In early spring, when there is a lack of vitamins, I really want to enjoy a fresh, fragrant, crisp cucumber. Those that are sold in supermarkets are expensive, and their quality and environmental friendliness are often in doubt. However, you can grow these wonderful vegetables yourself, even without a summer cottage, on the balcony, loggia and on the windowsill. For this, there are a number of subspecies of the so-called balcony cucumbers. And they can be grown almost all year round.
Description of cucumbers "Balcony miracle F1"
One of the most successful varieties for balcony cultivation is the parthenocarpic (self-pollinated) hybrid F1 "Balcony Miracle". This plant is compact, its stem is long, the leaves are small, and the root system is well developed. He has short internodes, there are many nodes, in each of them up to three dozen cucumbers can be made. Zelentsy are small gherkin-type (up to 8 cm in size, weighing up to 60 g), cylindrical in shape, bright green, with small tubercles. They have a sweet, pleasant, taste without bitterness. This variety is early: Zelentsy begin to ripen a month and a half after the appearance of the first leaves.
Its main advantages:
- great taste in both fresh and canned form;
- high drought tolerance and shade tolerance;
- good resistance to many diseases (powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic and others);
- high productivity;
- the possibility of growing both in open ground and in small areas in pots or planters.
Being a hybrid of the first generation, this variety of cucumbers does not produce productive seeds that inherit parental traits.
Preparing seeds for sowing
To collect a good crop of greenhouses, you need to take care of the preliminary processing of seeds before sowing them in the ground. This will ensure the abundant appearance of female flowers on plants, from which cucumbers develop. They usually spend it at the end of winter.
This process includes four stages:
- Drying in the oven at a temperature of 60 degrees.
- Soaking seeds placed in gauze bags in a special solution for several hours. There are several options for the substances used for this (their amount is indicated for dilution in a liter of water): boric acid - 20 mg, zinc sulfate - 2 g, methyl blue - 300 mg, potassium nitrate - 5 g, superphosphate - 10 g. But more often total seeds are treated in a pale pink solution of manganese.
- Quenching in the refrigerator at a temperature of -2 degrees for 6 hours.
- Germination on wet tissue. This stage, which usually takes 2-3 days, is very important for identifying non-ascending specimens. They should be rejected.
Cucumbers on the windowsill: growing
Sowing and caring for seeds
Prepared seeds can be sown in separate cups. Carry it out as follows:
- A special soil mixture is made, consisting of equal parts of peat, sawdust, turf, dung humus, to which nitrophoski and urea are added on a spoon. Her and fall asleep in glasses.
- Before sowing, warm the tanks with the soil mixture in hot water.
- In a cup to a depth of 2 cm plant one seed.
- All containers with seeds until germination is placed in a warm room. The optimum temperature for them is 25 degrees.
There should be drainage holes in the bottom of the seedling tank. These pots are best placed on a pallet, where excess moisture will drain.
To get strong seedlings, you need the following conditions:
- Good lighting and draft protection.
- Daily irrigation with settled water at room temperature. And if the seedlings are used, then they need to be watered twice a day.
- Top dressing. It is carried out 2 times - two and three weeks after the germination of sprouts. The solution is prepared as follows: a teaspoon of urea is dissolved in 3 liters of water.
When two leaves appear on young plants, this means that the seedlings are ready for transplanting to a permanent place. For central Russia, this period falls on the second half of spring. Transplantation requires compliance with the following rules:
- A capacity of 5-8 liters should be prepared for each plant. It can be plastic bottles with a trimmed top, ceramic pots, flower boxes or even bags in which ready-made earth mixes are sold.
- Expanded clay, crushed stone or small stones are placed at the bottom of these containers equipped with drainage holes.
- It is not necessary to fill them with earth to the brim, but provide for the possibility of further soil filling in case of exposure of the plant roots.
- The composition of the soil should be similar to the one in which the seeds were planted. Before planting, the earth is watered with warm water with the addition of a small amount of potassium permanganate.
- Plants are planted, trying to preserve as much as possible an earthen lump with roots.
Caring for the "Balcony Wonder F1" is as follows:
- Garter. Cucumber is a climbing plant that needs support. For its normal growth, a wire is pulled at a height of up to 170 cm from the ground. Twine is tied to it, twisting its lower end around the plant. Thus directing the latter to the movement along the support.
- Pinch. So that the “Balcony Miracle” has one stem, does not branch and does not thicken, the mustache and side shoots are removed from it. The remaining shoots, which have grown to a wire, leave only one leaf over the ovary.
- Top dressing. During fruiting, plants every ten days need nutrition with mineral fertilizers and organic substances - wood ash, extracts from eggshells or tea.
- Watering under the root is carried out at least 2-3 times a week, using well-maintained not cold water.
- From the spider mite get rid of with the help of tincture of garlic with the addition of a small amount of soap (chopped head of garlic per liter of water).
- From aphids saves a decoction of tobacco (tobacco from a pack of cigarettes is boiled for 10 minutes in a liter of water, then diluting it twice).
- From whiteflies you can save yourself a decoction of tobacco of a higher concentration or with a vacuum cleaner included in the minimum power mode.
Many lovers of growing balcony cucumbers consider the F1 Balcony Miracle hybrid one of the most acceptable and high-yielding varieties. Some of the farmers advise planting seedlings of cucumbers on the balcony in the late stages, when more than 5 leaves have already appeared. Plants in this case adapt faster and begin to bear fruit earlier.
When planting seedlings in open ground or in a film greenhouse, according to experienced vegetable growers, it is good to use cut plastic bottles. Their upper part (with a stopper) can in this case serve as protection of young plants from frost.
How to grow cucumbers at home
These cucumbers feel good in hanging flowerpots, being also the original balcony decoration and its unusual shading. Mobile trellis for the “Balcony Miracle” is also convenient. But in this case, for the best growth of greenery, you need to apply "short" pinching of the lateral shoots of the plant in the lower nodes.
Cucumber "Balcony miracle F1" really lives up to its name. It is extremely tasty, gives a good harvest, is used in any form, is not capricious when planting and leaving. On the protected balconies located on the south side of the building, this delicious greenhouse with sufficient lighting can be grown even in winter.