Growing cucumbers on the windowsill
If you grow cucumbers in a country house or in a personal plot, then you can do it in winter in a private house or in an apartment without special problems. Whether such a "garden" is needed today, when fresh Zelentsy is sold in stores all year round, everyone has the right to decide for himself. But just imagine the huge distance that separates us from the places where these vegetables were grown in other countries, and compare it with a few meters from the table to the “plantation” located on the windowsill, it will immediately become clear: ours are beyond competition.
CONDITIONS FOR GROWING HOME CUCUMBERS
Of course, cucumbers will not bear fruit well in any corner of the apartment. Lighting is important to them. Window sills of the southern orientation are best suited for this criterion. But since we are talking about the winter period, when there is not enough sunlight, and artificial sources will have to be used, the eastern and western windows, illuminated by the sun, respectively, in the first and second half of the day, are quite suitable. Avoid drafts fatal to cucumber.
VARIETIES OF CUCUMBERS FOR GROWING IN HOME
Traditional varieties are not quite suitable for home growing, because fruit setting requires pollination, which will have to be done manually, which is quite troublesome. Parthenocarpic (self-pollinated) F1 hybrids should be considered more suitable.
The second important condition is early maturity, because it makes no sense to grow cucumbers at home, which will yield crops by summer. Therefore, it is worth choosing early, and even better - ultra-early hybrids.
In addition, plants grown indoors must be shade-tolerant, relatively undersized, without powerful leaf mass.
This is what a hybrid is. F1 Brownie Kuzya. He is an early ripe - from the appearance of seedlings to the receipt of fruit passes 35-45 days. Plants are undemanding to light, have endurance to temperature extremes. Zelentsy 10-15 cm long, weighing 80-110 g, are covered with small tubercles. They have a sweet taste and are good in salads, as well as in salted form.
Another early ripe hybrid F1 even in the name contains an indication of the purpose: Miracle on the window. 40 days elapse from seedling emergence to fruit production. Gherkin fruits 6-8 cm long.
A similar precocity shows a hybrid Fi1 Gherkin, which, however, has an important feature: the fruits are formed on the stem in bundles of 3-9 pcs. The length of Zelentsy is 9-12 cm, and the mass is 75-90 g. The fruits are covered with numerous tubercles. Plants are immune to most diseases.
Hybrids can also be grown at home. Room Rytova, Masha, Room miracle, Herman, Prestige.
CAPACITIES UNDER Cucumbers on the windowsill
In order for the plants, being in one big box, not to compete with each other, for each of them it is better to use a separate, individual container. It should be a volume of at least 5 l, and 6-liter plastic bottles from under drinking water, which need to cut off the upper tapering part, are best suited for this.
However, at first you can apply the same seedling method that we use when growing ordinary, "summer" cucumbers. Sowing seed exists in coconut or peat tablets, peat pots or small plastic jars of sour cream (they must be provided for drainage). And after the appearance of real leaves near 3-4 seedlings, we carefully transfer the plants into prepared “eggplants”.
Cucumbers can be grown at home in plastic bags with soil purchased in a store. Without unpacking, it should make holes on one side (it will be the bottom) for draining excess water, and on the other - for sowing and watering. The package must be put on a pallet and sown cucumbers at the rate of 2 seed (in the future one weaker sprout is removed) on 5 l of soil.
We also recommend reading: Cucumbers in the home (self-pollinated hybrids)
If you have made stocks of components for the preparation of seedlings, it is quite possible to use them for indoor cucumbers. Recipes can be different. For example, garden soil, humus and sand taken in equal parts, you can add about a tenth (in volume) of wood ash and the same amount of sawdust that has been deposited for at least a year. Instead of garden soil, you can take peat, and replace sand with vermiculite.
As a backup option, purchased soil can be used: special for cucumbers, for pumpkin crops, a substrate intended for indoor plants is also suitable.
The soil before planting should be disinfected. However, when applying heat treatment methods - in the oven or in a steam "bath" - it must be remembered that beneficial microorganisms die along with pathogens. Therefore, after disinfection, it is necessary to treat the substrate with EM preparations - Baikal EM-1, Biorost, or Radiance. It is also useful to spill the soil with the biofungicide “Fitosporin-M”.
SEEDING CUCUMBERS IN HOME
Seeds are prepared for sowing in the same way as when growing seedlings. First of all, they are checked for germination, placing for half an hour in a glass with dissolved 1 Art. l table salt. Sinking to the bottom are suitable for sowing. The salt is washed off with warm water, and then heated in a glass of water with a temperature of 37 degrees for 3 hours.
The seeds are germinated before the seeds germinate under moist material, after which they should be dried a little and sown in a substrate. It must be saturated with moisture in order to provide it with the processes of seed germination and not allow them to go deep during watering, which will inevitably be necessary if the soil was dry. And this can significantly increase the time of emergence of seedlings. For cucumbers, the sowing depth in 1,5-2 cm is sufficient.
Before the home "bed" turns green, containers with crops are kept in a dark place. They need to create a greenhouse effect that accelerates seed germination. Drawers are tightened with plastic wrap or covered with glass. And it is enough to close the sour cream jars with their “native” transparent lids, which is very convenient. From time to time it is necessary to wipe up the accumulating condensate.
After the first green arrows appear, the shelter is removed, and the containers are transferred to the brightest place.
Cucumbers are heat-loving plants, the most favorable temperature for fruiting is 25 degrees, and 20-23 is not enough. But even if this indicator is observed in the room, do not forget that the board of the window sill can be much colder, therefore it is advisable to place a foam sheet with a thickness of at least 5 cm in the container with cucumbers.
There is another danger: too dry air due to the operation of heating radiators. Cucumbers also like high humidity. It can be achieved in various ways: by regular spraying of plants with warm water, wet gauze thrown on the battery, periodically moistened with a layer of expanded clay or vermiculite in the pan.
The most reliable is an ultrasonic humidifier that will create a favorable microclimate not only for cucumbers, but also for people.
MORE LIGHT TO HOME CUCUMBERS!
In short daylight conditions, additional lighting is required. To do this, fit phyto, LED or fluorescent lamps. They are installed at a height of 15 cm above the plants. As they grow, the lamps move up. When the lashes reach the maximum length, the light is directed from the side at an angle. In general, the duration of artificial lighting, depending on whether the days are sunny or cloudy, can range from 8 to 16 hours. At the same time, round-the-clock operation of lamps is unacceptable - cucumbers, like people, need peace.
Further care is the same as in a greenhouse or greenhouse, only watering should be more often due to a more intense desiccation of the soil.
CUCUMBERS IN HOME - VIDEO
© Author: Natalya Nikolaevna BUEVA
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