Cucumbers - one of the most favorite people of vegetable crops. And like a simple plant, simple, but no, and for its cultivation you need to know a few secrets. Only by taking them, will you get healthy, seasoned seedlings, and then a rich harvest of crispy, sweet cucumbers. So, on the cultivation of cucumber seedlings at home, read on.
Features of growing seedlings
Cucumbers can be sown successfully in open ground, but still the highest and earlier harvest can be achieved by planting ready-made seedlings on the soil. Moreover, the seedlings can be grown in different ways, which we describe below in the article. The main principles are the proper preparation of seeds, soil and good care.
Purchased seeds are pre-processed well, so they are easy to prepare for sowing. Another thing, if the gardener decided to reproduce in the beds the same variety of cucumbers that grew with him in the previous year.
Here it is already more difficult to prepare seeds: they need to be disinfected by soaking in a solution of potassium permanganate (1%) in order to protect future seedlings from diseases. Further steps will be the same for both your own and purchased material.
Seed preparation begins with the selection of empty seeds. To do this, carry out the following procedure: in a glass of water, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt, lower the seeds into this solution: good seeds will sink to the bottom, and the hollow will float.
In order for seeds to germinate, they need to soak. To do this, spread the seeds on the fabric, cover it, then dip the fabric in water. It is necessary that the tissue remains moistened, but the seeds did not float in the water. Sprouting seeds ends their preparation.
Note! At home, the easiest way to germinate the seeds of three years ago. The germination is facilitated by a procedure called bubbling, when a bag of seeds is first placed in the aquarium and turned on to the compressor, and then soaked.
Soil for seedlings is better to buy in the store, but you can cook yourself. The composition is as follows:
- sod land - 40%,
- lowland peat - 40%,
- sawdust - 10%,
- manure -10%.
Another composition option:
- rotted manure - 60%,
- sod land - 30%,
- sand - 10%.
Fertilizer must first be applied to the soil. For 5 liters of soil will need a mixture of:
- superphosphate - 7 g,
- potassium sulfate - 4 g,
- urea - 3 g,
- magnesium sulfate - 1 g.
Soaked beforehand in a damp cloth, the seeds germinate rather quickly. As a rule, after 3 days you can already see a sprout in length of half a centimeter. This is enough to start planting seeds for seedlings. It is better to plant germinated seeds in a container with a diameter of about 7 cm. The most popular and traditional method is planting in plastic cups.
Previously, in each cup you need to make a hole for the removal of excess water. Then pour drainage to the bottom, then fill the glass with the prepared soil, leaving a fifth unfilled. As the sprout matures, the land will have to be gradually replenished.
In the ground with a finger, make a recess of 2 mm and put seeds in them, then sprinkle with soil on top. At this sowing of cucumber seeds for seedlings completed.
After, they need to be watered and covered with polyethylene. So you create a greenhouse effect. Keep the cups under the film for 3 days at about 25 ºС. As the cotyledons unfold, lower the temperature by 5 ° C and ensure proper care.
Watering and feeding
Cucumbers - very moisture-loving culture. With insufficient watering sprouts wither and wither. Water the plants need a dayusing only soft water: rain, boiled. The ideal temperature is 22-28 degrees.
The soil in the tanks should not dry out, but you can not flood the plants either. For watering newly emerged sprouts, it is convenient to use a teaspoon or a spray bottle. To care for the grown seedlings need a fine-mesh watering. Watering seedlings is recommended in the morning., preventing direct sunlight on wet leaves.
When the plants unfold the first pair of these leaves, feeding is carried out. If the plants grow poorly, look sluggish and stunted, you can feed them before.
The most suitable option is diluted complex mineral fertilizer intended for seedlings. You can make a nutritional mixture on your own by including urea, potassium sulfate and superphosphate.
Gardeners who prefer organic use bred mullein or bird droppings (1 part to 10 parts of water). When feeding, it is important to ensure that fertilizer does not fall on the leaves. If this happens, the seedlings are washed with warm water. After feeding, cucumbers need to pour abundantly. Fertilizing planting is better in warm sunny weather., in the first half of the day.
Insect pests: how to protect cucumbers?
Cucumber seedlings can be attacked by pests: spider mites or aphids. As prophylaxis useful frequent spraying plants clear water or a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
Landings are inspected daily. The detected larvae are washed off with a cotton swab. In case of severe damage, spray treatment with insecticide is possible. Plants are sprayed abundantly, after 3 days the procedure is repeated. Learn more about how to deal with aphids and spider mites.
Growing cucumber seedlings at home is step by step with a photo:
Growing cucumber seedlings is an easy and exciting experience. Experimenting with planting time, lighting and feeding, you can achieve excellent results. Young plants will be healthy and strong, they will well transfer transplant to the greenhouse or to the open beds.
So, today we looked at cucumber seedlings: how to grow it healthy and strong? How to grow cucumber seedlings at home?
Selection of cucumber seeds
Cucumbers are a vegetable whose seeds, when properly stored, improve their qualities over time. Using three-year-old seeds, a gardener can grow a bush with a lot of female inflorescences, allowing to get more full-fledged ovaries. Plants with predominantly male blooms develop from freshly harvested material. For a good harvest, the high degree of pollination and ripening are important.
Early Parthenocarpic Hybrids, start to give fruit after 45 days, this is a good option for areas with a short summer. In addition, these varieties of cucumber give a good harvest, even in a rainy year.
Varieties of medium ripening, start to give a crop at the age of 45-55 days. This is the most popular group of cucumber seeds, where every gardener will be able to choose the option that is suitable in its conditions. We can name such varieties as - “F1 Little Boy with Thumb”, “F1 Saltan”, “F1 Lord”, “F1 Farmer”.
If you have chosen for your beds bee pollinating variety, it is necessary to sow nearby about 10% of the seeds of parthenocarpic varieties, which will allow better pollinating the main plants.
How to grow cucumber seedlings
Preparation of cucumber seeds begin a week before sowing. It is necessary to carry out such work:
1. Sorting. It is necessary to remove suspicious seeds - covered with mold and various stains, damaged, with visible defects. From seed of irregular shape will not grow strong seedlings
2. Flotation (calibration). After sorting the seeds must be placed in a solution of salt (dissolved in 1 liter of water 20 g of salt) and hold it for 2-3 minutes. It is desirable at this time to mix the solution well, this will speed up the moisture of the seeds. Seeds that remain on the surface of the solution must be discarded, seeds that have sunk to the bottom, are washed away from salt and are then prepared for sowing,
3. Disinfection. The easiest way to destroy the infection on the seeds, dropping them for 30 minutes in a solution of potassium permanganate,
4. Quenching. The seed is kept for 1-2 days on the lower shelf of the refrigerator (at a temperature of 2 degrees Celsius), if the time for germination is not reached, then you can keep the seeds up to 5 days,
5. Germination. Some gardeners do not germinate the seeds of cucumbers, as they are afraid to injure the tender seedlings when planted, others are in a hurry to get the first shoots and germinate them, despite the risk.
While the seeds are undergoing seedbed preparation, it is necessary to prepare a soil mixture for them.
How to prepare the ground for growing cucumber seedlings?
Demanding, cucumber and to the soil makes its whims. Mix the soil for this culture should be based on organic components.
If there is little organic matter, the seedlings will delay their development. Half of the mixture should be occupied by high-moor peat, the other half should be divided with good humus 20% and rotted compost 30%. The introduction of components that structure the soil will provide the root system with the necessary air.
It is possible to use rotted sawdust for this purpose, in which the wood ash supplying the substrate with potassium and phosphorus has been added. A handful of dolomite flour, lowering the acidity of the soil will be useful.
If you do not have the components of the soil mixture prepared in the fall, you can use the purchased soil, for example, "Spring".
How to choose the container for growing cucumber seedlings
For a cucumber, transplanting to a permanent place is a critical moment, this culture does not tolerate a careless attitude to its roots. And this must be taken into account when choosing a container in which seedlings will grow. Not bad for this use peat pots.
They allow you to plant seedlings on the garden without touching the roots. But while using them it is advisable to wrap with plastic wrap, this will protect the soil in the pots from lack of moisture. The material from which make peat cups, absorbs water, taking it from the soil. This precaution also will not be superfluous if you have to leave seedlings without control for a couple of days.
The use of peat tablets for growing seedlings will require transplantation of grown plants, as they will not have enough nutritional area. But the transplant will go painlessly for cucumbers, as the seedlings will be transplanted together with peat tablets.
When and how to plant cucumber seeds for seedlings
If there is a greenhouse on your site, then you can sow cucumber seeds from February to March. If you plan to grow cucumbers in the open field, then it is necessary to sow them on seedlings a month before transplanting to a garden bed. For example, transplanting seedlings is possible in the middle of May, which means that cucumber seeds should be sown no later than the second decade of May.
Capacities for seedlings are filled with soil for 2/3 of the height, after placing the drainage on the bottom, the pots are placed on the pallet and watered. The containers are left for a short time to ripen the soil (the soil should only be wet, should crumble and not stick).
In the center of the pot in the soil they make a hole with a depth of 0.5-1.0 cm, 2 seeds are placed in it, sprinkling with soil mixture. A little compacted and moistened with a spray bottle and covered with foil. Every day, you need to open the film to let fresh air to the seeds. The temperature before seed germination should be at a level of 26-28 degrees. After 2-3 days, seedlings appear, of which only the most developed and strong one is left. Others are removed by pinching at soil level.
General tips for growing and caring for seedlings
1. The soil for seedlings must be neutral acidity and fertile,
2. It is necessary to prepare the soil in advance, not less than 2 days before sowing,
3. The tanks for seedlings the day before sowing the seeds are filled with soil and treated with a solution of potassium permanganate,
4. It is not necessary to sow fresh seeds, the best result can be obtained if you use seed 2-3 years old,
5. Sowing is made to a depth of 1-1.5 cm
6. The best possible temperature for germination is 25 degrees Celsius,
7. Seeds germinate in 2-5 days,
8. Draft greatly harm cucumber seedlings,
9. Water the plants, you need to prevent stagnant water
10. With a short light bottom, seedlings need to be illuminated 12-16 hours a day,
11. To grow strong seedlings it needs to be fed.
A seedling ready for transplanting to a permanent place should have 5-7 true leaves, small internodes and strong roots. Such seedlings can quickly transfer the stress received during transplantation and begin to grow rapidly.
How to sow cucumbers in the ground
You can grow cucumber bushes by sowing seeds or you can prepare the seedlings in advance. In any case, you need to plant seeds or plant seedlings after the soil warms up. For example, in the middle zone of our country, this period begins in the last decade of May or at the beginning of June.
Seeds for planting need to be selected large and full-fledged, for this they are calibrated or selected using flotation (filled with clean water and kept for 20 minutes, poor quality seeds will float on the surface, and good ones will sink to the bottom). Selected planting material, sown in the garden without germination or pre-incubated in wet peat or sawdust for two days.
Cucumber is a plant that loves heat very much; seeds quickly germinate when the soil warms up to 12-13 degrees. They are sown to a depth of 2 cm, when sowing, it must be borne in mind that bushes can grow long rods in favorable conditions, for this reason, growing them without trellis, you can not plant bushes thickly. With ordinary sowing, the plants are placed at intervals of 15 cm in a row, and the space between the individual rows is 60 cm.
Get a good crop of cucumbers can be on almost any fertilized, breathable soil, but best of all is suitable for them rich in humus, light soil. Ideally, a plot is selected where pumpkin plants (pumpkin, zucchini, squash, cucumber) did not grow for 2-3 years. This will help protect plants from disease, you can return cucumbers to their original place after 5 years. Cucumbers respond well to organic matter, added both in presowing and in dressing.
The beds for sowing need to be prepared in advance, in the autumn period a site for the ridges is dug up onto shovels bayonet, having previously spread around the site humus or manure, 1 bucket per m2. Before digging to the site you need to make mineral fertilizers - 1 cup of wood ash or dolomite flour and 2 tablespoons. superphosphate per 1 m2. In the spring, two weeks before planting, the beds additionally fertilize 1 cup of ash, a bucket of high-moor peat, rotted sawdust and manure per 1 m2, after which they dig up all the shovels on the bayonet.
Sowing cucumbers should be done so that plants avoid damage by the last frosts. Dry seeds can be sown a little earlier, as previously germinated seeds in cold soil can start to rot.
Cucumber care: what, when and how
The main operations for the care of this crop are regular watering (cucumbers love moisture), loosening and timely removal of weeds. You need to feed the plants every 10 days - in a bucket of water dilute 20 g of ammonium nitrate and urea, and add 1 l of mullein. After the beginning of flowering, the bushes are fed with the same solution, adding 40 grams of potassium salt and superphosphate (when the cucumbers begin to grow, the dose is increased to 50-60 g). When feeding on 4 plants consume 1 liter of solution.
It is best to feed the plants in the evening, do not allow the fertilizer solution to get into the green mass in the solar time, this can cause leaf burns. It is necessary to water the plants only with pre-heated water, it is convenient to do this if you keep a container near the cucumber beds in a sunny place and fill it with water in the evening. But do not overdo it with watering, otherwise, instead of a rich harvest on the plants will begin to grow new whips.
In the strong heat of one watering for the plants is small, and the leaves on the bushes wither. In this situation it is necessary to pour cucumbers several times with water from a hose. It is necessary to spray at 17-18 o'clock, very quickly, so water will wash away dust from the foliage, reduce the temperature, increase the humidity of the air, activate photosynthesis.
Licked leaves on the cucumber bushes, signaling a lack of moisture. If the soil in the garden is very dry, it should be moistened in 2-3 steps - immediately slightly moisten (0.5 buckets of water per 1 m2), and a little later, pour another 1 bucket of water per 1 m2 of garden bed.