A gardener who decided to sow seedlings will receive the first cucumbers earlier and will harvest more crops. But in order for plants to develop properly, to be strong and healthy, they need suitable conditions. It is important to choose the time for sowing seeds, and then for planting plants in open ground.
When to plant seeds
Seedlings need to sow in optimal time. Plants should be sufficiently developed, but we should not allow them to stop at home. It takes about three weeks for seedlings to grow.
Therefore, time for sowing should be allocated 20-25 days before the planned planting in the soil.
It is recommended to plant cucumbers on a bed under a film in 10-15 days of May, and in open ground - from 2 to 10 June. Proceeding from this, it is possible to sow seeds for seedlings in the second half of April for beds under a film and in May for planting in open ground.Important! Counting on when to sow cucumbers, it is worth throwing a couple of days to seed germination.
What seeds are better to take for seedlings
Before you grow seedlings, you need not only to determine the time of sowing, but also to choose the right cucumber seeds. They remain viable for up to 5 years. To get a bountiful harvest, it is preferable to take three-year seeds. Their development will take a little longer, but these sprouts are better able to resist cucumber diseases. They bloom mostly female.
To maintain seed germination, it is important to observe storage conditions. The air temperature should be 15 degrees, the humidity of air in the range of 50-60 percent.
Do I need to soak the seeds before planting
It depends on when they germinate whether the seeds are soaked before planting. Hacked seeds grow faster.
For germination requires a moist environment. Cucumber seeds are placed on wet gauze or cloth and moistened on both sides. They should always be kept wet, but not soaked in water.
The second condition for seed germination is heat. The cup in which they are soaked should be placed next to the battery or lamp. If the temperature reaches 30 degrees, germination can be expected within a day. However, if it drops to 15 degrees, the seeds may not germinate at all or it may take a long time before the root appears.Important! The higher the ambient temperature, the faster the seeds germinate.
Theoretically, the seeds can be sown immediately in the soil. In this case, you can not check them for germination.
How to speed up seed germination
To speed up seed germination, in addition to soaking (which is performed immediately before planting) there are several more procedures. The following are some of them.
- Calibration. In essence, is the selection of seeds. First, their external parameters are evaluated. To check the germination, the seeds are placed in a jar with salt water and mixed. Suitable for sowing will sink to the bottom, should not be used. Good seeds are selected and dried.
- Hardening This procedure is necessary in order to increase the resistance of plants to temperature jumps. To harden the seeds, they are kept in a humid environment until they swell. It takes about six hours. Then they are kept for 12 hours in the refrigerator. After leaving for 12 hours at room temperature. To change the temperature regime in this way is necessary for five days. During this time, the seeds must be hydrated.
- Disinfection. Perhaps in two ways. When hydrothermal disinfection seeds are alternately placed in hot (approximately 50 degrees) and in cold water. The duration of the procedure is 10 minutes. The second method is chemical disinfection. Seeds are kept for 10 minutes in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide, heated to a temperature of 35 degrees.
- Warming up This procedure is carried out before sowing to improve seed germination. They are suspended in a fabric bag next to a battery or other heat source and kept for 3-4 hours.
To carry out these procedures for the treatment of seeds is not difficult. But they allow to increase resistance to adverse weather conditions and pests.
How to choose and prepare a container for seedlings
When choosing a container for future seedlings, it is worth considering that the cucumber is a rather capricious culture. Plants do not tolerate damage to the roots. Therefore, they are put in separate pots.
Peat tablets, peat and coconut pots are on the modern market. A good option for short-term germination of seeds - the shell from under the eggs. A simple and affordable method is growing seedlings in plastic jars from yogurt or mayonnaise.
If plants are grown in a common pot, an 8 × 8 or 10 × 10 cm segment should be provided for each sprout. However, a separate container is preferable.
It is recommended to fill the pot as follows:
- cover the bottom with a two-centimeter layer of sawdust;
- cover the nutrient soil with a layer of 5-7 cm, but in such a way that there is a couple of centimeters to the edge of the container.
For nutrient soil, you can take peat and humus in equal proportions. For enrichment, you can use superphosphate (a quarter cup per bucket of soil) and wood ash (2 cups per bucket of soil).
Recommendations for seedling maintenance
The optimum capacity for seedlings is from 300 to 500 g. For convenience, all jars can be placed on a pallet or in a box. Below are some useful recommendations.
- At the bottom of the tanks, you need to make a few holes for oxygen to reach the roots.
- Filling the jars with soil, you need to leave a couple of centimeters to the edge. When the seedlings are watered, water will not flow over the top.
- Each pot should have one plant, then it will be enough water and light. Sometimes two seeds are planted, and then a more developed sprout is left, the second is cut.
- While the sprouts are not grown, the containers with the seedlings are left in a warm place, watered twice a week.
- When shoots appeared, seedlings are placed on a bright window sill. If there is not enough light, care should be taken about the lamp.
- In the future, watering should be carried out, focusing on the dryness of the soil. Excessive watering can lead to rotting of the roots or black leg disease.
- Seedlings need to be protected from drafts and cold air. If it is freezing outside, it is better not to leave containers with sprouts on the windowsill.
One of the key conditions for growing seedlings - sufficient lighting. If the shoots receive less light, they begin to stretch and weaken. In this case, you need to make the lighting more intense. With a lack of sunlight, you can use the lamps.
If the seedlings are warm, the first true leaflet can be expected on the third day. Depending on the temperature, these periods may be longer - up to a week. After the appearance of the first leaf, growth is accelerated. At this stage, it's time to plant the seedlings.
What conditions are needed for the growth of cucumbers
Calculating the timing of sowing seeds and planting seedlings, it is important to consider the climate of your region. Cucumbers are heat-loving plants. They are also very demanding of moisture. In general, for abundant fruiting, this culture needs the following conditions:
- suitable level of humidity;
- good light;
- nutrient soil.
For optimal growth of cucumbers need an air temperature of about 25-30 degrees, and the temperature of the soil - 20-25 degrees. With a cold snap, the growth of the bush slows down. When the temperature drops to 10 degrees, it stops.
Regarding the soil, loam is preferred, pH is neutral. For good growth need soil with humus.
Seedlings should be planted in a well-heated bed in the evening. Before landing, be sure to water the land. Ideally, for a bed with cucumbers you need a well-lit place where there is no wind. You can also set the arc and cover just planted plants with film.
To quickly get a fresh crop of cucumbers, you should first sow the seeds for seedlings. You must comply with the terms and conditions of sowing. Planting seeds three weeks before the planned transplantation into open ground. During this time, the plants will have time to take shape. But we can not allow perestaivaniya seedlings at home. It can be planted after the appearance of the first full leaflet.