Oh, how delicious the first spring cucumbers are! Unfortunately, for some reason, not all lovers of spring salads know how to grow cucumbers without a greenhouse and a greenhouse at the very beginning of summer. Before starting this business, it is advisable to study a little theory. At least imagine what cucumbers like and what they don't like.
So, almost all varieties of cucumbers prefer fertile, neutral or slightly acidic (pH 5-6), rather warm (from 15-16 ° C) and moist (80-85%) soil rich in humus. Similar requirements for air: high humidity (85-90%) and temperatures from 20 ° C.
But cucumbers do not like a lot. They don't like poor, dense, acidic soils. They chill from irrigation with water with temperatures below 20 ° C, sudden changes in day and night temperatures, drafts, cold nights with temperatures below 12-16 ° C. During the day, they do not like temperatures above 32 ° C, at which plant development stops. If the thermometer shows 36-38 ° C, then pollination will stop. A decrease in air temperature to 3-4 ° C for one and a half or two weeks leads not only to the cessation of growth, but also to a strong weakening of plants, which is why diseases may develop. Like all pumpkin plants, cucumbers have a weak root system with a reduced rate of regeneration. Therefore, any weeding causes a slowdown in development, transplants are simply undesirable for them.
Siberian way of growing cucumbers
The garden bed is being prepared in the fall. A small trench is dug 30-40 cm wide at a depth of 30 cm.
The length depends on the capabilities and needs of the owner at the rate of 30 cm per cucumber. We are preparing a bucket of good fertile soil for seedlings. Around mid-April, we soak the seeds and prepare the earth in sour cream cups. The start date for this work is individual for each region. For ease of carrying, the cups are a good idea to put in vegetable drawers. Such boxes are not in short supply in stalls and grocery stores.
The hatched seeds are planted one by one in cups and regularly watered with warm water. It is advisable to take out the seedlings every day to fresh air, to the sunny side for hardening.
When it is already possible to walk in the garden, in the garden bed prepared in the fall, we line the bottom with polyethylene. Then, on top, we also tightly cover the entire bed with plastic wrap so that the earth warms up better and faster. In sunny weather, this happens quite quickly. Now you need to remove the film and fill the bed with humus mixed with dry leaves or grass, trample it down well, pour it with warm water and cover it with polyethylene again.
A very good effect is given by the use of heat accumulators during this period. They can be dark plastic bottles of beer and juices filled with water, which are evenly laid out along the length of the garden. In sunny weather, they warm up quickly and well, giving off the accumulated heat at night.
Attention! Light bottles do not give such a result.
When the weather is favorable for the development of plants (what cucumbers love is written above), we fill the trench with earth and proceed to planting seedlings. To do this, we water the earth in cups well, squeeze and carefully remove the clod of earth with the roots of the plant. We plant the cucumber in the hole, trying not to damage the roots. Thoroughly water the garden bed, mulch it with humus and last year's leaves.
There is also another transplant method. Plants in cups are not watered for several days. When the earth dries up, it comes out easily without damaging the roots. Such a dried lump of soil should be planted in a well-watered hole.
We put the dark bottles of water that were lying in the garden bed vertically and cover them with a film. The bottom of the plant is warmed by the leafy foliage, from above the temperature fluctuations are smoothed out by bottles of water. When stable daytime temperatures of 18-20 degrees are reached and there is no threat of freezing, the plastic wrap can be removed. Watering cucumbers should be done only with warm water. In more or less stable weather, such a bed can please the owner with the first cucumbers at the very beginning of summer.
Another way to grow cucumbers without using seedlings
This will require:
- plastic bucket with a volume of 3-8 liters;
- an ordinary spiral from an electric stove;
- 4 screws 15 - 20 mm long with a diameter of 4 mm;
- 16 pucks;
- 8 nuts.
We cut the spiral into three equal parts, drill the holes for the screws, and then fix the sections of the spiral as shown in the photo. Then, with gypsum, mixed to the density of sour cream, fill the bottom of the bucket above the spiral by at least 1 cm.After the gypsum has set, we put a plastic bag on it and pour medium-sized pebbles with a layer 2-3 cm thick.On top of the pebbles we lay cardboard, on it - peat with a layer of 3 -x cm (the larger the bucket, the more peat you can put). We fill the bucket with earth, not reaching 1-2 cm to the edge.
We divide the surface of the earth in a bucket into 4 sectors, in each we make a depression for seeds, where you can add fertilizer.
Some gardeners claim that seeds placed on the edge germinate better.
We put plastic cups on top of the places where the seeds are planted. We choose a place for the bucket not far from the window and turn on the heating. Using a thermostat, we set the soil temperature to no more than 20 degrees.
After the plants become cramped in plastic cups, we strengthen the stick in the center of the bucket, fix the shoots on it and cover it with a film on top. Under favorable conditions, we take out a bucket of plants outside without turning off the heating. From the emergence of seedlings to the first cucumbers for most varieties, it takes about a month and a half. By planting seeds for cultivation in mid-April, you can already taste the fruits of your labors in early June!