Each experienced gardener will tell you with confidence that you can get a high-quality and rich crop of cucumbers only from strong, well-developed seedlings. Climate plays an important role in the process of growing young seedlings from cucumber seeds.
Cucumber - the plant is warm and light-loving, and that is why many gardeners prepare seedlings in greenhouses or at home. Growing cucumber seedlings at home on a window sill, you can constantly keep their growth under control, take care of and water in time, while receiving not only pleasure from the result, but also invaluable experience.
How to choose cucumber seeds for home seedlings
An important component of quick seed sowing and good growth of cucumber seedlings is the choice of planting material. To cultivate cucumber seeds at home, opt for early self-pollinating, resistant varieties or hybrids adapted to grow in low light.
When buying planting material of cucumbers in the store, pay attention to varieties that are well proven for growing at home:
- Partenrapic hybrids - Barnaul, F1 Balcony miracle, Dragonfly, Matrix;
- Self-dusting hybrids - Kukaracha, Zozulya, April, Sail, Courage.
Please note that some of these varieties are bred by the breeders specifically for growing cucumbers on the balconies and loggias, so the varieties are as much as possible adapted to domestic conditions and greenhouse conditions.
If you decide to grow on the windowsill insect-growing cucumber varieties for further transplanting plants into the open ground to the country, pay attention to such as: Olympiad, Ladoga, Frigate, and as a pollinator annoy several seedlings from the Ermine and Hercules seeds.
Choosing a place for planting cucumbers
The main thing that needs to be foreseen when growing cucumber seedlings on a windowsill is that they should not be in a draft. Try to place the cucumber seedlings on the window, which you rarely open for ventilation. Sharp temperature fluctuations, especially with small early shoots, can destroy the plant.
Cucumber seedlings love heat and sunlight, so you spend growing on a windowsill, where the frames are well insulated for the winter and nothing prevents natural light from entering the apartment.
If cucumber seedlings will sprout in late February - early March, provide additional coverage on the windowsill. The same thing needs to be done if the sowing of the seed has come late or the seedlings are rising too slowly. Repleting is an important stage on which the cultivation of cucumber seedlings at home depends.
Before installing landing containers on it, be sure to cover the surface of the sill with any thermal insulation material so that the soil in the pots does not “pull” the cold from the window sill. Cold substrate can significantly harm the cucumber, supercooling has not yet become stronger root.
How to prepare planting material
Even if you did not buy cucumber seeds in the store, but collected them from the previous harvest, and are completely confident in their quality, carry out preparatory activities before planting. For seeds, the seedlings from which will be grown on the windowsill, it is necessary to perform calibration and disinfection, as well as germinate them for quick germination of seedlings.
Using a salt solution, select high-quality planting material for growing cucumbers. Good seeds, placed in salt water, will immediately settle, and the hollow ones will float. After the procedure, the material should be washed with warm running water.Attention! For full confidence that the seedlings will not be prone to fungal and viral infections, be sure to lower the seeds of cucumber in a 1% solution of potassium permanganate.
Another procedure included in the set of measures for the preparation of planting material for growing is warming up. This procedure can be carried out by keeping cucumber seeds at a temperature of 45-500C for 3 days. At home, this can be done using an ordinary aquarium water heater as a heat carrier.
If you are planting seedlings from the seeds of cucumber hybrids or using imported varieties of crops for planting, be sure to read the instructions. Most often, the manufacturer prescribes in it all the recommendations for pre-treatment and proper care of the seedlings.
The last stage before placing the planting material in the ground is germination. This is necessary in order to plant in the soil the already sprouted cucumber seed, and to obtain a guaranteed 100% germination rate.
Cultivation begins with the fact that the grains are laid out on a cotton cloth, gauze or napkin soaked with growth stimulants. Planting material is kept in a humid environment at a temperature not lower than 250With the formation of cucumber germs 10-15 mm in length. As a rule, the whole process takes no more than 3 days.
Soil and containers for cucumber seedlings on the windowsill
Before choosing a tank for planting seeds, decide when and how you will transfer seedlings to a greenhouse or to open ground. If the cultivation of cucumber seedlings is carried out in a city apartment, and you have to carry them in the trunk of a car to the garden, it is better to choose small planting containers that will fit well in the box without damaging the plant stems. To grow cucumbers on the balcony or loggia, choose bulk pots with a soil volume of at least 5 liters.
Attention! The tank before filling the soil must always be treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate!
It is believed that the best containers for growing cucumber seedlings are small peat pots or ordinary paper cups. The main thing is that after transplanting the roots of the plant should not be damaged.
The substrate is prepared from the following components, taken in equal shares:
- Earth turf;
A glass of ash, 50 ml of nitrophoska, 30 ml of urea must be added to 10 liters of such a mixture. You can add a little finely chopped sawdust to the mixture well kneaded in the bulk capacity. Planting containers are filled with a mixture of 2/3, and after the first and second irrigation the substrate is filled, if there is such a need.
Planting cucumber seeds for seedlings
As soon as the seeds hatch, they can be planted in the soil. Distribute containers with soil evenly over the prepared surface of the window sill. Remember that if you have chosen a planting box as a container for growing seedlings, it will be necessary to pinch the seedlings in the process of growth, and when transporting them to the cottage, you must seated in separate containers.
Cucumber seeds are carefully transferred with tweezers to a moistened soil and sprinkled with substrate so that the seedling is visible on the surface. After that, water again. At the initial stage of growing cucumber seedlings on the windowsill, it is important to create a greenhouse effect for it. Each tank is carefully covered with plastic wrap, and the temperature in the room is at least 250WITH.Important! Remember that the air temperature on the window sill in winter is always 1-20C lower than in the room itself.
The film from the landing containers is removed when cucumber seedlings are clearly visible on the surface of the earth. Once this has happened, take care of a stable, natural light for the window sill. In winter, when the daylight is still too small, additional lighting should be provided at least 10-12 hours a day. Without this, growing seedlings on the windowsill is simply impossible.
Care for cucumber seedlings on the windowsill
As soon as you see two leaves above the ground, the seedlings on the windowsill need to be fed. To do this, 2-3 teaspoons of nitroammofoski or nitrophoska diluted in 3 liters of distilled warm water.
If the day is not hot, and open sunlight does not fall on the leaves, you can perform foliar feeding, only slightly sprinkling the leaves and stem with prepared fertilizer. With a bright illumination of the window sill - root top dressing, just adding 1-2 teaspoons of solution to the soil. After carrying out the procedure several times, cucumber seedlings are watered very carefully, avoiding overflow and stagnation of water in the container.
The second feeding is carried out two weeks after the first. Fertilizer solution may be the same. For the second feeding, 0.5 cups of fertilizer is poured into the planting container. After that, the plant is not watered for two days.
Watering cucumber seedlings throughout the growing time on the windowsill should be carried out at the same time. For example, at 7 or 8 am, but so that you are sure that you can do it at the same time. Water for watering cucumber seedlings is desirable to defend in the same room where the plants are kept. Small or weakened seedlings react to the slightest temperature changes, so watering should not cause them discomfort.
Pay attention to the fact that for a young plant both the overflow and underfilling are equally bad. Cucumber is one of the cultures that love a moist environment, but a too wet substrate that does not have time to dry out often causes rotting of a still weak root. As soon as the seedlings grow and get stronger, you can add a spray to the watering.
Indoor diseases and pests
If the seeds for seedlings have undergone complete preliminary processing, then the cultivation of seedlings, as a rule, will not cause any trouble, and the seedlings will grow healthy and strong. However, in exceptional cases, the plant may be subject to invasion of pests, which are necessary to know about.
The best way to fight this insect is a strong tobacco solution. Large leaf tobacco is placed in a spacious container, poured with boiled water so that it lightly covers the leaves, and kept in a water bath for 20-25 minutes. Cool infusion watering cucumber seedlings.
Insect, capable within two days almost completely destroy the leaves of seedlings. When disinfecting seedlings use the same decoction of tobacco, with the only difference - the plant is not watered, but only wipe the leaves with a solution.
If cucumbers are infected with spider mites, the best way to get rid of it is to prepare garlic solution. One head of finely chopped or crushed garlic is kept for 1 hour in 1 liter of distilled warm water. This infusion is watering the seedlings.
Healthy and strong seedlings on the windowsill will grow only if climatic conditions are maintained when planting seeds and caring for seedlings, and the plant will receive a sufficient amount of moisture and light.
Transplantation of seedlings in the greenhouse can be carried out in the middle or end of March. In the open ground, the plant is placed, reliably making sure that the soil is warmed up and frost on the soil is no longer expected.
Find out what else to pay attention when growing seedlings on the windowsill, you can by viewing the video.