Cucumbers - one of the oldest vegetable crops, it is more than 6000 years old. During this time, cucumber has become the pet of many, because it is a dietary product that does not contain fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Cucumbers are rich in potassium and other useful microelements, most of the vegetable is water, which is similar in composition to distilled, but much more useful. All this helped cucumbers to become an indispensable product for many dishes, preservation and even cosmetology.
Cucumber seeds can be bought, this is the easiest and fastest way. Such seed material is already protected from most diseases and treated with antifungal and antibacterial drugs. There are two types of seeds:
Treated seeds do not need additional protection, they are covered with a thin film of fungicides and antibiotics. And granulated seeds are additionally covered with a thick layer of nutrients - they can be planted at all in open ground, the young plant will have enough useful substances contained in the granule.
Another option - the seeds can be harvested from their own harvest.
To do this, some of the best cucumbers from the previous crop are kept in the garden; only the yellowed vegetable is considered ripe and ready for harvesting seeds.
Seeds are washed and dried, but they are not suitable for planting next year. The best material is considered seeds 2-4 years ago, they give the highest germination and high yield.Tip! If there are seeds of a 5-8-year-old harvest at home, you can barbat them, that is, saturate them with oxygen. For this, the seeds are placed in a linen bag and dipped in a container with water. They install a pump for the aquarium and turn it on for 18 days. This improves seed germination and plant resistance.
When transplantation of seedlings into the soil is planned, it is better to choose bee-pollinated cucumber varieties. Parthenocarpic or self-pollinated varieties may be preferred for the greenhouse.
Another important factor is the time of transplanting to the ground. The land for cucumbers should be wet and heated, they do not tolerate cold and die. In many regions of Russia, heat is set by the end of May, therefore, it is necessary to sow seeds for seedlings at the beginning of the month - it ripens 22-25 days.
It is best to plant only proklyuvshiesya seeds, because the shoots are very fragile, they are easy to break off.
The seeds collected by hand should be discarded - discard uneven and too small seeds. Then the seeds are placed in a strong solution of manganese and leave for 30 minutes, then washed with water. The seeds may be fed with useful substances from the ash - ordinary wood ash is dissolved in water, the seeds are immersed in this mixture for a day or two.
Washed seeds spread on a moistened cloth and left to germinate in a warm place (28-30 degrees). Ideal radiators and batteries. When the sprouts reach 2-3 mm they can be hardened - placed in the zero chamber of the refrigerator. But this is only necessary for early seedlings, which still risk catching frosts.
In order for yields to be high and cucumbers not sore, the soil for the seedlings must be prepared the same as the one in which they will later be planted. That is, the land for the pots of seedlings will be correctly recruited from the same site to which the owner plans to transplant the seedlings.
Only before planting seeds, this land must be decontaminated and enriched. Experienced gardeners recommend the following:
- Remove from the ground only the top, turf layer.
- Stir this soil with peat, humus, sand and sawdust. The soil for cucumber seedlings should be loose, moisture-consuming, with good ventilation and drainage.
- To enrich the soil with ash and nitrophoska.
- Decompose the soil in pots, filling them not completely, but 2/3.
- Thoroughly fill the ground with a weak solution of manganese.
Because of the bacteria and fungi contained in the earth, cucumbers are most often sick. Some owners freeze the ground, others heat it in the oven. The best option is to warm the soil over the steam. So, the harmful microorganisms will die, but the useful ones will remain.
Of course, the easiest way is to buy ready-made soil for seedlings of vegetables or cucumbers. But cucumber seedlings are very fragile and painful, it is better to plant them in the soil, the composition of which is close to where it will be transplanted.
Selection of seedlings
Since cucumbers tolerate transplantation very poorly, it is necessary to choose disposable dishes for seedlings. These can be plastic, paper or peat cups.
The latter dissolve in the ground, enriching it, so the seedlings are not removed from them, but placed in the ground with a glass.
Plastic and paper pots are best cut, so it is more convenient to get the roots of seedlings. If the seeds were sown in a total large capacity, it will be very difficult not to damage them during transplantation. It’s right to choose individual containers for cucumber seeds.
In one pot put two seeds.
The cups with the soil are left for several days in order for the earth to be tamped (it is impossible to specifically compact the soil with your hands, it will become too dense). Water with manganese should also be poured in advance in 2-3 days. And just before planting the seeds, some warm water is poured into each pot.Tip! If the seed is very expensive, and the variety is selected hybrid, you can do with one seed.
Seeds are laid horizontally, without pressing them into the ground. Sprinkle the seeds with sifted earth on top, burying them shallowly - by 1.5-2 cm. Now you can water the seeds a little, but rather sprinkle with warm water. Glasses with seedlings placed under the film until the first green shoots. Put the seedlings in a warm place, the temperature should be maintained in the region of 28-30 degrees.
Properly grown seedlings - a pledge of high and early harvest. Only strong and healthy cucumbers can quickly settle on a new place and begin to bear fruit.
Therefore, it is very important to monitor the condition of the seedlings by following these rules:
- Among the seedlings should not be sick, lethargic, infected plants - such immediately need to be removed.
- If two seeds are sown in each pot, the seedlings need to be thinned out. To do this, waiting for the appearance of the first two leaves and choose a sturdier plant with a thick stem and dense leaves. The second cucumber seedling is removed, it will only interfere, taking on half of the nutrients and moisture. In order not to damage the roots of a stronger plant, a weak sapling cannot be pulled out; it is better to cut it off with scissors or pinch off at ground level.
- It so happens that cucumber seedlings start blooming very early - when the plants are not yet ready for planting in the ground. In this case, you need to get rid of the first flowers, because they are stretching out of the plant all the forces that are so necessary for it to adapt to a new place. To plant in open ground or greenhouse such seedlings can be along with the rest, they will start to bear fruit a little later, but they will take root well and give a stable harvest.
- Cucumber seedlings need light and heat. However, direct sunlight for plants is harmful, they can burn thin leaves. It is better to choose bright windows for seedlings, which are illuminated in the morning or in the afternoon. The lack of light leads to stretching of the seedlings, in these cases artificial lighting is necessary.
- Night temperature for seedlings should be a couple of degrees lower than the daytime, this will help cucumbers to acclimatize more quickly in a new place.
- Water cucumbers also need to be correct: only warm water and only in the morning. Water should not fall on the leaves, and especially, stay on them at night - this will lead to plant disease with powdery mildew or rot.
- Seedlings of cucumbers can be sprayed, but this must also be done in the morning.
That's all the secrets about how to properly grow cucumber seedlings from seeds. In this case, there is nothing supercomplex, but all stages should be taken seriously, without losing details.
If you plant the seedlings correctly, you can get the first cucumbers before their neighbors.
And in this case, as you know, even a few days play a big role - the first vegetables are always in demand. However, it is better to combine seedlings with seeds, after all, transplanted cucumbers take root quite badly. For a stable harvest for the whole season, you can combine two methods: plant seedlings of early varieties and sow the seeds of later crops directly into the ground.