Growing seedlings of cucumbers
← Read the previous part "Preparation and sowing of cucumber seeds for seedlings"
Cucumber by June. Part 2
Top dressing of cucumber seedlings
If the soil is filled with fertilizers, then I feed the 20-day seedlings with Kemira-Lux fertilizer once before planting.
If the seedlings are 30 days old, then it is necessary to feed "Kemira-Lux" twice - the first time 2 weeks after germination, and the second time - one or two days before planting the seedlings in the ground. In "Living Earth" I didn't have to feed, there was enough food, you have to look at the leaves, internodes. I adhere to the minimum nutritional requirements.
When growing seedlings, you need more phosphorus to build up the root system, but even without a good leaf apparatus, the plant will be weak. During this period, I adhere to the formula N-P-K = 1: 1.5: 0.5. It shows that phosphorus is preferred, therefore, when filling the soil mixture, I always add superphosphate. "Kemira-lux" contains N = 32%, P = 20%, K = 27%, there is more nitrogen, but I added phosphorus to the soil mixture.
Soil preparation in a greenhouse, greenhouse
I start to cook it when there is still snow around. The depth of the trench is at least 40 cm, and if deeper, then even better. Biofuel for cucumbers can be any manure, hay, straw, reeds, leaves from trees, wood waste. Each type of biofuel "flares up" in a different way. For example, horse dung will warm up faster than mullein, and the temperature in the soil with horse dung will be much higher than with cow dung. The straw will "flare up" faster, and the ridge will be warmer than with reeds. I have been using hay as a biofuel since 1993.
Here are the options for stacking biofuels:
- At the bottom of the ridge, you can pour sawdust or shavings, or bark with a layer of about 5 cm, if the groundwater is close, like mine. Sprinkle wood waste with urea - three large handfuls of 1.5 m2. I put hay on top of them, without tamping, with a height of 30-35 cm. Sprinkle the hay with urea - 3-4 large handfuls per 1.5 m2. On top, I cover the hay with three-year compost, the compost layer is at least 15 cm. When I fill it with compost, the hay settles.
- Sprinkle wood waste on the bottom, if the groundwater is close, sprinkle with urea or ammonium nitrate. Pour manure over the wood waste all over the ridge with a layer of about 15 cm, cover the manure with soil with a layer of 20 cm.
- If the groundwater is deep, then the ridge can be filled with manure with a layer of 20 cm, on top of the soil 20 cm. This will be the warmest, most luxurious ridge.
- If the groundwater is deep, then hay or straw, or leaves can be placed at the bottom of the ridge. Manure on top, and then soil. This is the case when there is little manure.
When using wood waste, straw, hay or reeds, it is necessary to pour in mineral fertilizers, it is better to dissolve the mineral fertilizers in warm water and pour out with a watering can through a sieve.
As soon as you cover the biofuel with soil (and I bring the compost into the greenhouse in the fall, it lies in the aisle, covered with a black film), you immediately need to add superphosphate at the rate and complete mineral fertilizer (azofoska, ekofoska, Kemira-universal). I use Azofoskaya, and since I have a manure-free ridge, I apply OMUg along the entire ridge at the rate. I close all this with a rake, immediately sow dill, coriander and all the other green crops that I need. Sometimes I sow annual flowers for seedlings, leeks, etc. on the same day. along the edges of the ridge. I cover the ridge over the entire area with an old film so that the soil does not dry out and warms up faster. I close the greenhouse, and in early May the temperature in the ground will be + 14 ° С ... + 16 ° С.
In small greenhouses, the ridge can be prepared in the same way, only the dates will be shifted. For sowing green crops, such greenhouses can also be used, but in a large greenhouse, plants are easier to keep from recurrent frosts.
Choosing the timing of sowing cucumber seeds in a greenhouse, greenhouse
Term sowing cucumbers each gardener chooses himself, because we are all in different areas. You can't compare our area near Vyborg and, for example, the Luga region. The determining factor for planting seedlings and sowing seeds in the ground is the temperature of the soil at a depth of at least 15 cm. Sowing begins when the biofuel warms up well.
Let us refer to the brochure of the VIR named after V. NI Vavilov "Practical advice to gardeners". There in the section "Cucumbers" it is written: "Hardened seeds germinate at a temperature of + 11 ° C ... + 12 ° C, and unhardened seeds can sprout at + 14 ° C ... + 15 ° C on the 15-18th day." ... This is so if the soil is steadily warmed up, but our soil can cool down during cold snaps. In my soil at + 18 ° C, they emerged on the 13-15th day. If you are not sure that the soil will not lower the temperature, then it is better to sow with unsprouted seeds.
From my practice: the germinated seeds were planted at + 14 ° С, the roots soon turned brown, i.e. rotted away. I measure the temperature of the soil as follows: I stick the thermometer into the soil to a depth of 15 cm, cover it with a thick board so that it does not heat up in the sun, and I watch the temperature in the morning at 7-8 o'clock. This is the only way to find out if biofuel is heating up. I usually try to wait until the soil warms up to + 16 ° C, since in mid-May (and I plant seedlings in early May), we often have cold, prolonged rains, the water comes under the greenhouse, and the biofuel dies out.
There were cases when the soil temperature dropped to + 10 ° С for 1-2 days. For example: in 1996, on May 17-18, it dropped to a depth of 15 cm to + 10 ° C, but the seedlings survived, and on May 28 I removed the first cucumbers. But most often I harvest the first harvest on May 18-22, it depends on the sowing time. In order not to risk it, I advise everyone whose plots are in the lowlands, in the former swamps, to wait until the biofuel warms up to + 16 ° C.
The seeding depth is the same as for seedlings. It is advisable, when sowing in the soil, to make shallow dimples, spill them well with warm water, spread the seeds, deepen them, and sprinkle the entire hole with dry earth on top. The moisture under it does not evaporate for a long time. On top of the hole it is necessary to cover it with a film, but it is better to cover the entire ridge with a film so that the biofuel "flares up". When shoots appear, the films must be removed.
For the growth and fruiting of cucumbers, the optimum temperature is from + 20 ° C to + 25 ° C.
When sowing with seeds, you need to create a temperature of + 27 ° ... + 28 ° C for them - they will sprout on the 2-3rd day (hardened and germinated seeds at this temperature sprout in a day, most often after 12 hours).
If, when sowing with seeds, they are provided with + 20 ° ... + 22 ° С - they will rise on the 5-6th day, at + 18 ° С - they will rise on the 12-15th day (I mean not hardened, not germinated seeds ).
If, when sowing with seeds, it is + 10 ° ... + 12 ° C - they sit in the ground for a long time, in colder soil they will completely rot.
After the emergence of shoots, I will definitely lower the temperature to + 12 ° ... + 14 ° C during the day (for 3-5 days), at night the temperature is + 12 ° C (for 3-5 nights). If I lower the temperature in the daytime to + 14 ° C, and at night to + 12 ° C, then I harden it for 3-4 days, sometimes I meet advice - harden it for a week, but this, apparently, can be done with plants before planting in the ground. I don’t harden the seedlings for a long time, I’m afraid to overdo it. And before planting in the greenhouse, I do not harden the cucumber plants. I hardened the seedlings and that's it - then I create for the cucumbers their optimal temperature of + 20 ° C ... + 25 ° C before planting in the greenhouse.
Practice has shown: if you create + 20 ° С ... + 22 ° С for cucumbers during the day, flowering can occur in 37-40 days. At a temperature of + 25 ° С ... + 28 ° С during the day, they will bloom in 26-32 days, at a temperature of + 32 ° С during the day, plant growth is inhibited.
The optimum night temperature is + 16 ° С, on cloudy days - + 18 ° ... + 20 ° С.
When growing seedlings, I try to create the optimal temperature regime required by the cucumbers. It has been proven that seedlings can withstand biofuel or in greenhouses, where the soil is heated, short-term frosts and long-term cold snaps under a second shelter. Plants in the cotyledon phase are most sensitive to cold snaps.
With a prolonged cold snap to + 3 ° ... + 4 ° С - cucumbers get sick, rot, at 0 ° С - they die.
Planting seedlings in a greenhouse, in a greenhouse
Distance between plants. The ideal seedling age is 20-25 days. But there were situations when her age reached 30 days. Such an overgrown seedling takes root normally, but lags behind in fruiting. This is confirmed by experience and observations that I have been doing for several years.
If for some reason you could not plant the 25-day-old seedlings on time, then, in order not to disturb fruiting, you need to increase the clod of earth for it, i.e. transfer to a large container. Fart sells cassettes (cells are filled with soil). In 2003, I tried to grow seedlings in such cassettes (mesh size 30 mm in diameter). Cucumber plants, 11 days after germination, could be planted in a greenhouse or greenhouse or transferred to a large container.
In 2004, a new cassette appeared, it is called "Formula of Success", with cells of 40 mm in diameter. Of these, cucumber seedlings could be planted in the ground after 14-15 days. I immediately planted it in a greenhouse, the seedlings had three leaves.
This year I have their cassette with 40x40x40 mm cells. It can already be used not only for cucumbers, but also for peppers.
I would like to remind gardeners that the roots of cucumbers are more sensitive to cold than aboveground organs. Plants in which the root system is in normal temperature conditions due to heated biofuel can tolerate air temperature drops to + 1 ° ... + 5 ° C for 1-2 days. Scientists think so, and I put it into practice.
In our area, it is unprofitable to grow cucumbers by sowing seeds. Even in low greenhouses, it is better to grow through seedlings. For example: you arrived at the site on May 1. Sow the seeds in any containers, and while the greenhouse is cooking, while it warms up, it will grow, and by the end of May you can plant the seedlings. It will be at least 25 days ahead of the harvest.
Before planting seedlings, the entire ridge must be well shed with warm water, then the plants take root more easily. I did this for one year, but it is laborious, since the water must be heated in a bath or a boiler. I made sure that this is desirable, but not necessary. Therefore, when planting, I water only the holes. I don’t put anything in them, because the ridge was filled over the entire area.
People often ask: "Should the seedlings be deepened when planting?"... I have only 15 cm of soil in the hay, so you will not deeply deepen it, but everything here depends on the temperature of the soil, if I am sure that the soil will not cool down, then you can deepen it a little. For example, if you plant seedlings in the first decade of July, then this is a period when the soil will obviously not cool to + 10 ° C, and if there is a need to deepen the seedlings, then deepen. Moreover, 20-25-day-old cucumber plants have white pimples on the hypocotal knee - future roots. I plant seedlings very early, so I try not to bury them.
I maintain the distance according to the standard - 3-4 plants per 1m², but I approach each variety individually. For example, - Movir-1F1 is a very leafy plant, it bushes very strongly, therefore I will not plant more than three plants per 1m². Northern F1 is also a powerful plant, I plant three seedlings, but Vernissage F1 always turns out to be not very powerful, branches in moderation, so I can plant 4 plants per 1m², and Cheetah F1 - also only 3 plants per 1m², etc.
In a greenhouse, where cucumbers do not grow with a trellis method, but in a spread, where the width of the ridge is 1 - 1.2 m, I advise you to plant seedlings in one row with a distance of 50 cm from each other. Earlier, it was a long time ago, in such a greenhouse I tried to sow or plant in two rows. But then everything thickened there, it was difficult to look for cucumbers, the whips broke, there was a lot of rot, and by mid-August they had spread out so that they could not be collected under the film. Those gardeners who grow cucumbers according to my scheme are always happy with the harvest.
In a greenhouse up to 1 m high (usually from arcs), I propose a scheme that gardeners have also tried. Usually, such greenhouses are 1.2 m wide. Cucumbers are also grown in them in one row, at a distance of 50 cm from each other. Under the very ridge of the arc, it is necessary to hang a trellis (rail, wire) over the entire length of the greenhouse, tie it to the arcs. The plant must be tied to the trellis by one rope, and when it reaches the trellis, let it pass along the trellis to the neighboring plant and check it.
It is better to leave not 50 cm apart, but 70-80 cm, since we no longer get the harvest at the bottom of the plant, but at the top. These options have already been tested by many gardeners, and they will not sow in two rows. In such greenhouses, the film is closed at night, but the ends should be left open all night and on rainy days.
When sowing cucumbers with seeds in a greenhouse or greenhouse, the distance between plants is the same as seedlings. Do not be greedy for those who grow cucumbers on manure. On it, the plants grow more powerful, their leaves are large, especially for those gardeners who poorly ventilate the greenhouse or greenhouse. I ventilate well, and cucumbers do not grow very powerful in the hay as biofuel, but even in this case I do not sow more than four plants per 1 m².
Read the continuation of the article "Cucumbers in the greenhouse: feeding and watering, light mode" →
Read all parts of the article:
Part 1. Preparation and sowing of cucumber seeds for seedlings
Part 2. Growing cucumber seedlings
Part 3. Cucumbers in the greenhouse: feeding and watering, light regime
Part 4. Formation and rejuvenation of cucumber lashes, harvesting
L. Klimtseva, experienced gardener