
Cucumbers of the Graceful variety are not capable of self-pollination. Therefore, during the flowering period, it is recommended to spray the leaves of the crop with sugar or honey syrup to attract bees.
To prevent the development of powdery mildew, it is necessary to treat the plant with a weak mullein solution.
If white spots are found on the leaves, you need to remove the affected parts of the bush and add potash top dressing.
In the fight against aphids, spraying with a solution of 200 grams of wood ash, 10 liters of water and 50 grams of laundry soap helps.
A real colonel is an unpretentious vegetable cultivar. Caring for him includes the following manipulations:
- Watering. The plant needs regular, but moderate moisture, which is carried out at the root. In the greenhouse, it is enough to water the culture 1-2 times a week, in the garden based on the temperature regime, frequency and abundance of precipitation.
- Fertilizer. The first time a Real Colonel cucumber is fed 14 days after planting in open ground. For this purpose, it is better to choose a good mineral complex. The next time the beds are fertilized at the time of the formation of ovaries, organic matter is used, for example, mullein infusion diluted in a ratio of 1:15. The third top dressing occurs at the time of fruiting. At this time, the plant most of all needs potash fertilizers.
- Loosening. To improve air exchange, the soil where cucumbers grow should be loosened after each watering, while getting rid of weeds.
- Formation of bushes. The variety forms whips with a low growth rate, therefore, it practically does not need this procedure. Attention should be paid only to the processes, which are cut off with pruning shears as they grow. For the convenience of harvesting, cucumber whips A real colonel can be tied to the supports.
- Mulching. This procedure is desirable, but not necessary. It is better to use straw or peat as mulch. So the root system of the plant will definitely be protected from temperature extremes and the invasion of pests. In addition, mulch will help keep a sufficient amount of moisture in the ground.
- Disease prevention. At the stage of growth and development, it is advisable to spray a real colonel with a mixture of milk, soap and iodine, 1 liter, 30 g and 25 drops, respectively, or a solution prepared from 3 tbsp. l. soda and a liter of water. Such a procedure will help protect the culture from powdery mildew and rot.
If the rules for caring for the plant are not followed, there is a threat of the formation of voids in the fruits