Cucumber - whoever grew up, well done!
The first printed references to the culture of cucumbers in Russia date back to the early 16th century. During the time of Peter I, two garden gardens were established in the village of Izmailovo near Moscow, where, along with other vegetable crops, cucumbers were grown in greenhouses. Two centuries later, this culture spread already throughout Russia.
Cucumber, or Common Cucumber, or Cucumber (lat. Cucumis sativus) is an annual herbaceous plant of the Pumpkin family (Cucurbitaceae), a species of the genus Cucumber (Cucumis)
Its fruits contain 95-98% water and a negligible amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Cucumbers are rich in complex organic substances, which play an important role in the metabolism. These substances help the absorption of other foods and improve digestion. They stimulate the appetite. Fresh cucumber very effectively increases the acidity of gastric juice, therefore it is contraindicated in suffering gastritis with high acidity and peptic ulcer. Everyone knows that if you add a little grated or finely chopped fresh cucumber to the okroshka, then this dish immediately acquires a refreshing taste.
In cucumbers, relatively many bases were found that improve the functioning of the heart and kidneys. By the number of alkaline salts, cucumber is second only to black radish. These salts neutralize the acidic compounds found in many foods and disrupt metabolic processes, lead to premature aging, to the deposition of crystalline compounds (stones) in the liver and kidneys. Cucumbers, like radish, are called the orderly of our body for their ability to neutralize acidic compounds. But this does not exhaust the value of cucumbers.
Site selection and soil preparation
When choosing a place for cucumbers, it should be borne in mind that they are responsive to heat, light and soil fertility. In its heat loving nature, this crop is superior to all garden crops that are grown in open ground in central Russia. The optimum temperature for growing cucumber is 18..26 ° C. At a temperature of 15 ° C, the cucumber sharply slows down growth, and at a temperature below 10 ° C it ceases to grow, the roots and root neck become ill and the plant dies.
Even slight frosts are fatal to this crop. Therefore, it is recommended to plant cucumbers on beds or ridges that are protected from cold winds and have a slight bias to the south. In addition, raised beds warm up faster in the spring.
Cucumbers prefer highly fertile, low-nitrogen drained soil. Very acidic soils should be liming. It is advisable to place the cucumber after potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, peas.
In autumn, under digging, it is best to bring in fresh manure at the rate of a manure bucket per 1 sq. M. meter, and if it is not, then 25 g (1 tablespoon) of potassium salt and 40 g (2 tablespoons) of superphosphate per 1 square. meter. Instead of superphosphate and potassium salt, 200 g of ash can be added. In the spring, the soil is again well dug up and loosened.
When and how to plant cucumbers
Cucumbers can be planted with both seedlings and seeds directly in the garden. Planting in open ground is done when the soil has already warmed up enough: in central Russia this is usually the end of May.
When planting seeds, it is recommended to preheat them, and immediately before sowing - to wet them. Warming seeds disinfects them and significantly reduces the incidence of plants. The seeds are heated two months before sowing, hanging them in a gauze bag near the heating battery or near the stove, at a temperature of more than 20 ° C. Before sowing, seeds are also recommended to soak for 12 hours.
It is better to prepare a bed or comb for cucumbers as follows: Dig a recess 30 cm in width and depth. The lower part of the recess is filled with humus or manure (approximately 15 cm from the bottom). Top cover with a layer of soil mixed with manure to form a small mound or ridge - to improve drainage.
Cucumber care comes down to weeding, watering, top dressing (if necessary) and garter on the trellis. Cucumber is a moisture-loving crop. Humidity and watering are especially important for cucumbers during active growth (June) and fruit formation (July, August). Even short-term drying of the soil during fruit formation leads to the appearance of bitterness in cucumbers, which then can not be eliminated by any irrigation. Water the cucumbers with warm water (cold water leads to inhibition of growth and the appearance of gray rot).
To preserve soil moisture, planting cucumbers is mulched with organic materials (you can even use mowed grass from the lawn). Mulch protects the soil from drying out quickly and inhibits the growth of weeds, which means that it will be possible to water cucumbers less often, and you will not have to loosen and weed the garden.
Yellowing and falling of ovaries of cucumbers indicates waterlogging of the soil or nutrient deficiency, which can occur with a thickened planting. In such a situation, it is necessary to allow the soil to dry and then feed the cucumbers with a solution of mineral fertilizers or ash. Caution should be exercised when feeding organic substances with cucumbers: liquid organic solutions may contain causative agents of fusarium, and solutions based on infusion of weeds can carry viruses of various diseases (for example, the tobacco mosaic virus remains viable for almost a year).
When feeding, you need to remember that in cold cloudy weather, plant growth slows down and there will be no sense in fertilizers: the roots of cucumbers are able to actively absorb nutrients at a soil temperature of at least 10 degrees. To avoid burns, fertilize the moistened soil around the cucumbers with fertilizers, avoiding contact with foliage.
The root system of cucumbers needs air. Frequent irrigation compacts uncoated soil, and loosening damages delicate roots. To provide air access, with the help of garden pitchforks, punctures are made in the ground to a depth of 10-15 cm.
When growing cucumbers in open ground during prolonged rains, there is a danger of the rapid spread of gray rot in thickened lashes of plants. Good results are obtained by tying them onto trellises: strong meter stakes are driven into the ground, a rope is pulled between them and cucumber lashes are tied (like vineyards).
Sometimes, only male flowers are formed in the planted seedlings of cucumbers. To stimulate the formation of flowers with ovaries, you should stop watering the cucumbers for several days, allowing the soil to dry. Also, after the 5th or 6th leaf (depending on the variety of cucumber), you should pinch the main stem. This stimulates the branching of the plant, the development of shoots with female flowers and increases productivity.
Regular, frequent fruit picking contributes to more abundant fruit production, slowing the aging of plants and increasing productivity. Cucumbers of short-fruited varieties are harvested every 1-2 days, long-fruited (greenhouse) - every 3-4 days.
How to choose a grade
Size and shape are not the only signs by which varieties and hybrids of cucumber differ. What else do we pay attention to?
On pubescence, or prickly, of the fetus. It can be dense or almost absent; next to large spikes can be small. And they differ in color: white, brown, black.
White-spiked cucumbers - salad type, they are not suitable for salting. By the way, it is these vegetables, regardless of the season, that come to our shelves from greenhouses. Even on smooth long fruits, rare white spikes can be seen.
Black or brown spikes - a sign of pickling pickled or universal type. Most often these are varieties (less often - hybrids) intended for open ground or hotbeds. Their fruits are good to eat fresh, pickle and pickle. The only drawback is that they mature much faster than the white-spiked, turn yellow and become rough.
Choose a cucumber variety suitable for your region. It will be resistant to weather and diseases common in your area. Separate salad varieties from those that can be salted and canned. And it would be very nice if they all matured at different times. Early varieties quickly yield crops, later varieties are more resistant to diseases and bear fruit for a long time.
If it is indicated that the partenocarpic variety is a female type of flowering, it is necessary to plant a pollinator variety, otherwise it will bloom profusely, but you will get few fruits. In addition, parthenocarpic varieties are usually grown in greenhouses or film shelters. If the bees pollinate them, they can produce curved fruits. So refrain from growing such varieties in open ground, unless there is a corresponding indication that they are suitable for this.
And do not forget: cucumbers love heat, and they can be planted in open ground only after there is no longer a threat of frost.
Interestingly, after many years of experimentation, genetics from the United Arab Emirates brought cucumbers with square fruits, which are convenient for transportation and storage. They say that they taste no different from ordinary ones.
Growing cucumbers in sheltered ground
Cucumber takes the first place among vegetables by area in protected ground in Russia, even ahead of tomato. In greenhouses and hotbeds, cucumbers are grown mainly in the same way as in open ground, although there are some features that will be discussed below.
The time for seeding under the film is earlier, in the middle zone of Russia - May 10-15.
When constructing a greenhouse, it should be borne in mind that cucumbers grow greatly, and therefore it must be done higher so that the plants are not crowded. Inside the greenhouse along the rows of seedlings, a wire (trellis) is pulled. As the shoots grow to it, seedlings are carefully tied to the bottom of the seedlings for the second real leaf.
When caring for cucumbers, it is important to observe the thermal regime, trying not to allow sudden changes in temperature, which are extremely harmful to this crop. During the day, maintain the air temperature in the greenhouse at 23..26 ° C, and at night - 19..20 ° C.
The time for seeding under the film is earlier, in the middle zone of Russia - May 10-15.
Harvesting and storing cucumbers
The first collection of cucumbers sown by seeds in open ground begins in mid-July. In the midst of fruiting, it is advisable to harvest cucumbers in a day or two, remembering that the more often the fruits are harvested, the higher the yield of this crop.
It is better to collect Zelentsy early in the morning when the cucumbers are tight and better preserved. Zelentsy should be removed carefully and skillfully, pressing the thumb on the peduncle, and preferably cutting them off with a knife. In this case, in no case should you raise or turn over the cucumber lashes: they are very brittle and are easily damaged when the fruits are picked.
Simultaneously with the collection of marketable fruits, all non-standard or diseased greenbacks are also removed, since they only delay the formation of healthy cucumbers. The final collection of cucumbers is carried out after the first freeze, around the beginning of September.
Cucumbers quickly lose their taste and marketability, fade and deteriorate. Harvested fruits can be stored at air temperatures from 7 to 12 ° C for no more than 15 days. As a rule, lying down cucumbers are no longer suitable for canning.
Pollination of cucumbers
All varieties of cucumbers belong to one of two large groups: parthenocarpic or bee pollinated. Parthenocarpic cucumbers form fruits without pollination, bee-pollinated require pollination of flowers by pollinating insects or manual pollination for fruit formation.
When growing cucumbers in unprotected soil, you can use varieties of both groups. However, it is not recommended to plant parthenocarpic and bee pollinated varieties together in protected ground together. The fact is that parthenocarpic plants, when pollinated by insects, give bitter ugly fruits. Therefore, in greenhouses it is better to grow non-pollination varieties.
To attract insects to bee pollinated varieties, it is recommended to spray the plants with a weak sugar solution (1 teaspoon of sugar per 1 liter of water). With an abundance of empty flowers on plants, it is recommended to pinch the top of the main stem above the last leaf, which contributes to the growth of side lashes with female flowers. Empty flowers should not be cut off: fertilization is impossible without them.
Varieties of cucumbers
The variety of cucumbers Abbad F1 is recommended for garden plots for growing under film shelters. Parthenocarpic, salad. It bears fruiting on 40-49 days after full germination. The plant is indeterminate, branching and leafiness are medium, female type of flowering, the number of female flowers in a node is 3-4. The leaf is medium sized, green. Zelenets is cylindrical, green, smooth. The weight of greens is 140-160 g, length is 15-16 cm, diameter is 3.5-4.0 cm. Taste qualities of greens are excellent. Productivity of marketable fruits is 11.5 kg / m². Resistant to powdery mildew, tolerant to downy mildew.
Adam F1 cucumbers are recommended for garden plots, home gardens and small farms for cultivation in open ground, in film greenhouses and under temporary film shelters. Early ripe, parthenocarpic, canning variety of cucumbers. The plant is indeterminate, srednerosloy, female flowering type. The leaf is small, green to dark green. Zelenets is cylindrical, green to dark green with short bright stripes and weak spotting, finely tuberous (tubercles are often located), pubescence is white. The green mass is 90-95 g, length is 9-10 cm, diameter is 3.0-3.7 cm. Taste quality of fresh fruits is good. The yield of cucumbers of the Adam variety is 8.2-10.2 kg / m². Resistant to olive blotch, powdery mildew and cucumber mosaic virus. The value of the Adam cucumber hybrid is high yield, evenness of fruits, and resistance to diseases.
Cucumbers Amur F1 are recommended for garden plots for cultivation in the spring-summer turnover under film shelters. Parthenocarpic, lettuce variety of cucumbers. It bears fruiting on the 37-40th day after full germination. The plant is indeterminate, overgrown, weakly climbing, mainly female flowering type. The leaf is medium-sized, green, slightly wrinkled, the edge is absent or very weak. Zelenets fusiform, shortened (12-15 cm), finely tuberous, with a short neck, green with faint light stripes reaching the middle, pubescence is white. The mass of greens is 90-110 g. Taste is excellent and good. The yield of Adam is 12-14 kg / m². Resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, cladosporiosis, powdery mildew, tolerant to downy mildew. The value of the hybrid is early ripening, self-regulation of branching, a tendency to bundle formation of ovaries, intensive fruit formation, short-term fertility and tuberosity of greenhouses, and resistance to disease.
Variety Annushka F1 is recommended for garden plots for growing in open ground, in film greenhouses and under temporary film shelters. Annushka - mid-season, bee-pollinated, lettuce, canning variety of cucumbers. The plant of this variety of cucumbers is medium-ply, medium-sized, mainly female type of flowering, with a bundle of ovaries. Zelenets is cylindrical in shape, green to dark green, with short stripes and weakly spotted, ribbed, tuberous, medium-sized tubercles, sparse, pubescence white, no bitterness in the fruits. The weight of green stuff is 95-110 g. The length of green stuff is 10-12 cm, diameter is 3.0-3.5 cm. Taste qualities of fresh and canned fruits are good and excellent. The productivity of Annushka F1 cucumbers is 7.5-8.0 kg / m². The variety is resistant to cladosporiosis, cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew and tolerant to downy mildew. The value of the hybrid is stable yield, high palatability of fresh and canned products, and disease resistance.
Variety Baloven F1 is included in the State Register for the Russian Federation for garden plots for growing under film shelters. Bee pollinated, lettuce, canned variety of cucumbers. Fruit bearing variety Baloven comes on 47 days after full germination. The plant is indeterminate, vigorous, highly leafy, the branching is average, mainly of the female type of flowering, the number of female flowers in a node is 2-3. The leaf is medium-sized, green, wrinkled, slightly wavy along the edge. Zelenets oval, with a very short neck, green, medium ribbing, tubercles of medium size and density, pubescence black. The green mass is 80 g, the length is 8-10 cm, and the diameter is 2-3 cm. The yield of the fruits of the Baloven cucumbers is 14.4 kg / m².
White Angel F1
Recommended for garden plots for growing under film shelters. White Angel F1 - parthenocarpic, salad, canning variety of cucumbers. The variety comes into fruition on 44-49 days after full germination. Vigorous, strongly branched, mixed flowering, with a bundle of ovaries plant. The leaf is medium-sized, dark green, slightly wrinkled, irregularly serrated along the edge. Zelenets cylindrical shape, white, tubercles of medium size, rare, pubescence white. Zelentsy weight 90 g, length 9–11 cm, diameter 3.0–3.5 cm. The fruit yield of the White Angel variety is 12–15 kg / m². High productivity, short fertility, tuberosity of greenery, high palatability of fresh and canned products are the main valuable differences between cucumbers of the White Angel variety.
Blagodatny F1 cucumbers are recommended for cultivation under film shelters in garden plots and household plots. Mid-season, parthenocarpic, salad, canning variety of cucumbers. The plant is srednepletny, indeterminate, vigorous, mainly female flowering type. The leaf is large, green, slightly wrinkled. Zelenets is cylindrical in shape with a slight run to the base, coarse-humped, green with light short stripes and small rounded spots, pubescence is white, bitterness is absent. The length of the green stuff is 9.5-10.5 cm, the diameter is 3.0 cm. The mass of the green stuff is 110-115 g. The palatability of fresh and canned fruits is excellent. The yield of the variety is up to 20 kg / m², in the first month it forms 7.2 kg / m² of fruits. Tolerant to anthracnose. Hybrid value: high productivity and marketability, excellent taste of fresh and canned products.
It is recommended for garden plots, home gardens and small farms for cultivation under film shelters. Petrel F1 is a parthenocarpic, universal variety of cucumbers. It bears fruiting on 39-42 days after complete germination. The plant is indeterminate, strong-growing, strongly branched, female type of flowering, the number of female flowers in a node is 3 or more. The leaf is medium-sized, green, slightly wrinkled, slightly wavy along the edge. Zelenets spindle-shaped, slightly ribbed, green with stripes of medium length, medium-sized tubercles, frequent, pubescence white. The mass of greens is 90-110 g, length 11-13 cm, diameter 3-4 cm. Taste qualities of fresh and canned fruits are excellent. The yield of fruits of cucumbers of this variety is 11-13 kg / m². Resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, cladosporiosis, tolerant to powdery and downy mildew.
Faithful Friends F1
Faithful friends F1 - a variety of cucumbers recommended for horticultural and personal plots for growing in the open ground and under film shelters. Early ripening, bee-pollinated, lettuce, pickling, relatively cold-resistant variety of cucumbers. The plant is climbing, indeterminate, dwarf, mostly female flowering type. The leaf is medium sized, green, slightly wrinkled. In nodes, 1-2 to 5-7 ovaries are formed. Zelenets oval, coarse-tuberous (rare tubercles), green with light stripes of medium length, pubescence black, bitterness absent. The length of the green stuff is 8-11 cm, the diameter is 3.5-4.1 cm. The mass of the green stuff is 90-105 g. The palatability of fresh and salty fruits is good. Variety productivity True friends in the open field 2.5-3.0 kg / m². Resistant to olive blotch and cucumber mosaic virus. The value of cucumbers varieties Faithful friends - stable yield, bundle formation of ovaries, poor branching of the plant, which reduces the cost of manual labor when forming plants in film greenhouses, cold resistance.
Diseases and Pests
The body shape of the gourd aphids is oval. Coloring can be dark green or yellow. The length of the pest reaches up to 2 mm. Larvae and adult pests usually hibernate on weeds. In the spring, when the air temperature warms up by at least 10 degrees, aphids begin to multiply intensively. First, it feeds on the weed, and then goes to the plant itself. In open ground, gourd aphids can be present on the cucumber crop throughout the summer period, and in sheltered ground - mainly in the spring.
The pest is often located on the lower leaves, shoots, flowers, etc. In this case, the leaves begin to curl, and the flowers and leaves just fall off.
- Ways to combat gourds: For starters, get rid of weeds. It is necessary to collect pests under the foliage. When they appear, you should spray with a solution of wood ash and soap. Dandelion infusion is also often used. Potash and phosphorus top dressing works well. Processing is carried out when a pest appears on a cucumber crop, about once a week.
The sprout fly has a dark longitudinal line on its belly. Color gray, about 5 mm long. The larva is usually white, about 6 mm long. Wintering usually takes place in the soil under vegetables and crops. In the spring, flies lay eggs in the soil, looking for not too fertile. After about 6-8 days, larvae may appear. So they begin to cause great harm to the germinating shoots of cultivated plants. In cucumber crops, the fly penetrates directly into the stalk.
- Ways to combat gourds: To prevent the pest, sow the seeds at the specified time and fertilize the soil with manure as best as possible.
The tick is most common in greenhouses and under the film on cucumber crops. The shape of the tick is oval and slightly oblong. Length about 0.5 mm. The color is greenish yellow. Pests settle on the underside of the leaves. They braid the leaves with a thin cobweb. After this, the leaves begin to slowly turn yellow and then dry. If the tick severely damages the plant, then it can die completely. In dry weather, ticks breed well in open ground. They appear, as a rule, in mid-June. Pest wintering takes place under fallen leaves and on the surface of the soil.
In the spring, females lay eggs on leaves, eat and live there. The development of the tick continues continuously throughout the summer period. One generation usually develops within one month.
- Ways to combat the spider mite: The fight is regular watering, especially in hot weather. When a pest appears, the plant must be sprayed with a solution of colloidal sulfur. It is also necessary to pluck and destroy damaged leaves on the plant itself. A good result is the preventive cleaning of greenhouses from weeds and various plant debris
Cucumbers contain potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, and in essential quantities cucumbers contain the most important vitamins: carotene, B2, B1, PP, pantothenic acid, B6, C, and others. Therefore, cucumbers are not inferior to carrots, tomatoes, onions and even citruses in useful and medicinal properties.