Growing seedlings of cucumbers
Fresh, pickled, and pickled cucumbers are an essential product of our diet. From the morning till the evening, a “delicious” crunch of fresh (from the garden) cucumbers is heard from the dacha, and there seems to be nothing nicer. Cucumbers are the most common garden crop, which, depending on weather and climate conditions, is grown in open ground, greenhouses, greenhouses, under temporary shelters. But technology, in principle, is always the same. To get a good quality crop of cucumbers in the early stages in regions with a long cold spring, it is better to grow the crop through seedlings. You can do this in different ways: in or without soil, in separate containers or containers, special cassettes, in greenhouses, on the kitchen windowsill, under temporary shelters in warm beds. The main thing is to grow healthy seedlings.
- Preparation of soil and containers for sowing
- Preparation of cucumber seeds for sowing
- Sowing cucumber seeds for seedlings
- When to plant cucumbers for seedlings?
- Care for seedlings of cucumbers
- Planting seedlings of cucumbers in the ground
Preparation of soil and containers for sowing
Capacities for sowing seeds of cucumbers
Preparatory work begins in 3-5 weeks with the preparation of containers for seedlings. The root system of cucumbers does not tolerate outside interference. Therefore, at home cultivation, sowing seeds is best done in separate peat pots or cups from sour-milk products.
In these containers, seedlings of cucumbers practically do not have root rot. If the dishes are used repeatedly, and the seedlings are planted by transshipment, then it is necessary to disinfect all containers in a 1-2% potassium permanganate solution.
Like other cultures, cucumber seedlings require light in composition, but water-intensive soil mixtures, water- and breathable, quite saturated with organic and mineral fertilizers. The seedling period of cucumbers, depending on the variety and type of ripening (early, middle, late), ranges from 25 to 30 days. Therefore, it is better not to feed the seedlings during growth and development, and immediately sow the seeds in a well-fertilized soil mixture.
Beginners usually purchase ready-made disinfected soil and this reduces the time spent on preparatory work. Lovers of tinkering make soil mixtures on their own. Universal self-prepared soil mixture usually includes 3-4 ingredients:
- leaf or turf land (not from conifers),
- mature compost or ready biohumus,
- horse peat
All parts are mixed accordingly in a ratio of 1: 2: 1: 1. If there is no peat, you can prepare a mixture of 3 ingredients. Experienced gardeners prepare their own, time-tested, soil mixtures and be sure to check them for acidity (pH = 6.6-6.8). To know how much mixture and utensils to prepare, take 3 plants per 1 sq. M as the basis for the calculation. m square.
Cucumber seedlings can be grown on peat tablets placed in plastic containers with a cropped bottom. A tablet with a thickness of 5-8 mm is placed in a plastic container, watered, wait for its swelling and plant a seed. Ready for planting seedlings of cucumbers, bending the trimmed bottom, pushed out of the tank and planted in the ground.
Disinfection of soil for seedlings of cucumbers
Ready-made purchased soil goes on sale disinfected, but (just in case) is exposed to frost for additional freezing. The purchased soil mixture is not additionally fertilized, but you can still check with the seller the level of its preparedness for use.
Pay attention to our detailed material: How to prepare the soil for seedlings?
A self-prepared mixture in the northern regions from autumn or 2-3 weeks before sowing seeds must be decontaminated by freezing or, in warm and low-frosty regions, by steaming / calcining, in other ways.
After disinfection, mineral fertilizers and compounds are added to the self-prepared soil mixture, contributing to the rapid formation of the root system, the suppression of fungal and bacterial infections (possibly not completely destroyed during disinfection).
Remember! Most often, the cause of the early death of seedlings and young seedlings is a soil fungal and bacterial infection that causes root rot.
From fertilizers, 200 g of ash (a glass), 40-50 g of phosphorus fertilizers and 30-35 g of potassium sulfate are added to the soil mixture for every 10 kg. Instead, you can add 80-90 g of kemira or nitrophoski.
The dried soil mixture can be treated with biofungicides: trichodermin, phytosporin in a tank mixture with bioinsecticides: actophyte and phytoerm. You can treat the soil mixture a week before working with seedlings by working solution Baikal EM-1, Ekomik Yield or dry preparation Emochki-Bokashi. Moisten the soil. In a warm, humid environment, effective microorganisms multiply rapidly and finally destroy the pathogenic microflora.
Preparation of cucumber seeds for sowing
It is more practical for beginners in growing seedlings to buy ready-made seed material. He is already prepared for sowing. It does not need additional processing, except for germination (if it is provided). Please note: the following data must be indicated on the package of seeds of cucumbers:
- name of the variety or hybrid,
- region, growing area (zoning),
- growing method (for open ground, greenhouses),
- seedling date,
- approximate landing period for a permanent place,
- ripening dates (early, middle, late, etc.),
- purpose of the crop (salad, for salting, other types of winter harvesting).
Do not buy seed from random sellers. You can be fooled.
Pay attention to our material: What varieties of cucumbers to choose?
Cucumber Seed Calibration
Self-collected cucumber seeds must be calibrated and disinfected. To seedlings were friendly, you need to sow the seeds of the same condition. To do this, calibrate.
A dessert spoon without top of edible salt is added to a glass of water. Cucumber seeds are poured into the prepared solution and stirred. Within a few minutes, light, lightweight seeds of cucumbers will emerge, and heavy, heavy seeds will sink to the bottom. Light seeds are separated. The saline solution is drained through a strainer and the seeds remaining at the bottom of the glass are thoroughly washed under running water and dried slightly at room temperature.
Cucumber seed disinfection
The easiest way to disinfect cucumber seeds at home is to soak the seeds wrapped in gauze for 15-20 minutes in a 1% potassium permanganate solution.
Longer soaking negatively affects the germination of seeds. Do not overdo it!
After disinfection, it is again necessary to rinse the seeds under running water and dry them at room temperature on an unfolded napkin (not on a film) that absorbs moisture well.
More successfully disinfection of cucumber seeds in a solution of one of the biological products - alirina-B, phytosporin-M, gamair-SP. The preparation of the etching solution is prepared in accordance with the relevant instructions. After disinfection with biological products, it is not necessary to rinse the seeds. They are immediately scattered for drying on a napkin. The seeds are always dried to flowability, but at room temperature.
Sowing cucumber seeds for seedlings
Sowing in containers
After all the preparatory work, before sowing the seeds of the cucumbers, they fill 2/3 of the height of the container with prepared soil, laying drainage on the bottom, place the containers on the pallet and water it. Allow excess water to drain through drainage holes. Leave for a while containers for ripening the soil mixture (it should be moist, crumble, not stick).
In the middle of the prepared container, 2 cucumber seeds are placed directly on the soil or in 0.5-1.0 cm deepening. After seedlings sprouting leave one, better developed. The second seed is removed by pinching at the soil level. Seeds may be dry or sprouted. Sprinkle the seeds of cucumbers on 1.0-1.5 cm with sand or dry soil. Lightly compacted. Moisturize the powder through a spray bottle and cover with a film to simulate greenhouse conditions.
Trays with sown seeds of cucumbers are placed in a warm place. The air temperature before germination is maintained at + 26 ... + 28 ° C. Before seedlings of cucumbers, the soil mixture is not watered, but only sprayed from the spray gun with warm water. Raise the film daily (when sprayed) for ventilation.
When to plant cucumbers for seedlings?
The timing of sowing seeds of cucumbers for seedlings for different regions can be found in our material "Dates of planting vegetable crops for seedlings for different regions."
Care for seedlings of cucumbers
Cucumber seedlings appear on the 3rd-5th day, depending on seed preparation (dry or sprouted) and before germination conditions. When mass shoots of cucumbers appear, the film is removed, and pallets with seedlings are placed in a well-lit place. Lack of lighting can cause one-sided stretching of seedlings towards better lighting.
Temperature conditions for seedlings of cucumbers
Cucumber seeds germinate at temperatures in the range + 26 ... + 28 ° С. As soon as the cotyledon leaves of the cucumber sprouts open, the air temperature is reduced by + 5 ... + 7 ° С and in the first 2 weeks it is maintained at + 18 ... + 22 ° С during the day, and at night + 15 ... + 17 ° С. The optimum soil temperature during this period is + 18 ... + 20 ° С.
From 2 weeks of age, cucumber seedlings begin to accustom to temperature changes in the daytime and at night. With high humidity, the room is ventilated without drafts and a strong decrease in temperature. 5-7 days before the planting of seedlings of cucumbers in a permanent place, they begin hardening, accustoming to more severe living conditions.
Cucumbers are short-day plants. Breeders have now bred and zoned varieties that are neutral with respect to daylight hours, but they remain demanding on the brightness of lighting. With insufficient lighting, a long cloudy day, cucumbers are pulled out, poorly absorb nutrients, and begin to become diseased. Therefore, in early sowing, they use additional illumination with phytolamps, fluorescent lamps, and other lighting devices, which can be purchased in specialized stores.
As the seedlings of cucumbers grow, the containers are pushed apart so as not to thicken the plants. With an optimal arrangement, the leaves of adjacent plants should not touch each other.
Watering seedlings of cucumbers
Watering refers to the main three conditions for growing healthy seedlings of cucumbers (lighting, temperature, watering).
We start watering the seedlings of cucumbers 5 days after germination. Watering and spraying is carried out only with warm (+ 24 ... + 25 ° C) water. Prior to this, only spraying (very fine) up to 2 times per daylight hours. If necessary, you can water from the top along the edge of the container with a thin stream, without touching the leaves. But it is better to water through the pan.
After each watering, the soil must be mulched with dry sand or a finely ground mixture of soil with humus. Strong moisture causes decay of the root system of cucumbers due to the growth of molds. Mold mycorrhiza covers the soil and infects the entire young plant, causing mass death of seedlings and more adult seedlings.
Topping cucumber seedlings
If the soil mixture is prepared correctly and sufficiently fertilized, then you can do without fertilizing. The period of growing cucumber seedlings is very short - 25-30 days, she does not have time to feel the need for them.
If the leaves of cucumber seedlings have changed color, stopped developing, drooped, it can be assumed, under other optimal conditions (temperature, lighting, humidity of air and soil, absence of diseases) that the plants need to be fed.
Experienced gardeners, mulching the soil with sand after watering, mix it with ash, and it plays the role of top dressing. If necessary, seedlings of cucumbers are fed on moistened soil with a solution of kemira, an ash solution, a mixture of trace elements (with the obligatory presence of boron). To more accurately find out what nutrients the plants lack, you can look for signs of elemental starvation from the pictures in the catalogs and accordingly prepare their mixture or buy a ready-made one.
Micronutrient nutrition can be carried out by spraying the leaves of seedlings. Be careful when preparing nutrient solutions. They should be slightly concentrated, diluted. Increased concentration can burn plants. After soil top dressing, it is imperative to spill the soil with clean water and mulch.
Planting seedlings of cucumbers in the ground
A 25-30 day old seedling of cucumbers, ready for planting, should have 3-5 developed leaves, there may be an antenna (s), bud (s). Peat pots with plants are planted through 30-40 cm to the depth of the tank so that the edge protrudes above the soil surface by about 0.5-1.0 cm. After planting, the cucumber seedlings are watered with warm water.
When planting seedlings of cucumbers by transshipment, the bottom cut off during sowing is bent, the root ball with the plant is pushed out and immediately planted in a pre-watered hole. When watering the wells, you can add root, planriz, to the solution from fertilizers - “athlete” or “kemir”.
Do you grow cucumbers through seedlings or immediately sow seeds in the ground? Share your experience in growing cucumber seedlings in the comments to the article.