Who doesn't know real Russian green in pimples crispy cucumber? Its aroma quickly spreads throughout the room, one has only to cut its elongated fruit and add a little salt. Cucumbers are delicious, both fresh and salted, and lightly salted cucumbers spread such an aroma that instantly awakens the appetite.
A cucumber will make any salad tastier, and its emerald-green dense foliage, bright yellow flowers can even serve as a decorative element, decorating one of the corners of your site or balcony for half the summer. Yes, you heard right: the cucumbers on the balcony are not a fairy tale, but reality itself! Often, due to a lack of knowledge, the townspeople avoid growing vegetables on balconies or loggias, so now we will reveal to you one of the secrets - the secret of a cucumber on a balcony.
We give the green light to the varieties of cucumber on the balcony, but everything should have its own order. For a balcony or loggia, where sharp temperature fluctuations are not news, but rather the norm, the varieties most adapted to this are suitable.
Among the huge variety of these works of breeders' hands, it is worth paying attention to those that have already worked hard on our beds, to those that are not capricious and stable. For example, the well-known April variety is suitable for a balcony; now you can easily buy the Zozulya variety, the Cucaracha variety will be ideal for a balcony environment, and Manul is suitable as a pollinator.
The first sowing can be carried out at the end of December, if you can then provide the grown seedlings with the necessary thermal regime on the loggia or balcony. And then you can taste the most fragrant and long-awaited cucumbers in early April, to the wonder and envy of your neighbors. If the heat is established there later, then the seedlings should be sown, taking into account the fact that you should plant them in a permanent place in a month.
Sowing is a responsible business, so there is no need to rush. To begin with, the seeds must be treated with a solution of potassium permanganate - dipping them into it for 20 minutes, then put on wet gauze and wait until they begin to germinate. As soon as their noses are cracked, you should start sowing in pots or cups, which must be filled with soil mixture before that. By the way, about the mixture: its ideal composition for cucumbers must necessarily include humus, peat, sod soil, as well as sawdust crushed into dust, take all this in equal proportions.
It will not be superfluous if you add a glass of wood ash, a tablespoon of nitrophosphate and half a tablespoon of urea to a bucket of the resulting mixture. All this must be mixed until smooth. Before you put the nutrient mixture into the cups, they should be rinsed with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or held over steam for half a minute.
Usually one seed is sown in each cup, deepening it by 1.5-2 cm. After sowing, the cups with seeds are placed in a warm place. It is desirable that the temperature there is constantly maintained at the level of 23 ... 26 ° С.
This is a great joy, especially for a novice gardener, but the worries do not end there, there are even more of them. As soon as the first shoots appear above the soil surface, the cups must be moved to a well-lit place. In apartments, this is most often a window sill, but always devoid of any drafts. I am glad that with the advent of plastic windows in our life, the drafts have self-destructed.
Ideally, for the normal growth and development of seedlings, it is necessary to maintain the indoor temperature at the level of 18 ... 20 ° С during the daytime and about 15 ° С at night. If it is too cold, the seedlings will develop slowly.
Beginners often face problems when growing cucumber seedlings - their quality, alas, is not high. In order to kill two birds with one stone - to improve the quality of seedlings and to bring the fruiting period closer, it is necessary to install additional additional lighting lamps... Now there are a lot of them on sale, but you should not pay attention to the most expensive ones, take those that are simpler and cheaper (for example, lamps with a power of up to 90 W are enough). Supplementary lighting lamps must be placed strictly horizontally, placing them at a distance of at least 12-15 cm from the plants.
As the seedlings develop, the lamps must be removed from the plants. The lamps are usually installed and turned on as soon as the first shoots appear above the soil surface. They should illuminate the plants from 8 am to 8 pm, providing twelve hours of additional light.
They often ask: how to properly water cucumber seedlings. There is nothing complicated here. If there is enough light (additional lighting lamps are installed), then it is necessary to water it a couple of times a week. If there are no lamps, and the growth is not so intense, then once is enough. However, plants have certain requirements for the water itself. For example, it is imperative to water with water that has settled for at least a day, and besides, it should not be cold. The optimum temperature for irrigation water is + 23 ... + 24 ° C, that is, approximately room temperature.
The optimal time required for the full development of seedlings is usually about a month - 26-28 days. During this period, a couple of dressings should be carried out. The first time the seedlings are fed 12-14 days after germination, and the second time - a week after the first feeding. Any garden mixture or any complex mineral fertilizer is ideal as additional nutrition.
Once your seedlings have reached their optimal age, they must be planted on a loggia or balcony. Small boxes are usually used as containers - narrow and long. Often their height is no more than 20 cm, width 30 cm, and length 50-60 cm. Before planting seedlings in boxes, they are filled with a nutrient mixture. You can use the same mixture that you filled the cups with before sowing the seeds. On a loggia or a closed balcony, boxes with seedlings can be placed anywhere, as long as they have enough light, but on an open balcony, they should be placed only in the corners. This will save them from sharp gusts of wind.
Before planting seedlings, the soil mixture must be watered with a warm solution of potassium permanganate, and immediately before planting (15-20 minutes) - with water at room temperature to moisten the substrate. Seedlings are placed in small holes, trying to plant them with a clod of earth so as not to damage the delicate roots.
Caring for cucumber plants on the balcony is simple, but it still requires certain actions. About a week or a little later after planting the seedlings in the boxes, it is necessary to tie it to the wire, using an ordinary twine for this. In order for the seedlings to be tied up at the same height, the wire is pulled evenly, placing it strictly above the box. The lashes are tied up so as not to damage the delicate shoots, and for this, the twine is pulled in two threads. Then the tip of the plant is pushed between them.
The subtleties when caring for cucumbers on the balcony are the periodic removal of the mustache. This is done in order for the plant to form into a single stem. The top of the main stem should be pinched only when the entire vine reaches the height of the wire, but not earlier. In addition to pinching the tops, care should be taken to remove all lateral shoots, because they still do not participate in the formation of fruits, so it is better to cut them off. It is advisable to pinch all other shoots, carrying out this operation over the ovary itself, leaving one leaf.
Yes, wind protection is necessary on open balconies. To do this, you can use an ordinary film, which should be pulled like a curtain. In fine weather, this curtain can be simply removed like a regular curtain.
Watering adult plants is not much different from watering seedlings. They are also carried out with settled water, and the frequency of watering is twice a week at an optimal consumption rate of 2-2.5 liters for each plant.
Adult cucumber plants also need feeding in order to increase yields and support plants in habitats that are not entirely familiar to them. The most optimal time for top dressing is the fruiting period. At this time, it is advisable to feed the plants about once every 8-9 days. As top dressing, you can use both mineral fertilizers and simple natural substances, for example, infusion of tea or eggshells from raw eggs.
Unfortunately, even in a balcony, cucumber plants can get sick or be attacked by pests. They most often suffer from aphids, whiteflies and spider mite.
FROM aphids at home it is best to fight with folk remedies. The most acceptable and effective of them is the treatment of plants affected by aphids with tobacco infusion. We take the cheapest cigarettes and shake the contents out of them. We pour everything into the water, it will be optimal to spend one pack of cigarettes per liter of water. Then we put everything on the fire, bring to a boil and boil for 7-10 minutes. After that, another liter of water must be poured into the resulting infusion. The resulting liquid must be poured over the affected leaves. The nicotine contained in tobacco is destructive not only for humans - aphids die from it very quickly.
With the whitefly, things are more complicated, a stronger composition is needed here. The same tobacco will do, however, the gutted cigarettes should be insisted for at least a day so that the solution is as concentrated as possible. Sometimes a much simpler tool is used, which is applicable to both aphids and whiteflies - this is a vacuum cleaner. It is easier to work with devices that can regulate the power - we set it to a minimum and collect harmful insects, everything is simple - as if we were vacuuming a carpet. At home, balcony conditions, the effect is excellent.
To fight spider mite a vacuum cleaner will not work, and you will not scare him with tobacco, but a strong infusion of garlic is quite possible! To do this, take one fresh head, grind it and add the resulting mass to water (about a liter). After the mixture has stood for an hour and a half, it is filtered and about 15 g of soap is added to the solution, preferably antibacterial. This mixture, which is destructive for the spider mite, is diluted to the state of a working solution (in about five liters of water) and plants are sprayed with this solution. This is how you can defeat these unpleasant and uninvited guests without chemistry at home.
Nikolay Khromov, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences,
Researcher, Department of Berry Crops, GNU VNIIS im. I.V. Michurin,
member of the R&D Academy
Photo by Olga Rubtsova
Cucumbers do well with dill and basil, they grow better and are less prone to pests and diseases. The proximity of onions, peas and beans also has a positive effect on the growth of cucumbers. Tomatoes, onions, and rosemary grown in close proximity do not have much of a positive effect, nor do they inhibit cucumber growth.
As for crop rotation, it is not recommended to plant these cucumbers in the same place earlier than four years later. Cereals, legumes and celery are good precursors for them. Fast-growing plants such as lettuce or arugula can be sown between rows to make the most of the garden area.
Each seedling will require plastic bottle with a capacity of 2.5-3 liters. First, the upper part is cut off by about 3 cm, and holes are made in the bottom (through them, the roots of the cucumber will then penetrate into the lower container). The volume of the lower container is 2-3 liters, the diameter is 20-30 cm. It is no longer necessary to use a plastic container - a metal can and a large flower pot will do.
The system must necessarily consist of at least two containers.
The following ingredients should be used to prepare the cucumber nutritional formula:
All ingredients are thoroughly mixed and filled to the top with a plastic bottle. Then it is shaken slightly so that the mixture settles and hardens. Above there should be a 5 cm reserve of space. By the same principle, we fill the lower container. The plastic bottle is placed in such a way that it fits entirely into the neck of the can. It turns out a complex vertical bed, consisting of two parts.
If you have high ceilings on balconies, such a vertical turret-bed can be made not from two parts, but from more of them.
Daily care for balcony cucumbers, in addition to watering and moisturizing, should include:
The crop is removed as it ripens, preventing the gherkins from overripe. As soon as the cucumbers finish fruiting (and in the best case, cucumbers will delight on the balcony for almost 3 months), the plants can be cut and thrown away.
Cucumbers are light-requiring. They also love warmth and good soil moisture.. Watercucumbers with warm water, watering with cold water can have a bad effect on their development.Watering should be done as needed. That is, the soil should not dry out too much, but always wet, and even more so wet, it should not be. It is better to water in the evening or early in the morning.
In general, growing cucumbers on the balcony will not take much of your time and effort. If you follow the basic rules for planting and caring for cucumbers, then they will certainly give a good harvest.
In addition, growing garden plants on the balcony will enrich you with new knowledge, instill a love of agriculture, albeit in such an original form. And on your home table, as part of a variety of dishes, there will be healthy cucumbers grown by your own hands (read about their benefits in the article Useful properties of cucumbers). And about how to plant cucumbers on the site, read the article Cucumber Story, or when and how to plant cucumbers.
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