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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Prices are escalating: how to garner a crop of cucumbers at home in three weeks

Cucumber prices have skyrocketed in grocery stores. Kilo – 400-500 rubles! If you think that traders unreasonably raise the price of this traditional vegetable for our table, try growing cucumbers yourself. Experienced gardeners say that for a bountiful harvest at home you need only three things: a sunny window, fertile soil and enough moisture.

Well-cooked cucumber – everyone’s favorite. You can’t do without it either on holidays or on weekdays. It is so ingrained in our menu that it apparently comes from Russia. In fact, its homeland is India, and the word “cucumber” is of Greek origin and means unripe, that is, green. Cucumbers appeared in Rus’ in the 10th century, they say, Novgorod merchants from Byzantium brought them to us, and the first vegetable farms, where they began to grow them for the royal table, appeared under Peter I. And since then they have firmly settled in any garden in Russia.

“The cucumber is a hardy plant. He perfectly acclimatized in most of the territory of our country. All it needs is sun, abundant watering and loose fertile soil, ”explains experienced gardener Daria Kucherukova.

But what is easy and simple in summer in the garden, in winter in the bedroom no longer seems like such a small matter. According to Daria, if you still decide to grow cucumbers on a window sill or a glazed balcony, you must first provide your green pets with a stable temperature regime, about 20-23 degrees Celsius and good lighting . In this case, from one bush in winter you can get up to 40 cucumbers

“Our winters are cloudy, there are few sunny days, so even if your windows face south, this level of sunshine is not enough for normal plant growth. We need an LED phytolamp , at least for the first time, as the cucumber plants gain strength, ”advises Daria.

The expert also warns against frequent and abundant watering of young plants, their root system is very sensitive to standing water, and the cucumbers themselves (especially modern hybrid varieties) are prone to many diseases, from So the soil of the containers where you are going to grow them must be well drained, its breathability is an important factor in maintaining healthy plants. Watering can and should be supplemented with daily spraying of the leaves, but they should have time to dry out before nightfall. Water carefully under the root or in the pan, several times during the fruiting period you need to pour a weak solution of potassium permanganate so that root rot does not begin. For irrigation, use only settled water at room temperature.

“Beginner gardeners often make the same mistake. When cucumber seedlings grow, they take a large container with soil (10 kilograms) and plant several plants in it at once. Of course, it is easier to take care of your garden this way – you can make a common support in the form of a trellis for all cucumber lashes, it will also decorate a window or a balcony. But what is acceptable for a summer garden, where there is a lot of sun, is not suitable for poor winter lighting. Your cucumbers, planted in a heap in a pot, will shade each other, and you will not expect a good harvest from them. I recommend a jar. – an eyelash, and choose varieties that have few leaves,” teaches Daria.

By the way, about varieties. It is necessary to choose early and mid-early hybrids, and many manufacturing companies have already started producing varieties specifically for home cultivation. But even the earliest individuals will still delight you with the first pimply greens (as agronomists call young cucumbers) no earlier than 5-6 weeks after the appearance of the first shoots. Therefore, by planting now, you can get the first harvest from your window garden only for the May holidays. On the other hand, who knows how much store prices might rise by then, and you’ll already have your own crisp, fresh cucumbers.

Here are some additional tips for growing cucumbers from experienced gardeners:

  1. In order for the seedlings to be healthy, you need to protect them from fungal and viral infections. To do this, calcine the soil in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius before planting the seeds, and soak the seeds themselves in a solution low in potassium permanganate or in a special seed disinfectant. After dressing, the seeds are left to swell for 2-3 days in a saucer with warm water or wrapped in a damp cloth. When they hatch, you need to sow them to a depth of one centimeter.

    2. Seeds of cucumbers can be immediately planted in large pots, or you can sow them in planting pots, then dive and transfer from a smaller container to a larger one – here whoever likes it the most. But when transshipping it is easy to damage the fragile root system. Therefore, some gardeners use empty eggshells as planting pots for seedlings, and when the roots of plants are cramped in them, the bottom of the shell is carefully cut out and the remains of the eggshell , together with a clod of earth, are planted in a new, larger pot. Its volume should be at least five liters, some gardeners use garbage bags for this purpose, fitting into each other for greater strength.

    1. Growing cucumbers on a balcony, even well insulated, can catch cold plants, they are very sensitive to temperature changes. To prevent hypothermia of the root system, place a sheet of foam or drywall under the pots, and it is better to cover the seedlings with a transparent film until they hatch, thereby creating the effect of ‘a greenhouse. When shoots appear, weak shoots are removed, the shelter is removed, and the lamp begins to light.

    2. As we said, cucumbers like loose, well-fertilized soil. Top dressing should begin after the appearance of the second leaf. As a fertilizer, a solution of fermented crushed banana peels or rye bread is perfect.

    3. You should water on sunny days every day, on cloudy days every other day. If the apartment is dry, you can place water tanks next to your garden and cover the batteries with damp towels.

    4. When the crop is ripe, greens – young cucumbers – should be harvested daily. This contributes to the formation of new ovaries and the proliferation of fruits, on the contrary, leads to depletion of the plant and a decrease in the taste of cucumbers.

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