Some gardeners are still confused in the varieties and hybrids of cucumbers. To choose the best varieties for certain conditions, you need to know about their features. So, cucumbers differ in size and shape of fruits, taste and color, height of the bush and the presence of side shoots, yield and resistance to disease or lower temperatures. All this is very important, but to begin the selection of a suitable variety of cucumbers is necessary with the type of pollination.
Parthenocarpic and bee-pollinated: who is who
As you know, to get a fruit from a flower, it needs to be pollinated. For this, the pollen from the male flower is transferred to the female. Only female pollinated inflorescences turn into cucumbers. Insects are most often pollinated (bees, bumblebees, and even flies); besides, the wind, rain, or humans can help in the transfer of pollen.
Varieties and hybrids of cucumbers that require pollination to form the ovary are called bee-pollinating (it doesn’t matter who will actually engage in pollination — bee, wind, or human). Bee-pollinated cucumbers should be planted there, where insects can get - on open areas or in large, ventilated greenhouses.
Without proper pollination, female flowers become empty flowers, and an excess of male inflorescences "draws" nutrients and moisture from the entire bush.
Important! The owner of the garden should monitor the balance of male and female flowers (their ideal ratio is 1:10), as well as the activity of bees.
Partenocarpic cucumbers are often confused with self-pollinated, but this is wrong. In fact, parthenocarpic varieties do not need pollination at all. These hybrids were selected specifically for closed greenhouses and areas where bees do not fly. All the flowers on the parthenocarpic bush are female, there are no male inflorescences at all. A female flower is considered to be originally pollinated (fertilized), it can produce a cucumber itself.
This structure of parthenocarpic varieties reduces the care of plants, a gardener does not have to monitor the balance of male and female inflorescences, attract bees to the site and worry about too overcast weather, in which the bees do not fly.
All parthenocarpic cucumbers are hybrids, moreover, the fruits of these varieties do not contain seeds, there are simply no seeds inside the cucumber. Therefore, in order to plant the same variety for the next year, you will have to re-acquire the seeds, they cannot be harvested by your own hands from your own harvest (which is quite possible for pseudo-pollinated cucumbers).
Who is behind the bee pollinated varieties
It would seem that if everything is so good with parthenocarpic hybrids, why are bee-pollinated cucumbers needed at all, who continue to deal with their selection and cultivation. But there are some nuances - these varieties have unique properties that are not inherent in non-pollinated hybrids. Among them:
- Unique taste. Almost any bee-pollinating variety is tasty both in fresh form, and in salted, pickled, fermented. This is an excellent quality for home cultivation, when the owner will use the same cucumbers for different needs.
- High yield. With enough pollination and proper care, bee-pollinated hybrid varieties give the highest yields.
- Environmental friendliness. Checking the level of environmental friendliness of a variety will help the same bees - the insect will not pollinate bushes treated with dangerous pesticides.
- The presence of seeds. First, seeds are free seed for the following seasons. And, secondly, (most importantly), it is the seeds that contain the most useful vitamins and trace elements that cucumbers are so rich with.
- Bee pollinated varieties - the best material for breeding. It is from these cucumbers that the best hybrids appeared.
To date, there are a lot of bee-pollinated cucumbers, their demand has almost not decreased after the appearance of parthenocarpic species.