Technology for growing cucumbers on the balcony
You can grow cucumbers in the greenhouse year-round. An analogue is a balcony and a loggia. At the same time, growing cucumbers on a balcony in winter requires a number of conditions to be observed. In addition, it is important to choose the right variety. Consider which cucumbers are suitable for growing on the balcony and how to care for them.
Technology for growing cucumbers on the balcony
The culture is thermophilic and does not tolerate drafts, and therefore the balcony should be glazed. Also, cucumbers require a lot of light. Growing vegetables on a balcony in the shade of trees or located in the northern part of the house is very difficult and costly: you have to illuminate the premises all day using an artificial light source. With insufficient lighting, the culture produces few ovaries and ceases to bear fruit early.
As for the temperature regime, the minimum daytime temperature should be 18 ° C, and the nighttime temperature should be 15 ° C. Since even in spring the air temperature rarely satisfies these conditions, the balcony for growing cucumbers will have to be insulated. With significant differences in day and night temperatures at night, additional heating is used.
Winter cultivation of the culture is associated with additional costs, therefore, before you start growing cucumbers on the balcony, create a project that includes the costs of heating and lighting, the purchase of seed material and containers for growing. After creating the project, it will become clear how this event is economically viable.
Before planting cucumbers, you need to make sure that the selected variety is suitable for the balcony method of cultivation. Breeders developed varieties intended exclusively for cultivation in a city apartment. You can look at the varieties intended for growing in a greenhouse. The choice is best to stop on stunted and self-pollinating plants. Of course, you can always use manual methods of pollination, but they are not always effective and time-consuming, while self-pollinated varieties are guaranteed to yield a crop.
The following are considered the best balcony varieties: City cucumber f1, Courage f1, Balagan f1, Balcony crystal. All of them are high-yielding and resistant to disease.
In general, planting balcony varieties of cucumbers is not much different from growing seedlings and planting them in open ground. A step-by-step instruction looks like this:
- Preparation of seed material. Only germinated seeds are planted. So that they sprout faster, they are processed with potassium permanganate and spread on gauze.
- Preparation of tanks. Specialized stores have pots and containers of various shapes and sizes. When it comes to growing a small number of bushes, each planted in a separate pot. Otherwise, it is advisable to plant the seeds in containers. At the bottom of the pots or containers, holes are made through which excess moisture will leave. It is better to stop the choice on containers with a depth of 13-15 cm.
- Soil preparation. In order for the cucumbers to bear fruit well on the glazed balcony, fertile soil is needed, the acidity (pH) of which varies from 3.6-3.8. You can make the soil for cucumbers with your own hands, mixing 4 parts of fertile garden soil with 1 part of purchased soil for vegetable crops and 1 part of perlite. Soil before planting seeds is treated with fungicide.
To improve the quality of the land, you can use coffee grounds: it makes the soil more loose, which improves its permeability. For feeding use exclusively thickened from roasted coffee beans. It is mixed with the soil in which the crop is planted.
- Sowing seeds. If the seeds are planted in individual containers, a 2 cm deep hole is made in the middle of the container. If the seeds are planted in a common container, the wells are made at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other. The distance between the rows is 20-25 cm. The containers are closed with plastic wrap until shoots appear. Planting cucumber seeds in the ground is best in the second half of April or early May.
- Cucumber care.
- Harvesting. During the fruiting period, it is advisable to harvest the crop every day. Most varieties are prone to re-ripening, and ripe fruits lose some of their taste and are generally not suitable for preservation.
Sometimes it is advised to grow seedlings first in separate containers, and then transfer it to containers, however, such a measure is effective only when planting in open ground, where weak plants are susceptible to attack by pests. With balcony cultivation, this threat is minimized.
Care for balcony cucumbers
Plants need to be provided with good care.
Planting cucumbers on the balcony is the easiest step in growing a crop. It is much more difficult to provide cucumbers with proper care. Caring for balcony cucumbers includes watering, top dressing, garter and plant formation.
In the first month after germination, the plant needs to provide a temperature of 26-28 ° C. You should also protect the vine from direct sunlight.
Cucumber is a moisture-loving culture that needs to be watered every day. At the same time, it is important not to overfill the culture. With an excess of moisture, fungal and bacterial cultures develop. The land after irrigation should be moist, not wet.
Some gardeners growing vegetables on the balcony recommend pouring water into pallets located under containers with vegetables. Experts do not recommend this, since such a measure leads to waterlogging of the soil, which is fraught with decay of the root system. It is also worth noting here that the excess water through the drainage holes in the sump must be poured.
For irrigation, it is advisable to use settled water at room temperature.
It is impossible to grow good cucumbers on the balcony without top dressing. The first top dressing is carried out 14 days after emergence. At this stage, urea diluted with water is used. Repeated feeding is done after 7 days. For 6 liters of water is taken 1 tbsp. l urea. To feed one plant, you need 150-200 ml of such a solution.
Subsequently, ash, banana peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds, onion peels, peeling potatoes or sugar are used as top dressing.
The most effective is considered to be the top dressing with wood ash, which contains phosphorus and potassium. The plant needs these trace elements at the stage of growth and flowering. Top dressing is carried out with a liquid solution (1 tbsp. L. Ash per 1 liter of water). In addition to the land, plant leaves are cultivated.
Plant growth can be stimulated
At home, a growth stimulator is prepared from the eggshell. For this you need a shell of 4 eggs and 3 liters of water. A pre-crushed shell is placed in water, a container with water is left in a dark place for 72 hours. It is best to use a glass container that is left open during the preparation of the growth stimulator. After 72 hours, the water in the tank should become cloudy. If this does not happen, the eggshell with water is left in a dark place for another 1-2 days. With this growth stimulant, water the plant. They are also treated with leaves. The tool is used in small quantities.
During the preparation of the product, hydrogen sulfide is released, followed by an unpleasant odor.
For the crust of balcony cucumbers at home, onion husks are often used. It will not only saturate the vegetable culture with nutrients, but also prevent the spread of diseases, if any.
For the preparation of top dressing from onion husks, you need 5 liters of water and 20 g of onion peeling. It is best to use boiled water. The husk is poured with water and left for 96 hours. After this time, the infusion is filtered. The resulting product is watered with bushes and treated with leaf plates.
Sugar gives the plant the energy it needs to grow. It can be used both independently and for the preparation of a solution. In the first case, the earth is sprinkled with sugar, after which it is irrigated with warm water. In the second case, sugar is diluted in warm water, and the plant is watered with the resulting liquid. The more sugar put in water, the more concentrated the solution will be. For cucumbers, it is better to use mixtures of low concentration (1-2 tbsp. Per 1 liter of water).
Bananas contain a lot of potassium. The skin of an exotic fruit is also rich in this microelement. It is used in dry form. In summer, you can dry the banana peel on the windowsill, in winter - on the battery. The dried banana peel is ground and added to the ground.
It is undesirable to use the same fertilizers throughout the entire period of crop growth. Each home-made product is rich in various trace elements and has a different effect on the plant, so nutrient mixtures alternate.
Garter and shaping
Cucumbers need a garter, which is the support of the plant. There are several ways to tie a vegetable crop. A special coarse mesh made of thick fishing line is sold in stores. Two supports are installed on the sides of the container with seedlings, to which the grid is attached. From improvised materials, you can build its analogue.
As for plant formation, only the central stem is left. All side shoots are pruned. With this form, the bush gives the maximum yield. If necessary, pinch the central stem.
Pests and diseases
In addition to information on how to grow cucumbers on the balcony, but you need to know how to protect them from pests. This culture is affected by such harmful insects as aphids, spider mites and whiteflies. Spider mites are fought with tincture of garlic, in which soap is added with the addition of soap. From aphids and whiteflies helps tincture of tobacco.
When growing cucumbers resistant to fungi, bacteria and diseases on a glazed balcony, problems can be avoided. If a disease has appeared, use insecticides sold in specialized stores.