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 that 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 in it rational methods for themselves that I have 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 cultivated in Russia since the 16th century. Among all vegetable crops, cucumber is our 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 crunchy. But then they were grown not in greenhouses, but in the open field.
And I decided to try it too grow 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 cooked warm ridges.
Garden bed preparation
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 manure then. And then all autumn we put in this box plant waste from other ridges, except for waste from marrows, pumpkins and cucumbers. In late autumn, we sprinkled the waste of plants with Azophos, sprinkled it with earth and trampled it down. The box was half full. In this form, he left for the winter with us.
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 - a thick layer of fresh manure - 15-20 cm, laid a layer of hay on the manure, poured fertile soil on the hay, then again a layer of manure, hay and earth went. And all this layered "cake" was tamped tightly as it filled.
Finally, the box turned out to be almost full, on top I poured fertile soil 5-10 cm above the edging.After all, during the burning process, the ridge will settle, therefore, 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 earth on top with sawdust, a rake and a hoe, mixed them evenly with a layer of earth 15-20 cm deep. 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 film 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 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 upward 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 ablaze with heat. I open a mini-greenhouse from the western, higher side. I remove the "warming up" film from the ground, 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, I throw in an additional old film over this mini-greenhouse. 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. 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 at first is limited, only when absolutely necessary. We are waiting for the growing moon. We begin to water on 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 whips are resting on the film, it is necessary to release them outside.
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 the cucumber lashes 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 against the southern end, and tie them to the crossbar. The next day, we open the western side, do the same operation to tie the lashes to the crossbar. In a day or two we will open the eastern side as well.
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. All that remains is 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 micronutrient fertilizers 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 being obtained.
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 lashes 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 once 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 grown cucumbers is excellent, 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 I strictly adhere to is to follow the development of cucumber plantings in 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.
In 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 overgrown 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 much more fruits were collected from one cucumber plant in this box. So, for more than 10 years growing cucumbers, I 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 were planted on a mini-garden on May 18.
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 size, on which I planted four cups of seedlings. But two plants planted inside the ridge, after the first fruiting, began to weaken, became ill, and they had to be removed. The ridge was overloaded with tops, the lashes on this ridge crushed each other. The end result on it was much worse.
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 perform this operation thoroughly and in time, and I didn’t work with tops and didn’t 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.
Boris Romanov, experienced gardener, winner of the competition of the Union of Gardeners and the competition "Summer Season - 2008"
How to grow cucumbers outdoors without tying up?
Growing cucumbers, many summer residents direct their efforts to watering and feeding and simply forget about the garter. And in vain! After all, it is from this manipulation that the normal development of the bush depends, its illumination and susceptibility to disease. What is worth knowing about tying cucumbers in the open field and in the greenhouse?
How to water cucumbers outdoors
Cucumbers are a moisture-loving culture. Not only the quantity of the crop, but also its quality largely depends on the correct watering. For example, the main disadvantage of cucumbers - bitterness - most often occurs with insufficient watering, and the main diseases (root rot, peronosporosis, powdery mildew, etc.), on the contrary, begin to manifest themselves with an excess of moisture. Thus, proper watering is one of the main factors for a rich cucumber harvest.
How to properly water cucumbers outdoors? Let's name the most important watering rules:
- Cucumbers should not be watered with cold water. The water temperature should be approximately the same as the ambient temperature. The optimal range is 25-28 ° C. Heating water in the country, even in the absence of hot water supply, will not be difficult. Place the containers (preferably dark in color) in a sunny place - and by the end of the day you will have water suitable for irrigation.
- The root system of cucumbers is superficial. The top layer of the earth, where the roots are located, dries up very quickly, so cucumbers in the open field need frequent watering. In hot weather, at least 4-5 liters should be poured onto 1 square meter of plantings that are not yet flowering every 2-3 days. During flowering and active fruiting, the moisture requirement of cucumbers increases. During this period, they need at least 8-12 liters per 1 square meter daily or every other day. However, it is impossible to accurately name the frequency of watering, because it depends not only on temperature, but also on the region, humidity level, etc. We think the most correct way to navigate the ground. If you see that it has begun to dry out, then it's time to water the cucumbers. By the end of the season, the frequency and volume of watering are reduced. They do this even if damp cool weather is established on the street. Excessive watering in such conditions can lead to fungal diseases.
- You need to water the cucumbers either early in the morning or in the evening, closer to sunset. With daytime watering, drops on the leaves can cause burns to the leaf blades.
- Water the cucumbers at the root. However, do not pour the water from a hose, but with a spray bottle. In this case, the soil will not be covered with a crust and the roots that are located close to the surface will not be exposed from a strong jet.Sprinkling (watering over the leaves) is necessary for plants only during severe drought. During these times, spray the green parts of the plants with a spray to increase the moisture level around the bushes.
- If you water cucumbers with tap water, which contains chlorine compounds, it must be defended for 24 hours before watering. Cucumbers do not react well to chlorine, so it is necessary for it to evaporate.
The best watering option for cucumbers is to build a drip system. In this case, the bushes receive the optimal amount of liquid, and you are freed from the need to spend a lot of time watering. You can make a drip irrigation system yourself. We wrote about this in detail in our article:
This growing method makes it possible to significantly speed up fruiting. So, in the open field, the first crop of cucumbers grown by seedlings can be obtained 2 weeks earlier than those grown in the usual way. During planting, plants should have 3-4 true leaves, that is, be 2-3 weeks old.
Seedling growing method will significantly accelerate fruiting
To grow cucumbers with seedlings, you must:
1. Take full-fledged large seeds that have undergone pre-sowing warming (for this you need to hold them for a month near heating devices at a temperature of about +25 ° C). The seeds heated in this way will give the most friendly shoots, the plants will begin to bear fruit earlier and will give less barren flowers.
2. Then the seeds must be disinfected: for this you can use an infusion of garlic pulp - for 100 ml of water (cold) 30 g of garlic pulp. We keep the seeds in this infusion for 1 hour.
3. After that, we put them in cloth bags and soak for 12 hours in a nutrient solution: 1 liter of water + 1 teaspoon of sifted wood ash and nitrophoska.
4. Then, after rinsing with clean water, place them on a slightly damp cloth and keep them for about 2 days at a temperature of +20 ° C - until they swell completely. Make sure that the seeds do not germinate, they should only slightly bite.
5. The last stage of pre-sowing processing of cucumber seeds is to place them in the refrigerator for a day.
Remember: seeds of hybrids do not need pre-sowing treatment.
Cucumber seeds are sown in small containers
Sowing cucumber seedsto get seedlings, throughout April - in small containers with a height of about 10-12 cm.
- A nutritious soil mixture must be prepared in advance: 1 part of sawdust (we use small and old ones) + 2 parts each of humus and peat. For 10 liters of such a mixture, add 1.5 tbsp. spoons of nitrophoska and 2 tbsp. spoons of wood ash.
- Having mixed the soil mixture well, fill the containers with it to the top, sow the germinated seeds (one piece per container) and water them a little. The seedlings will be ready in 27-32 days.
- When the seedlings have 2 real leaves, it must be fed with a special solution: mix 3 liters of warm (about + 20 ° C) water + 3 teaspoons of nitroammophoska or nitrophoska.
- Throughout the entire growing period, we water the cucumber seedlings once a week, spilling the container completely.
Sowing and planting seedlings of cucumbers
The best soil will be a mixture: 1 part each of sawdust, humus, peat and sod land (1: 1: 1: 1). But, as we already said, almost any land is suitable for growing cucumbers.
Almost any land is suitable for growing cucumbers.
Having formed the beds, we water them with a solution: 10 liters of hot (+80. +90 ° C) water + 1 teaspoon of copper sulfate, we spend about 3 liters per 1 m², and leave for a day. On the day of planting cucumber seedlings or sowing seeds on the ridges, we make holes, the depth of which is about 4 cm, with a distance of about 60 cm from each other. We put the seeds in the holes, sprinkle them with soil on top and water them, and plant the seedlings vertically.
Cucumber beds should always be weed-free. During the first 3 weeks, while the plants are small, carefully loosen the soil to a depth of 2-4 cm. In the future, loosening should be carried out at least once a week.
During the growth and formation of fruits, cucumbers need plenty of water... For the highest yield, water using warm water: before flowering - every 6-8 days, during fruiting - every 3-4 days.
You can't water cucumbers like that: water should fall on the soil, and not on the plants.
If the water seeps poorly, make punctures between the rows with a pitchfork, this loosening will not disturb the root system of the plants. Do not water the cucumbers with a strong stream from the hose., you only need to water the soil, not the plants themselves.
HOW TO GROW A GOOD CUCUMBER CROP
To grow healthy and tasty cucumbers, there are a number of important things to consider.
It should be remembered that cucumber is a thermophilic culture. At a temperature of +14 degrees, all growth processes slow down, roots begin to die off and ovaries begin to fall off, therefore, when growing in open ground over cucumbers, it is necessary to provide for a temporary shelter.
To create warm heating in the garden, it is recommended to bury half-decomposed manure in its center between the plants.
Do not thicken cucumber beds. As a rule, 7 plants are placed on 1 running meter.
Long-leafed parthenocarpic hybrids grow well in greenhouses. They must be tied to the trellis. In no case should you pinch the ends of the lash. Indeed, most greenhouse varieties and hybrids have a female type of flowering. Removing the growth point of the main shoot will halt the development of the entire plant.
Watering is very important for cucumbers, because their shallow root system is not able to "get" moisture from the lower layers of the soil. Therefore, it is necessary to water regularly and abundantly in order to wet the soil to a depth of 25 - 30 cm. In this case, water should never get on the root collar.
Only warm water is used for watering cucumbers. Otherwise, fruiting is sharply inhibited, and the greens begin to taste bitter. The air in the greenhouse should also be humid and warm (at least 80 percent humidity). Then the plants will develop normally.
You need to feed the cucumbers very carefully. Do not use high concentrations of natural organic fertilizers, otherwise you can burn the roots. It is best to use a mullein (1 shovel is diluted in 10 liters of warm water, and then further diluted in a ratio of 1: 3).
In cold weather, feeding is not carried out, since at temperatures below +15 degrees, the root system of the cucumber does not work. Plants should not be overheated either. At a temperature in the greenhouse above +32 degrees, the plants begin to stress, as a result of which they may die.
In such conditions, the greenhouse must be ventilated (but without drafts, which cucumbers are very afraid of).
Parthenocarpic and bee-pollinated hybrids cannot be grown on the same bed. It is difficult to distinguish between them when collecting. But if even one salad cucumber gets into the jar along with pickles, it will certainly explode!
Features of outdoor care
Care during fruiting consists in the formation of a bush, timely fertilization, watering, loosening the soil and hilling.
Secrets of proper watering
The surface of the leaves of cucumbers is thin, therefore, with a lack of moisture, they lose their turgor. Because of this, the first emerging ovaries fall off, which leads to a decrease in yield. Excessive moisture is also harmful, increasing the plant's susceptibility to disease.
Watering is carried out with water at room temperature, preferably settled or rainwater. Regimen: at least once a week, 3-5 liters of water per plant.
With the appearance of 2-3 true leaves, the bushes spud. This is done in order to build up additional roots and increase the endurance of the culture.
For your information. The stronger the root system of cucumbers, the faster the ovaries form.
When and what to fertilize
Improper fertilization is bad for plants. They feed it mainly with organic matter. Use mullein or chicken droppings diluted 1:10 with water. For each bush, 1-1.5 liters of fertilizer are consumed. Plants are fed twice a month. If the weather is hot, this is done more often.
The culture responds well to the alternation of complex mineral and organic fertilizers. For the introduction of mineral dressings, special preparations are used, for example, "Crystallin", "Solution" or "Kemira". It is also effective to feed the plants with an ash solution (a glass of ash for 10 liters of water).
On a note... Experienced gardeners feed the cucumbers with cow's milk diluted with water in a 1: 2 ratio.
Protection against diseases and pests
Diseases and pests make it more difficult to grow cucumbers outdoors. Diseases lie in wait for the culture throughout the growing season. In the open air, the infection is transmitted by air.
The most common diseases of cucumbers:
Root rot can destroy the entire crop. The first signs appear immediately after planting plants in a permanent place. When the daytime temperature rises, the foliage withers, and at night it regains its elasticity. The lower part of the stem of the bushes becomes brown. At this time, they do the following:
- the fungicide "Hom" or the biological product "Bactofit" is introduced into the soil
- spud stems for the development of new roots
- for the resistance of plants to diseases, the bushes are treated with Effekton.
Anthracnose affects the whole plant: whips, leaves and even fruits. Yellow spots spread through the foliage, pink ulcers appear on the fruits, the stems begin to dry out, the vegetables become unusable.
The sooner the plant is cured, the more chances it is to save it. To overcome anthracnose, the bushes are treated with 1% Bordeaux liquid.
Powdery mildew appears due to cool weather (+ 15-20 ° C) with high humidity. At first, the disease manifests itself as a white coating on the leaves. In the future, the foliage dries and turns yellow.
Cucumber bushes are treated for powdery mildew with an aqueous infusion of mullein (1:10). If the disease is already progressing, the bushes are sprayed with a solution of ferrous sulfate (5%).
Plants are often attacked by aphids, which complicates the care of the crop. In damaged bushes, leaves wither and turn yellow, buds and ovaries deteriorate. Insects reproduce quickly, they can destroy an entire garden in just 10 days.
For the fight, a soap-ash solution is used. In 1 liter of water add 2 tbsp. l. ash and laundry soap diluted in hot water. This tool is used to wash the leaves and stems of cucumbers. The procedure is carried out in the morning, and at noon, covering material is thrown over the plants, protecting the leaves from sunburn. After five days, the event is repeated.
On a note. To scare off pests and feed weak plants, the soil under them is sprinkled with wood ash.