Growing cucumbers in plastic bottles: an interesting experience and a decent result!
Growing cucumbers in a bottle allows you to effectively carry out this procedure both on the site and at home. But there are several rules regarding the preparation of containers and seed, as well as basic plant care, which must be familiar with in order to provide the cucumbers with suitable conditions for growth and development.
Growing cucumbers in five-liter bottles at home
Planting cucumbers in plastic bottles has many advantages: firstly, such containers are compact and convenient to place indoors, secondly, the earth in transparent plastic warms up well, which has a positive effect on the root system of your plant, and thirdly, such the method is well suited for obtaining an early harvest. But there are small drawbacks. Bottles, unlike containers and crates, are usually used once, so you will need to stock up on them again the next year. Also, keep in mind that one bottle is designed for only one plant, and if there is not enough space on your balcony, then you will not be able to grow many bushes.
Since the conditions for growing cucumbers on the balcony are close to those in greenhouses, the cucumbers should be sown in mid-April. It is also advisable to select self-pollinated varieties (April F1, Zozulya F1, Emelya F1, Matilda F1).
- Warming up. For a month before sowing, keep the seeds in a warm place at a temperature of + 25aboutFROM.
- Disinfection. Prepare a hot pink solution of potassium permanganate (mix 1 g of powder with 200 g of water) and place the seeds in it for 20-25 minutes. Then remove, rinse in clean water and dry a little on a napkin.
- Soak. Place a moistened piece of cloth at the bottom of a container or plate, place the seeds on top of it and cover them with a second moistened piece of cloth. Remove the workpiece in a warm place for 2 days, making sure that the fabric does not dry out.
To ensure the seeds germinate better, they must be treated before sowing.
If you bought seeds, then carefully study the packaging: many manufacturers themselves carry out the necessary seed treatment and indicate this. If you find such a mark, then just soak.
You will need 5 liter bottles to grow. You can sow 3-5 seeds in each bottle, but, as mentioned above, you will need to leave 1 strongest shoot. You can remove unnecessary shoots when 2-3 true leaves are formed on them.
- Cut off the top of the bottle 4–5 cm below the shoulders and make drainage holes at the bottom.
- Add 4–5 cm of drainage material (fine gravel, eggshells, sphagnum moss, etc.).
- Fill the bottle with soil, 2-3 cm short of the top edge. You can take a ready-made universal vegetable mixture, but it is advisable to prepare the soil yourself: mix in equal parts garden soil, compost, peat and sawdust. It is also recommended to add ash to the soil (0.3 tbsp. L / kg of soil).
- Moisten the soil and make holes in it 3-5 cm deep.
- Gently place 1 seed in each and sprinkle.
- Moisten the crops a little with a spray bottle, cover with a cut top and place in a warm, bright place.
- Bottles can be transferred to the balcony when the temperature on it is +22aboutC - +25aboutFROM.
To make a greenhouse, you need to remove the bottom of the bottle or make holes in it and cut off the top.
You can also sow the seeds first in separate containers, and then transplant them into a bottle, when the sprouts form 2-3 true leaves.
In order to get regular seedlings and then place them in open ground under a bottle, do the same, but sow in separate containers (peat cups are good) with a volume of 150-200 ml, and then cover them with foil. Sowing time is mid-April.
Video: growing cucumbers in a bottle
To provide the cucumbers with good conditions, it is necessary to perform a few simple care procedures.
It is carried out according to the following scheme: water young seedlings up to 20 days old 1 time in 2 days, in the period before flowering - 1 time in 5-7 days, and then every 3-4 days. In this case, it is necessary to use only warm (heated in the sun) water. Plants need to be watered at the root, avoiding moisture on the leaves. Remember to gently loosen the soil after each watering to avoid crusting and provide the roots with oxygen.
Try to air the crops 2 times a day for 10 minutes, slightly moving the lid or film. Also remove condensation in a timely manner. It will be possible to completely remove the covering material immediately after the emergence of shoots.
Cucumbers are light-loving plants, so try to find a place on your balcony with good lighting. But keep in mind that direct sunlight at high temperatures can harm your plantings, so in such cases it is advisable to shade them.
If you have picked up a non-self-pollinating variety, then you will have to carry out this procedure yourself. To do this, carefully examine the bush and find female flowers (they are located on a small green seal) and male ones. Carefully tear or cut off the male flower and remove all petals so that only the stamens remain, and then gently run them several times over the central formation in the female flower. Some gardeners do it even easier: they collect pollen with a cotton swab, and then transfer it to the right place.
Female cucumber flowers are located on small seals
Since your plants are in containers with a limited amount of soil and therefore cannot get a lot of nutrients from it, they will definitely need to be fed. For all the time it is necessary to carry out 5 root dressings of your plant:
- The first feeding is carried out at the beginning of flowering. Ingredients: urea (1 tsp) + superphosphate (1 tsp) + potassium sulfate (1 tsp) + sodium humate (1 tbsp) + water (10 l).
- The second feeding is carried out 10-12 days after the first. Composition: potassium sulfate (1 tsp.) + Sodium humate (instead of it, you can take the nutritional composition Ideal, Fertility, Breadwinner - 2 tbsp. L.) + Water (10 l).
- The third and subsequent dressings have the same composition as the second, and are carried out 1 time in 10-12 days.
Do not forget that it is necessary to apply nutrient compositions to a pre-moistened soil.
In addition to root dressing, spraying will also be useful for cucumbers:
- The first feeding is carried out at the beginning of flowering. l.) + water (1 l).
- The second feeding is carried out at the beginning of fruiting. Ingredients: urea (1/3 tsp) + water (1 l).
- The third feeding is carried out with a decline in yield. Ingredients: urea (1/4 tsp) + water (1 l).
This activity includes garter, pinching, and pinching.
- Garter. For balconies, it is convenient to use a mesh with large cells, installing it next to the bottles, or a rope trellis. To make it, a rope is stretched horizontally under the ceiling, and then vertical bundles are attached to it (do not forget to fix their free end, for example, by tying it to a small peg stuck into the ground or carefully fixing it with a loop on the stem itself at a distance of 15 cm from the soil level). The height of the supporting structure must be at least 1.5 m. It must be built by the time the plant reaches 20 cm in length and antennae and about 7 leaves appear on it.
At home, a grid with large cells can serve as a support for a cucumber.
- Stealing and pinching. The procedure for removing the lateral processes (stepchildren) is called transplanting. The processes formed in the axils of 5–6 leaves, counting from below, are subject to removal. Do not delay with this work: stepchildren must be removed until their length does not exceed 3-5 cm. Also, experienced gardeners advise to break off all ovaries located in the axils of the first 3-4 leaves.
It is necessary to remove all stepchildren on time, otherwise the amount of harvest will greatly decrease
After you have done pinching, start pinching.
- At a height of 0.5 m, cut the lashes so that 1 ovary and several leaves remain on them.
- Leave 3-4 lashes at a height of 0.5-1 m. Each of them should have 2 ovaries and several leaves. Remove excess length.
- On the next 0.5 m, do not remove the shoots, but cut them so that 3-4 ovaries and a few leaves remain on each.
- Cut off the central shoot at a height of 1.5 m to stop it growing.
Pinching is an important part of cucumber bush formation.
As a general rule, you can pick cucumbers at different stages of their ripening - this is true for both open and protected ground. It is difficult to get a large amount of the crop at home, so decide in advance how you want to use it in the future, and pick the cucumbers when they reach the size you need.
- For fresh salads and pickling - fruits that have reached a length of 10 cm or more.
- For canning - fruits that have reached a length of 8-10 cm, sometimes 3-4 cm.
It is better to pick cucumbers in the morning or in the evening (it is believed that it is at this time that the greens are the most elastic and strong), carefully cutting off the stalk so as not to damage the whip. As a rule, the crop is harvested once every 2 days. It is not recommended to neglect the timing, since in this case the quality of the fruit decreases (the skin becomes coarse, yellowness appears, etc.) and the number of new ovaries decreases, since the plant spends energy on the development of already formed fruits. At home, it is difficult not to notice the greens, but it is advisable to pay attention to the shoots located in inconvenient places (for example, under the ceiling).
The use of plastic bottles when growing cucumbers in the open field
To provide cucumbers with good conditions for growth, it is necessary to take a responsible approach not only to the planting itself, but also to the selection and preparation of the site.
For a cucumber, it is better to choose a place with light sandy loam or loamy soils, the groundwater should lie at a depth of 1.5 m. If you want to plant cucumbers in a garden, then try to find a sunny and wind-protected area. When planting cucumbers, it is recommended to take into account the crop rotation: this crop grows well where potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and siderates (alfalfa, clover, rye, mustard, etc.) were previously placed, plant the same cucumbers again in the same place and after pumpkin (pumpkin, watermelon, zucchini, squash) is undesirable.
It is better to prepare the site in the fall, but it is also allowed in the spring, about 3 weeks before planting. To this end, add organic matter for digging (rotted manure, compost or humus) - 6-8 kg / m2 and a mineral complex - ammonium nitrate (15 g / m2) + superphosphate (40 g / m2) + ash (200 g / m2) or potassium salt (25 g / m2).
Before planting cucumbers, the soil in the garden must be improved.
If necessary, then 10-12 days before improving the soil, deacidify it by adding slaked lime (200-300 g / m2) or dolomite flour (350-400 g / m2).
Signs of acidic soil are an abundance of moss or horsetails, light bloom and rusty water in the pits.
If you prepared a bed in the fall, then dig up and loosen it before planting, and then form a bed. If you fertilized the soil in the spring, then it will be enough to dig up the area shallowly with a pitchfork, loosen it, and then form a bed.
Ways to use plastic bottles when planting cucumbers
As a rule, shoots are planted in the ground at the age of 20-25 days, that is, at about the end of May. By this time, they should have 3-4 true leaves. In addition to the timing, take into account the quality of the soil: if you did not improve the soil, then when planting, add 0.5-0.7 kg of humus or compost and 1/5 cup of ash to the bottom of the hole, and 0.15-0 to the bottom of the hole, 2 kg of organic matter and 2 tbsp. l. ash and moisten.
Planting with a bottle
- In the prepared soil, dig a hole large enough to fit the bottle. Please note that the soil in the bottle should be flush with the soil in the garden bed.
- Carefully remove the bottom of the bottle and place it in the hole.
- Fill the empty space between the walls of the pit and the walls of the bottle with earth to stabilize it.
- Moisten the plant gently at the root.
To make it easier to cut off the bottom later, many gardeners make 2-3 horizontal cuts in each wall of the bottle, 2-3 holes at a height of 1.5-2 cm from the bottom, and then pour drainage material and soil.
Fitting in a plastic rim
In this case, you need to use seedlings prepared in separate containers.
- Place the shoots in the prepared holes along with a lump of earth or a peat cup.
- Sprinkle with soil and pour over.
- Remove the top of the bottle by the shoulders or 2-3 cm lower and the bottom.
- Place the resulting rim around the sprout and press 3–5 cm into the ground.
- Place the sprouts under the cover material.
Plastic rim serves as good protection against insect pests
Gardeners who have experience in using bottles for growing cucumbers say that the plastic rim helps protect plantings from bear, reduce the number of weeds directly near the bushes, and also save water when watering, since the water will be within the fence, and not spread over the surface.
If you are unable to provide temporary shelter for the sprouts in the first 5-7 days after planting, then you can easily use a cut funnel. Some gardeners prefer a more spacious greenhouse option ”and remove the bottoms from the bottles.
- Place the shoots in the prepared holes along with a lump of earth or a peat cup.
- Sprinkle with soil and pour over.
- Carefully cover the sprout with a cap, pressing its edges 3-4 cm into the ground. Also remember to remove the cover.
5 liter bottles are often used as temporary shelter
Video: how to plant cucumbers under a hood
The grooming measures are almost the same as those recommended for home growing, but there are several features:
- Instead of sodium humate, in the first feeding, use chicken manure (1 part of organic matter for 15 parts of water), for the second and subsequent ones - mullein (1 part of organic matter for 6 parts of water).
- If you grow cucumbers in a greenhouse, ventilate after each watering.
- Don't forget to mulch the planting. For this purpose, sawdust or straw, covered with a layer of 5 cm, are well suited. Also, from time to time, the mulch layer must be renewed.
- Weed the garden regularly.
- Store the harvested crop in a cool, dark place. If there is a need to cover it, then use a burlap or cotton cloth, not a film.
As you can see, planting cucumbers in a bottle is not difficult, and you can quite cope with it even if you have no experience. Carry out all the work on time and do not neglect the care of your plants, and you will be able to get a good harvest both at home and in the garden.
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Cucumbers are the most popular and loved by many vegetables. Cucumbers can be eaten not only raw, but also pickled and canned. This explains why summer residents come up with different, sometimes even unusual ways, trying to get a rich harvest of juicy and fresh vegetables. So, for example, landing cucumbers in 5 liter bottles gained considerable popularity. This option not only makes it easier to grow and care for, but also allows for a rich harvest. What is this method and what are its advantages?
Cucumbers in a 5 liter bottle, photo
Features of the method
Planting cucumbers in plastic bottles is used to protect against pests, facilitate watering, and for the convenience of growing seedlings. This method is also used to get cucumbers at home. The method is suitable for those who do not have their own plot, and for gardeners. In addition to 5 liter bottles, 2 liter containers are also used.
The main advantages of the method are its low cost and convenience. Plastic bottles cost nothing, but they are practical for a number of reasons:
- Each 5 liter bottle makes a miniature seedling greenhouse
- Bottles retain water, making it easier to water a moisture-loving crop like cucumbers
- Young plants are protected not only from pests - crickets and bears - but also from weeds, which do not deprive seedlings of feeding
- Cucumber diseases do not start in the soil, which also has a positive effect on the harvested crop.
All varieties of cucumbers grow in plastic bottles, but the best results are obtained by growing early maturing varieties in this way. This allows you to get ripe vegetables ahead of time. But it is also useful to breed late-ripening varieties in 5 liter bottles. In this case, the harvest is harvested at a time when the cucumbers of other gardeners have already finished fruiting.
Planting cucumbers in plastic bottles begins with the preparation of a nutrient substrate, a container. The quality and quantity of the harvest depends on the correctness of actions.
Cooking the substrate
Use ready-made soil mixtures for vegetable crops. You can prepare the substrate yourself. For this, low-lying peat is mixed in equal proportions with sod land in which legumes grew. Add one part of the rotted foliage of the fruit trees. Drainage components - eggshells, dried sphagnum moss, sunflower husks, onions - make the soil mixture loose, permeable to water and air. Treatment with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate cleans the soil from pests and pathogens.
Birch ash can be added to the prepared mixture. This is an additional feeding of seedlings. The component increases productivity. The container with the substrate is left to ripen for three months. During this time, the raw materials are processed. Store closed at room temperature.
Preparing the container
Banks for sowing are prepared in two ways:
- When growing cucumbers in 5-liter bottles, the neck, the conical part is cut off on the balcony (they cover the planting with it to create a greenhouse effect). Drainage holes are punched at the base.
- At containers for greenhouses, open beds, remove the upper part. The bottom is cut off before planting.
How to grow cucumbers on a windowsill
It is possible to plant cucumbers in a bottle, as during planting in a greenhouse, on a balcony or in a personal plot. It is quite successful to grow a small amount of vegetables when planted on a windowsill.
True, in this case, you will have to choose undersized varieties, hybrid, since the height of the window will not allow the bush to grow too much, does not allow you to install a support.
It is also important to take proper care of this growing method. Proper watering should be combined with good lighting and location near a heating source.
If the room is cold, it is recommended to install a heater or heater near the seedlings.
It is also important to constantly feed the plants. To do this, you can purchase ready-made fertilizers at specialized points of sale that are suitable for growing cucumbers or universal feeding. Watering should be intensive, but not allowing water stagnation. To do this, before planting, drainage holes are drilled in the bottom of the bottle to ensure the outflow of excess liquid.