Growing cucumbers in the beds is a more time-consuming process than greenhouse cultivation. However, this method has a whole army of fans. Unlike closed soil, ridges provide gardeners with greater opportunities, because there are several types of structures for obtaining large yields and saving space on the site.
When planting cucumbers in ridges, there are several agrotechnical subtleties that need to be considered:
- The beds need to be located away from flowing ponds, streams and irrigation canals.
- The place of planting of culture without protection should be located in a place where drafts do not walk.
- Watering and loosening of the soil surface should be carried out constantly to avoid the formation of a hard crust and to prevent its drying out.
- Top dressing should be carried out more often than in closed ground.
- When collecting fruits, you should try not to turn the lashes of the plant.
- Weeding cucumbers in the open ground is carried out more often, but the best option is to cover the entire surface of the ridge with a black film.
As you know, cucumbers respond positively to the rich organic composition of the soil beneath them. That is why any beds for them always incorporate organic matter: humus or not overripe manure, grass, branches, food waste. These components not only make the bed fertile, but also generate heat during decomposition.
As a rule, for successful cultivation, planting material must be prepared in advance. Experienced gardeners know that the plant substrate must “catch fire” in order to thoroughly warm the soil. So that the roots do not suffer from overheating, it is recommended that after planting them in the beds, water them more abundantly than greenhouse ones.
Interesting fact! With the active decomposition of organic matter, the beds can heat up to 80 degrees Celsius! In such conditions, pathogenic fungi, viruses and many pests hidden in the soil die. Thus, natural soil sterilization is carried out.
How to prepare a warm bed for cucumbers
Types of cucumber beds
There are several classic options, ideal for growing cucumbers. Deep and tall, warm and ordinary, they allow you to grow healthy and tasty greens, from early spring until the onset of cold weather. The technology of their assembly is different, so it is worth considering in more detail each of these ridges.
A warm ridge is constructed in two ways: in a trench or on the surface of the soil. To create it, the following materials and tools will be required:
- shovels (bayonet and shovel) and pitchfork;
- manure: fresh and semi-matured;
- leaf litter, tops and plant debris;
- branches of medium thickness and thin, sawdust, tree roots or logs;
- food waste in the form of vegetable peelings, bread and liquid slops;
- boards for the construction of the box, nails and a hammer.
To create a cucumber bed in a trench, in the autumn, dig a recess with a depth of 2 bayonets of a shovel. The optimal size is three meters in length and about one and a half in width. The bottom of the pit is covered with wood materials - branches or logs. Then they build a simple box of boards to preserve the shape of the beds. Then lay grass, manure and kitchen waste with leaves in layers. The top layer is fertile soil (at least 15 cm).
The ridge is covered with a film and left until spring. Organic organisms will overwhelm throughout the winter, making the soil ready for planting by the end of April or early May. The service life of the warm beds will satisfy the gardener with the highest demands. It is about 5-7 years old!
On the surface of the soil, making a warm ridge even easier To do this, the previously mentioned materials are stacked in a heap, densifying them well (trampling them), and then completely fill it with soil with a layer of about 20 cm. Cucumber seedlings or their seeds are planted on the mound in spring.
Vertical beds for cucumbers - an option for economical summer residents
Vertical planting is a great way to save space in a small area and get high-quality clean greenbacks without the risk of damage by pests. To equip them, you will need either small containers of plastic or metal, or manure. In the first case, barrels or buckets installed in a fixed place are set in a constant place, filling with nutrient substrate, and in the second case, high rounded beds of no more than 1 meter in diameter are constructed from manure.
The bottom layer of the vertical ridges should serve as drainage from the branches. From above, manure is mixed with soil, and fertile soil is laid on it with a layer of about 15-20 cm. A peg of such a height is installed in the center that its upper part rises above the soil by 1-1.5 meters. Twine according to the number of bushes is attached to its top, and their lower ends are fixed on the edge of the bed with hooks or small poles. Growing cucumbers will climb up the cords, which is why the bed will soon begin to resemble a green pyramid.
This option is ideal for untreated areas with turf or bad soil. Its main advantage is low labor costs, because for the construction of the structure you do not need to dig the soil or build complex structures. At the same time, you can place it anywhere.
Again, the branches of trees or shrubs, laid out in a layer of 10-15 cm, act as the basis of such a ridge. Manure or any garden garbage, including leaves and tops, is laid on them. This filling is covered with a small layer of soil, sufficient for rooting plants (from 5 to 10 cm). The layers are thoroughly shed with dung infusion. Next, the ridge is covered with a black film, small holes are made in it, in which seedlings or seeds are placed. With early planting, you can cover the garden bed with an additional layer - lutrasil or a transparent film.
Other types of beds
ABOUTcucumbers are successfully grown right in the ground, digging it up and fertilizing with rotted manure. The disadvantage of this technology is the late harvest and high risks of losing fruit due to disease or pest damage.
In addition, cucumbers grow well in barrels, in stationary (capital) beds of brick, slate or wood. The main advantage of such growing methods is the complete absence of pests and the stability of temperatures on the soil surface. They also have disadvantages, and they consist in the complexity of creating ridges, the constant need for watering and feeding.
You may also be interested in an article in which we talk about the technology of growing cucumbers in a greenhouse.
In the beds, the care of cucumbers differs little from the operations applied to plants in closed ground and are as follows:
- regular watering and top dressing;
- loosening the soil and removing weeds;
- tying to trellises or supports.
The peculiarity of watering cucumbers in the garden is the need for daily abundant moisture recharge, since they are more prone to drying. In addition, when the substrate dries in the lower layers of the ridge, the process of decomposition of organic matter will stop. You can water in the classic way from a watering can or hose, or use drip irrigation systems. A prerequisite is to avoid dropping water on leaf blades.
Together with watering every 7-12 days, fertilizing with organic fertilizers or ash is carried out. In warm ridges, there is no need for constant top dressing, since they are a fairly nutritious "sandwich", saturated with various trace elements and minerals. In cloudy weather, cucumbers can be fed by the foliar method, spraying them with a urea solution. Two such top dressings are enough for a season: at the moment of formation of 4 and 12 true leaves.
Cucumbers on a Vertical Bed: Harvesting
As the lashes grow, they need to be tied to supports. Long-varietal varieties, as a rule, form antennae, which serve for independent scrambling of plants up. However, under the load of fruits, they can break off. To prevent this from happening, they are neatly tied to the trellis with soft fabric ribbons or rings of rubber or latex.
In general, the construction of beds and the care of cucumbers growing on them takes no more time than with greenhouse cultivation. Nevertheless, the yield of such ridges is very high, especially with a competent approach to moistening the soil and providing plants with nutrients.