It's time to sow cucumbers. Are all gardeners well versed in the large sea of seed bags that can now be found in stores and at exhibitions?
I was prompted to write this article by a conversation with a gardener. She complained to me: “This summer I was left without cucumbers. Already at the beginning of August, cucumber plants ceased to bear fruit ... ”. It turned out that she was using hybrids that do not branch, i.e. do not give side shoots, on which we usually get the main crop.
Therefore, when planning to buy cucumber seeds, decide for yourself: for what purpose you need them. If you want to start harvesting cucumbers very early, sprinter varieties are suitable, which will begin to bear fruit 36-43 days after germination.
Such varieties usually bear fruit for a month or a little longer. They do not branch or branch weakly, the size of their fruits is gherkins or pickles. Such cucumbers are mainly suitable for canning, i.e. in vinegar pickles. They are not very suitable for salting. Why did breeders invent such hybrids? For a month of fruiting, the plants do not have time to accumulate diseases and give the entire crop without any chemical treatments. After harvesting the entire harvest, these cucumber lashes are removed, and the vacated area can be occupied with other vegetables.
By the size of the fruit, cucumbers are divided into gherkins - 6-8 cm (sometimes 9 cm), if the fruits 3-5 cm long are pickles, they are also called mini-gherkins. Gherkins are tied in a knot of 3-7 pieces of fruit. At the same time, in the lower part of the plant there can be 3 cucumbers per node, and in the upper part - already 5-7 cucumbers each, since usually the parthenocarp is higher in the upper part of the plant. This applies to all types of plants - pickles, gherkins and greens - in all the parthenocarp is higher in the upper part of the cucumber plant.
In terms of agricultural technology, gherkin and pickle varieties are slightly different from zelentzovy ones, to which we are accustomed. The temperature requirements for growing seedlings are the same for all of them. In my practice, I did not pay attention to how plants behave when sprouting. When germinating cucumber seeds and when seedlings appear, I harden the plants, but I did not analyze how gherkin and pickle varieties behave in this case. Breeders also do not give us accurate information on this matter. But there are still some features when growing gherkins and pickles. And they must be taken into account.
The soil for them needs to be prepared looser and more fertilized than for ordinary green plants, in which the length of the fruits is 10-12 cm or more.Soil acidity
need a pH of 6-7. If gherkins form a harvest in 1-1.5 months, then a constant and even balanced nutrition will be required (drip irrigation is better). Manure for such cucumbers is recommended to be applied up to 10 kg per 1 m², mineral fertilizers are also required: nitrogen 18 g per 1 m² by active ingredient, phosphorus - 25 g per 1 m² by active ingredient, potassium - 20 g per 1 m² by active ingredient , magnesium - 5 g per 1 m² by active ingredient. All this must be introduced into the soil when digging a ridge before planting seedlings.
After planting it on the ridge, I start feeding seedlings of all types of cucumbers in 10-15 days. There are formulas for the minimum nutrition, we study them in detail in gardening courses, it is impossible to describe this in one article. I'll try to tell you this with an example from my own practice. I fill the ridge with manure once every five years, since it is precisely once every five years that we purchase this expensive fertilizer now. In other years, hay serves as biofuel for cucumbers. I put it on the bottom of the ridge, sprinkle it with ammonium nitrate or urea. Better - complete mineral fertilizer. On top of the hay, I sprinkle the compost of three years old with a layer of 15 cm.
Instead of manure, I pour humus into the holes, which turned out during the storage of canned manure (we put part of the purchased fresh manure immediately onto the beds, and part of it can be preserved - we put it in an even layer on the ground in a special slate enclosure, put on rubber boots and trample the manure tightly in them Then we cover it tightly with a foil so that it does not weather out. We use the resulting humus annually until we buy a new batch of manure).
I make sure. Top dressing is done with "Solution A" - this is an easily soluble fertilizer. Its formula is good for cucumbers: nitrogen - 10%, phosphorus - 5%, potassium - 20%, magnesium - 5% and plus trace elements. Sometimes I feed it with potassium nitrate once. On the same bed, I grow both gherkin varieties and greens. At the same time, zelents are both sprinters and stayers - they bear fruit for up to four months, but I give the same food for everyone, and the soil is the same for everyone, and light and warmth.
And if a gherkin hybrid instead of three cucumbers in a node grows one, and two dry up, then this is already your fault, and not a deception of breeders. So, dear gardeners, if you want to sow sprinter hybrids that do not branch in order to take care of them less, then in this case you need to carefully monitor nutrition, light, heat, the presence of carbon dioxide, otherwise instead of bunches of cucumbers you will have one " crackers "(dried ovaries).
Mandatory forgrowing different types of cucumbers
the following requirement must be observed: picking pickles must be carried out daily, picking gherkins - three times a week. This simple requirement is difficult to fulfill - you will be attached to these cucumbers. If you do not remove such cucumbers on time, then in other bundles the babies will dry out. You can not focus on pickles at all, since we can get them in the fall on cucumber hybrids that bear fruit for 3-4 months. In September, when we remove such plants from the greenhouse, and I do this at the very end of the month, then at least half a bucket, and sometimes a whole bucket, are collected for small (undergrowed) cucumbers. At one time I was fond of canning this small fry, but now my family admitted that there is nothing special about them, we distribute them or bury them in the ridges along with the tops.
Gherkin plants are very sensitive to cold, so it is better to grow their seedlings, wait until the soil warms up to + 14 ... + 16 ° С. Seedlings can be grown to the stage when 4 leaves have formed and the fifth has already appeared. This is about 3-4 weeks in age, the capacity for such plants needs at least 0.3 liters. I believe that for seedlings of this age, 0.3 liters is not enough, you need 0.5 liters, and the capacity is needed not high, but wide.
Gardeners think that if the plant does not branch, then the plants can be planted denser. Breeders advise 3-3.5 plants per square meter. This is the same norm as for branching plants. I believe that the planting density of plants in our greenhouses should be 2-2.5 plants per square meter, but if the variety is not branching, then three plants can be placed on this area. I plant such varieties at the rate: three plants per 1.5 square meters.
True, little is written about the peculiarities of growing such plants, even on bags with seeds, a formation scheme is drawn that is the same for all hybrids. For example, cucumber Lord F1 is a bee-pollinated hybrid for open and protected ground, branches, bears abundantly until late autumn, forms greens 10-12 cm long.And another cucumber hybrid - Trump card F1 - parthenocarpic bundle gherkin, branches below average. But the picture on the formation on the bag is the same.
Plants that do not branch or branch weakly need to be shaped differently. In the lower part of the plant, it is necessary to blind by 4-5 nodes, i.e. leave one leaf along the central shoot. The less the load in the lower part of the plant, the faster the plant goes up, the parthenocorpium there is higher, which means that the yield will be higher. Sometimes in such plants on weak lateral shoots, cucumbers do not tie at all or only units are formed. Such lateral shoots themselves perch themselves, i.e. limit growth themselves, as do the central shoot. It will stop - and that's it! I also had such plants. I tried to force them to continue fruiting, fed them, rejuvenated them (I put the entire shoot in a ring on the garden bed, covered it with compost) like plants that bear fruit for 3-4 months. But nothing worked with them. For many years I have grown a hybrid of a cucumber Cheetah F1. This is a sprinter, he always tied 11-13 cm cucumbers early.
In the knots, as it is written, it was on bags with seeds, it forms 1-3-4 ovaries, but I did not tie more than two cucumbers, but 2-4 fruits were poured on the central shoot at once. It was beautiful, especially since the cucumbers were at least 13 cm long, as I like. But this hybrid usually reached the trellis, then grew a little more, and that's it - it was completed. I planted it in the middle of the ridge between other plants. Of course, he did not have enough light, which is probably why he did not give four ovaries in a knot. Why did I plant it in the middle? Because it finished fruiting early, I cut it out, making room for the development of highly branching cucumbers. At the bottom of the Cheetah F1 I blinded up to four knots.
Plants of the gherkin and pickle type require more frequent watering, but breeders do not justify the reasons for this. Maybe this is because new cucumbers are growing rapidly, they need to be removed every day or every other day, or maybe their root system is weaker than that of strongly branched cucumbers.
These hybrids suffer a lot from stress. We have it raining with snow, then + 25 ° С in the shade, then there is no sun for weeks. A lot of drugs are offered. I don’t use them, so I don’t even remember how they work. I can use “Healthy Garden” and “Ecoberin” as a last resort. These are homeopathic peas. I use them only in their pure form, according to the instructions, without any impurities and fantasies.
I am interested in growing highly branching cucumbers, which begin to bear fruit in late May - early June and yield until October 1. I grow seedlings, I wait for the soil in the greenhouse bed to warm up at a depth of 15 cm to + 14 ... + 16 ° C, this happens around May 1-2 or May 10-12, it all depends on the spring, then I start planting. And immediately in the greenhouse I make an additional lutrasil shelter.
It is not so easy to grow seedlings, therefore weakly branching cucumbers are not very profitable: the plant bears fruit for only 1.5 months, and more seedlings will be needed. Often, gardeners accuse sellers of deceiving buyers. They say that the packet says that this is a parthenocarpic cucumber, and it blooms with male flowers. And there are no cucumbers, but time goes on. And everything is explained simply: the gardener sowed the seeds directly into the ground, and late, since it was cold. And when the seeds finally sprouted, it was already June, there were white nights. And from this, as the observations of breeders have shown, there is a sex change in cucumbers from female to male.
Here is what the specialists of the Manul company write about this: “The sex of a cucumber is genetically inherited, but it can change under the influence of the external environment (in some hybrids it is stronger, in others it is weaker). This is due to the fact that in pumpkin crops, flowers at an early stage of their development have signs of bisexuality. Their sexualization is determined by the genotype of the plant and the growing conditions. Factors such as a short day, low nighttime temperatures, high solar radiation, optimal and increased levels of nitrogen in the soil, carbon monoxide aeration (carbon monoxide generated during combustion) increase the expression of the female sex. A long day, high night and daytime air temperatures, low air and soil humidity, excess potassium shift the sex towards the male side. "
Knowing this truth, you can not be afraid to sow seeds for seedlings earlier (early April, and sometimes I sow on March 30) and not be afraid of the low night temperature (I usually have + 10 ... + 11 ° С) in the greenhouse.
Luiza Klimtseva, experienced gardener
Photo by Olga Rubtsova
Pickles and gherkins are most often salted products. But if you always find cucumbers in a jar of gherkins, then pickles can be small fruits and vegetables (including cucumbers). Moreover, in a jar with a pickled product, you can find both one type of culture and an assorted one.
Hence, a gherkin may be a pickle, while a pickle may not always be a gherkin.
Pikuli - small vegetables and fruits marinated in vinegar
Self-pollinated hybrid. Small leaves and many flowers form on the stem. Has a decorative look. On the 40th day after the sprouts appear from the ground, the first ripe cucumbers can be harvested. Small gherkins up to 8 cm long have some tubercles with white spines. 1 sq. m Provides about 15 kg of vegetables.
Late, the first gherkins of this hybrid appear 50 days after the sprouts emerge from the ground. Dark green fruits with white stripes grow up to 7 cm. Crispy with a sweetish pulp. About 3 vegetables are tied in each knot. Show all their taste when preserving.
Self-fertile hybrid. Many branches are formed on the bush. Gherkins do not turn yellow and do not overripe, they stretch no more than 8 cm. Crispy with a sweetish pulp. The fruits can be plucked when they grow about 5 cm in length. From each square. m plantings are harvested 10 kg of vegetables.
Hybrid parthenocarpic cucumber varieties were bred specifically for growing in greenhouse conditions, so their list is very large today. Here are the characteristics of only some hybrids:
|"Advance F1"||An early ripe hybrid (fruiting from the 42nd day after germination), salad and canning purposes. The plant is medium-branched (lateral shoots are determinant), female flowering type, the ovaries are arranged in bunches of 3 or more. Zelentsi are short (weighing 110-115 g), cylindrical, dark green in color with short stripes, medium-sized tubercles and dense white pubescence. Marketable yield is about 12 kg / m 2. Resistant to cladosporia, MR, root rot, LMR tolerant.|
|"Balagan F1"||An early ripe, relatively cold-resistant hybrid of salad and canning purposes. The plant is indeterminate, medium-sized, slightly branched, mainly of the female flowering type. Ovaries are formed in the axil of the leaf in 2-3 (less often in 4-6). Zelentsi are short (weighing 80-90 g), fusiform, ribbed, medium tuberous, with white pubescence. Marketable yield 11-13 kg / m 2. Cladosporium resistant, PTO 1, MR, LMR tolerant.|
|"Spring waters F1"||Early maturing hybrid, universal purpose. The plant is indeterminate, weakly branched, female flowering type, the ovaries are laid in 2-3 per node. Zelentsy are short (weighing 70-120 g), cylindrical, medium tuberous with thorns. Marketable yield is 13-14 kg / m 2. Resistant to cladosporium, PTO, MR and LMR.|
|Gambit F1||The hybrid is zoned for cultivation in the 3rd light zone (suitable for the Moscow region). Late ripening (fruiting begins from 53-65 days after full germination), salad appointment. The plant is medium-branched, female flowering type, the ovaries are located at the nodes in bundles of 3 or more. Zelentsy are of medium length (weighing 97-114 g), cylindrical, medium tuberous, with dense white pubescence. The yield is high - 24.6-27.9 kg / m 2, with a marketable output of 97-98%. Cladosporium resistant, MR, LMR tolerant.|
|"Emelya F1"||An early ripening hybrid (fruiting starts from the 39-43rd day), for salad purposes. The plant is indeterminate, vigorous, medium-branched. It has a predominantly female type of flowering with bundled ovaries. Zelents are fusiform (120-150 g each), covered with sparse, medium-sized tubercles and white pubescence. Fruit length 13-15 cm, diameter 4.0-4.4 cm.Productivity - 12-16 kg / m 2. Resistant to PTO, cladosporiosis, tolerant to root rot and powdery mildew.|
|"Zozulya F1"||A hybrid of Soviet selection, it belongs to the medium early (comes into fruiting on the 42-48th day after full germination), salad designation. The plant is vigorous, weakly plaited, gives few stepsons. Zelentsy are cylindrical, 14-24 cm long and weighing 150-300 g, slightly ribbed, medium tuberous. Productivity - up to 20 kg / m 2. Resistant to PTO, cladosporium, ascochitosis and root rot.|
|"Carousel F1"||Early ripe hybrid, salad and canning purposes. The plant is indeterminate, with medium stature and branching, predominantly female flowering type (2-3 ovaries in the leaf axil). Zelentsy are short (weighing 90-110 g), cylindrical, medium tuberous with white pubescence. Marketable yield 12-13 kg / m 2. Cladosporium resistant, PTO 1, MR, LMR tolerant.|
|"Courage F1"||Early maturing (ripens in 40-43 days), high-yielding (up to 16-18 kg / m 2) hybrid of universal purpose. The type of flowering is female, the arrangement of the ovaries is bundle (up to 4-8 in each node). Zelentsy 13-15 cm long, cylindrical, slightly ribbed, genetically without bitterness. Covered with frequent medium-sized tubercles and white pubescence. Resistant to MR, LMR, root rot.|
|"Mashenka F1"||Mid-early hybrid of salad and canning purposes. The plant is indeterminate, medium-branched, has a female flowering type with 1-2 ovaries per node. Zelentsy are medium (weighing 200-300 g), cylindrical, dark green in color, small lumpy. Marketable yield - 15.3 kg / m 2.|
|"Real Colonel F1"||An early ripe hybrid (bears fruit from 40-42 days after germination) for universal use. The plant is indeterminate, vigorous, medium-branched. The flowering type is predominantly female, the number of flowers in a node is 1-3. Zelents are fusiform with a short neck, slightly ribbed, medium tuberous with white pubescence. The average mass of greenery is 120 g, length 12-15 cm, diameter 3.8-4.4 cm. Marketable yield - 10-13 kg / m 2. Resistant to cucumber mosaic virus, cladosporiosis, tolerant to powdery mildew and root rot.|
I would like to add that the cultivation of various parthenocarpic hybrids of cucumbers in greenhouse conditions allows you to achieve a bountiful harvest throughout the year (in heated greenhouses).
Gherkin is a subspecies of cucumber, but smaller, no more than 10 centimeters in length, denser and more elastic. They are primarily grown for pickling or pickling, as they are more appetizing and tasty in this form than ordinary cucumbers. They can also be an excellent snack and decoration of any festive table in their raw form. They can be grown both in a closed greenhouse and in open soil, where they show high yields equally. There are other ways to successfully grow gherkins: on the balcony, on the windowsill, in a bucket, in bags.
Gherkins differ from ordinary cucumbers in an oblong and narrow shape, dense inside and with small grains, there are practically no voids. Gherkins do not taste bitter, for which they are especially appreciated. You should not be afraid that they, like cucumbers, can grow in length. As stated in the description of a certain variety, they still will not grow longer than this size.
Gherkins will be especially useful for those whose thyroid gland is out of order, since they are many times richer in iodine and many minerals than cucumbers. In addition, their use improves digestion, lowers acidity, and removes cholesterol. With the help of a gherkin mask, you can get rid of some skin problems.
For gherkins to be crispy, they need to be fed with calcium. It can be replaced with gypsum, limestone, bone meal. Ripe cucumbers must be picked on time, as overripe they will turn yellow, lose their crunchy properties and prevent other gherkins from developing optimally on the branch. For pickling or pickling, you should use freshly picked gherkins to preserve their crunchy properties, since after lying in the refrigerator or in an apartment for two days, they become soft.
* On a note - such that parthenocarpic varieties: Parthenocarpic cucumbers are varieties of those cucumbers (and plants in general) that yield crops without pollination.
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