Echinocystis is an annual herb belonging to the Pumpkin family. The distribution of the annual began from the countries of North America. Among gardeners, you can often hear "mad cucumber" in his address.
Fruits, strewn with thorny needles, burst as they ripen. Echinocystis is a liana-like climbing shrub that can form a solid green carpet on house walls, hedges and fences. If earlier creepers were attributed to weeds, now many summer residents use such crops when organizing landscape design in garden plots.
Echinocystis shoots are flexible and strong, fibrous rhizome type. The surface of the shoots is overgrown with green bark with a small layer of pile. The length of the stems is sometimes about six meters. The leaves are attached using petioles. In botanical sources, only one representative from the pedigree is known - this is Echinocystis lobata. In addition to the leaves, twisted antennae extend from the internodes.
The shape of the leaf blade resembles a grape leaf. The surface is smooth to the touch and painted in a light green tone. The size of the plate does not exceed 15 cm.
Echinocystis lobed blooms in early summer. Flowering lasts several months. Tassel inflorescences are formed from small white flowers. One bush produces bisexual flowers. The corolla is no more than 1 cm long. During budding, the scent of a plant envelops the whole garden. Bees flock from all over the world thanks to the intense aroma to feast on the sweet nectar. The named annual is an excellent melliferous crop and is often used in beekeeping for mass cultivation.
Fruit ripening is expected at the end of August. In place of the inflorescences, membranous capsules with green seeds are formed. Their length ranges from 1 to 6 cm. The skin of the fruit is thin and covered with thorns. The grains, like pumpkin seeds, are shrouded in slime and look flattened. During the rainy season, fruits have the ability to accumulate moisture. Subsequently, the skin becomes thinner and torn, and the seeds slip out through the partitions of the fruit and spill out onto the surface of the soil.
Echinocystis seeds are planted directly into the ground. Sowing is recommended before winter or spring. If you opt for an autumn planting, seedlings will appear the next year in May or April. Sowing material in the soil in early spring gives green shoots already at the end of May. Soon, the vine stalks will grow in different directions and fill the area with a beautiful carpet. The seeds are resistant to low temperatures, so the germination rate is quite high. The plant also reproduces by self-sowing, if measures are not taken in time.
The most active development and growth of vines is observed in light air-permeable soil. It is better to organize the location of future plantings near water bodies. Pick up soil with a neutral or slightly acidic environment. In alkaline substrates, the growth of echinocystis slows down. The distance from one specimen to another must be at least half a meter. The rapidly growing stems of the vine require support.
Caring for echinocystis does not cause difficulties for gardeners. This tenacious plant can withstand even adverse conditions. Since the culture belongs to annuals, they do not make a shelter before wintering. After the bushes are dry, they are cut and removed from the site.
The main condition for the successful cultivation of echinocystis is to ensure regular watering. The lack of moisture leads to the drying out of the vines. For this reason, the "mad cucumber" is advised to be planted near a water source or in lowlands with a close occurrence of groundwater. Roots need oxygen, so careful attention should be paid to weeding.
Throughout the year, the vine is fed with organic matter: compost, chicken droppings and rotted cow dung.
Blooming vine shoots exude a honey scent and attract bees. At the same time, pollination occurs with a number of neighboring plants. As for vegetables and other fruit crops, it is better to place them away from suffocating vine stems. The annual demonstrates aggressive behavior towards the rest of the gardeners. Thickened thickets of echinocystis can destroy even apple and plum trees. Unlike shoots, the root system grows slowly.
"Crazy Cucumber" is not afraid of diseases and parasites. Liana is characterized by resistance to disease and is rarely infested.
Echinocystis is grown as a vertical gardener in the garden. It can be used to transform an old fence into a picturesque green hedge. Creeping shoots will be a wonderful ground cover crop, covering vacant areas.
Advice from Aunt Tanya. Crazy cucumber.
Echinocystis is in special demand among beekeepers. Planting this annual is an excellent bait for bees. The nectar collected from the flowers of the liana gives the honey a specific aroma and a rich amber hue.
Climbing plants are in a special place among the variety of horticultural crops. For summer cottages, this is the best option for creating hedges, decorating pergolas, garden arches and other architectural details.
Annual climbing plants for summer cottages
Fire red beans (Turkish beans) are a biennial that is commonly used as an annual. The flower grows very quickly, forming a dense and lush wall of fresh greenery with bright flowers. It is necessary to plant it when there is no longer a threat of frost, since the plant belongs to the thermophilic species.
Everyone is familiar with the aroma of sweet peas, which delights summer residents throughout the summer season. It can be planted both as seedlings and seeds. The plant is frost-resistant, prefers sunny places and needs intensive watering.
The most common climbing plants for the home are bindweed (morning glory), also called gramophone. Morning glory is sensitive to frost and loves sunny places. Its multi-colored flowers bloom only for one day, then they wither, and in the morning new gramophones bloom.
Among annuals, such vines as decorative pumpkin, nasturtium, echinocystis, kobei, and so on, look great and do not require special care. But for more experienced gardeners, it is preferable to use perennial climbing plants for summer cottages. From them, you can create permanent landscaping in the areas allocated for this. These vines require special care, especially in preparation for wintering (they need to be covered).
Perennial climbing plants for summer cottages
Wisteria is a perennial that can rightfully be called the most luxurious vine. Its delicate lilac fragrant and lush inflorescences fall in whole clusters. But the flower is too sensitive to low temperatures, and takes root mainly in the south.
Clematis is another excellent perennial species. Its beautiful star-shaped flowers can be white, burgundy pink or deep purple. This is a great decoration for a gazebo, garden arch or pergola. Clematis begins to bloom in early June and ends in September. But there is one condition for its growth: the foliage needs the sun, but the soil at the root and stems should be in the shade. The flower tolerates heat easily, and the harsh winter can not withstand, therefore, for the winter, the plant is removed from the support and covered.
Ivy is a tree-like, unpretentious perennial. This evergreen liana with its dense green foliage can decorate any building in the summer and autumn periods, while easily tolerating frosts.
Climbing roses are the most popular climbing perennials that do not require any special care, it is enough to plant the bush correctly and water it well. But when buying a plant, be sure to ask about its frost resistance, there are varieties that need sheltering for the winter.
Honeysuckle is an unpretentious, fast-growing perennial that feels great even in the shade. Its inflorescences consist of two-colored small flowers that give off a fabulous scent. And if you need a beautiful and fragrant wall, then honeysuckle is the most suitable option.
On measures to combat invasive plants
Alien invasive species - An alien species whose penetration and distribution threatens ecosystems or species and causes economic or environmental damage. Alien plants were brought from other parts of the earth to places where they did not live before, but they successfully adapted to new conditions, began to conquer the territory, actively reproduce, often displacing the indigenous inhabitants. Alien invasive plant species on the territory of the Republic of Belarus include - Sosnovsky's hogweed, canadian goldenrod, ash-leaved maple, pseudoacacia robinia, lobed echinocystis.
Sosnovsky's hogweed in the Republic of Belarus has been known since the second half of the 20th century. The stem is erect, usually branched, up to 2 and even 3-4 meters high. The easiest way to distinguish hogweed at the time of flowering and fruiting is its enormous size, which is practically not inherent in almost all Belarusian species. The danger of Sosnovsky's hogweed is not only that it actively penetrates into natural ecosystems and displaces local plant species, but also in its scalding properties. The plant secretes a clear phototoxic sap, which, when touched to human skin and when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, causes burns. To burn yourself with a cow parsnip, it is enough to touch it or walk through an overgrown area. The destruction of Sosnovsky's hogweed is carried out:
- manually by cutting the roots with an ordinary shovel twice a year (in early spring in April before flowering and in summer)
- mechanical destruction of plants is carried out at least two to three times a season, ensuring the prevention of flowering
- mowing is used in places that are difficult to access for machinery along roadsides, areas under forest plantations, ditches, in personal plots, in parks. Mowing must be carried out at least three times per season, starting from spring to the beginning of flowering (from May to September)
- the use of pesticides is carried out with a large area of contamination of the territory (more than 5 hectares) by wild plants. Pesticide treatment is carried out once in early spring (April-May). For processing, preparations included in the state register of plant protection products (pesticides) and fertilizers permitted for use on the territory of the Republic of Belarus can be used. Effective treatment of hogweed growing areas with pesticides "Tersan", "Grader", "Buran", "Super" in early spring
- after treatment with pesticides, it is possible to apply deep plowing to a depth of 24 cm with a seam turnover and sowing with grass mixtures of different composition or forest crops (April-May).
Canadian goldenrod is included in the list of especially dangerous invasive plant species for the Republic of Belarus. Canadian goldenrod is dangerous for meadows because it impairs their nutritional value. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant. Goldenrod canadensis first settles in wasteland habitats, along roadsides, in meadow and floodplain ecosystems, in places forming continuous thickets. It is an allergenic aggressive plant. Control measures for canadian goldenrod:
- mowing twice a year (in May and August) for several years or digging up the soil in the summer
- the use of herbicides is effective at a plant height of 10-15 cm, later the sensitivity of goldenrod to them decreases
- a ban on cultivation on personal plots and use in landscaping settlements.
Echinocystis blade - an annual herb. Stems are slender, highly branched, up to 5-6 meters long, climbing with antennae. The fruits ripen in September, they are elongated and covered with thorns. Cultivated as an ornamental plant. Inhabits river floodplains, entwines coastal vegetation, oppressing it and often leading to its death.
Measures to combat echinocystis blade:
- termination of cultivation for decorative purposes
Ash-leaved maple - a tree up to 25 meters high and up to 50 cm in diameter, with a wide spreading crown, blooms in March-April, before the foliage appears. The fruits are lionfish with an almost parallel arrangement of wings. Bears fruit in August. It has a high growth rate and is resistant to air pollution. It settles in the vicinity of cities and towns, at first in disturbed places, but soon it penetrates into natural communities, penetrating into meadows and wastelands, and grows over them. Control measures:
- a ban on the use of this plant in landscaping
- mechanical removal of seedlings and young (shrub) specimens
- chemical treatment of the soil around mature plants or along the border of thickets.
Robinia pseudoacacia - large trees with a height of 20-25 meters and a trunk diameter of up to 1 meter. The crown is openwork, spreading, rounded at the top. It grows quickly, especially up to 10 years old, develops a deep and powerful root system, gives growth from a stump and root suckers. Very light-requiring and drought-resistant. It grows on any soil, withstands significant salinity. Robinia pseudoacacia displaces native tree species in forests, forms an uncharacteristic herb cover. Control measures are similar to those used for ash-leaved maple, and are aimed primarily at limiting the spread of seedlings.
Head of Soligorsk RIPR and OOS
Why not combine business with pleasure and plant fruit bushes near the fence? This is especially true for small areas.
Viburnum... In summer, the viburnum bush will delight you with very beautiful flowers, which will then be replaced by useful berries. Kalina prefers slightly acidic soils and good lighting. If the soil is infertile, the shrub will grow poorly.
Blackberries and raspberries... These bushes will delight you with a harvest of berries with little or no complicated care. There is only one BUT - raspberries and blackberries multiply very quickly with the help of shoots, so there should be a border along the bushes. Otherwise, the shrubs will take over the entire territory. The branches of the blackberry should not touch the ground yet.
Currant. The currant bush takes root quite hard. It is planted in holes at a distance of about 50 centimeters from each other. Currants are very fond of frequent loosening and moistening of the soil from below. You do not need to water the leaves. After 15 years, the bushes need to be renewed.
Chokeberry. This shrub is absolutely unpretentious and does not require special care. It grows well in harsh regions like Siberia.
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The pumpkin family unites quite diverse representatives - from the well-known cucumber and zucchini to the very exotic Sikan and Trichozant - in total more than a hundred genera and almost a thousand species, mainly growing in tropical countries. However, some of them quite successfully acclimatized in our latitudes, and today they can be found in almost any garden plot of central Russia.
Almost all types of the pumpkin family are widely used: some have edible fruits (cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, watermelons), others are suitable for making various vessels and musical instruments (lagenaria), sponges and padding (luffa), hats and mats (chayote) , some species have medicinal properties or are used as ornamental plants.
The most popular pumpkin crops on our backyards are cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkins and squash, less often melons and watermelons. Some Russian amateur vegetable growers successfully grow quite exotic crops of this family, such as Anguria, Lagenaria, Momordica, Luffa, etc.
Cucumber is one of the favorite vegetables for Russians. What a feast in Russia can do without a crispy cucumber! A native of distant India, known to man at least three thousand years before the new era, this vegetable was loved to eat in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece. And in ancient Rome, it was grown all year round in greenhouses. Having got from Byzantium to Russia, the cucumber became a real national favorite. Today, in our country, cucumbers are grown in the summer in the open field, in spring, winter and autumn - in a sheltered, and just at home: on window sills, balconies, loggias and verandas.
The round-faced queen of the garden - pumpkin - is an excellent vegetable crop. For many peoples of the world, this vegetable is a symbol of abundance and prosperity. It is widely cultivated in all countries of the world, on all continents of the Earth, in a variety of climatic conditions. In Russia, three types of pumpkin are most popular - large-fruited pumpkin, hard pumpkin and nutmeg pumpkin. Pumpkin is not only a tasty and nutritious, but also a healthy vegetable with medicinal properties, it is easily absorbed by the body and helps to resist a whole range of various diseases.
Zucchini and zucchini, which are varieties of pumpkin, are no less popular with gardeners.
Squash tastes little different from asparagus and artichoke, and in canned form, resembling porcini mushrooms, are considered even more useful than zucchini. Young fruits of squash have a high nutritional value; they are good fried, boiled, stewed, and pickled. In addition, the squash is very decorative, resembling a plate with jagged edges, a kind of UFO in the garden.
Melons and watermelons are wonderful desserts. The fruits of these plants have a sweet, tender and juicy pulp, which is also useful.
The fruits of pumpkin crops are important food products in the human diet, containing the substances necessary for the human body: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins.
Plants of the pumpkin family are usually annuals. All pumpkin vegetables are thermophilic. The most cold-resistant of them are zucchini and some pumpkin varieties.