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The cultural form of cucumbers appeared long before the advent of our era. This vegetable was grown in India, Egypt and Rome. Today it is impossible to imagine a single summer cottage without a garden on which a cucumber twists its whips. Many varieties and hybrids of this culture are very popular among gardeners. Pickling, salad and universal purpose cucumbers are grown according to a variety of technologies. One of them appeared not so long ago and was appreciated by amateurs to save space on the site and get a double crop. Growing cucumbers in barrels is the very innovative method in question.
Advantages and disadvantages of the method
Cucumber is a crop that requires large areas when grown. Planting this culture in barrels can significantly save space in the country, because the nutrition area for the roots of this culture remains vast, and in fact such beds take up very little space. Another significant advantage of the method is easier care of plants. This is especially true for weeding and loosening.
Plants rising above the surface of the earth are not damaged by frost and pests. Cucumbers grown in barrels are not inferior in quality to fruits grown in a familiar garden or in a greenhouse. In addition, they can be planted for several days, or even weeks, earlier than unpaved ones. It is impossible not to mention that in such conditions the cucumber grows even and absolutely clean, because not a single fruit will touch the ground.
Among the disadvantages of this method, only the tendency of the barrel to dry out and overheat of the soil can be distinguished. The second factor, by the way, plays into the hands of gardeners, because cucumbers like to grow in warm land.
Those who decide to grow cucumbers in a barrel should carefully consider the choice of seeds. The crop yield of such unusual beds will depend on the variety of culture, the timing of fruiting. According to the reviews of experienced summer residents, it is better to select early varieties and hybrids on which mainly female flowers are formed. These include:
- Cucumber "Murom 36" - one of the oldest varieties, characterized by good productivity.
- Cucumbers "Chinese frost-resistant", Unrivaled weather resistance.
- Hybrid Variety Connie - one of the most productive cucumbers, forming beautiful and tasty fruits before others.
- Hybrid "Temp" - A quick, very productive cucumber, characterized by good resistance to disease and adverse conditions.
The famous agronomist and gardener-practitioner Oktyabrina Ganichkina recommends planting several varieties of cucumbers in each barrel. This, she said, will contribute to better pollination, which will affect the overall yield positively. In addition, this technology will allow you to collect cucumber from one barrel for pickling, salads and other purposes.
How to grow cucumbers in a barrel
Barrel preparation and filling with soil mix
To grow a rich harvest, you need to prepare a barrel for planting cucumbers in early spring, when the bulk of the snow has descended. The barrel is filled with branches, pieces of rags, dried weed roots, other garden waste, and even food waste. The benefits of such a filling are as follows:
- overheating is accompanied by the release of heat, to which cucumbers are very demanding;
- garden garbage - good drainage, which will not allow water to stagnate at the roots of plants;
- sprouting to the lower layer, which by the beginning of summer will already begin to over-ripen, the roots of cucumbers will absorb organic matter, useful for growth and fruiting;
- after harvest, the contents of the barrel will become a good fertilizer for other garden crops.
A barrel left with such a filling should stand for at least 3 weeks, be sure to be in the sun so that its contents heat up and fade. It is important to periodically moisten the barrel so that this process does not stop. After the above-mentioned time, the substrate will settle.
In early May or late April, depending on the region, a layer of fertile soil (a mixture of humus, leaf and garden soil in equal parts) is poured on top of the substrate from the waste. Its layer should not exceed 20 cm. Such a depth for the roots of culture will be quite enough.
Before planting cucumbers in a barrel, Ganichkina recommends shedding the soil in it with a hot solution of potassium permanganate or phytosporin to prevent infection of seeds with fungi or other microorganisms. 10 seeds or the same number of seedling roots can easily be placed in one container. They need to be planted at a distance of 10-15 mm from each other.
To protect plantings from temperature extremes, you need to cover the barrel with a film. Seedlings can be protected with pieces of polymer bottles. With the onset of sustainable heat, the shelter can be removed so that the cucumbers are blown by the wind and evenly lit.
As the thick drainage layer thickens, the soil in the barrel will begin to settle. This is not dangerous and will not affect the growth of culture in any way, because the seedlings will already be tall enough to reach the edge of the garden and cross over to their edge.
The technology of growing cucumbers in a barrel
In order for cucumbers in a barrel to please a weighty harvest of healthy fruits, summer residents should follow two simple rules for caring for them:
- Regular watering with warm water, standing in the sun during the day. Water should not fall on the leaves and lashes of cucumbers, as this can cause burns. The soil in the barrels should be constantly moistened, but not wet. This will allow plants to actively absorb nutrients from the soil. The average rate of water poured under one plant per day is 1-3 liters, depending on weather conditions.
- Root and non-root top dressing with complex fertilizers for cucumbers. For the entire fruiting season, it is recommended to feed the plantings in barrels no more than 4 times, and the first should take place 2-3 weeks after planting the seedlings or after the appearance of 4 real leaves when planting the seeds. In unstable weather, you can process plants "Epinom".
The rest of the care for cucumbers in a barrel is reduced to an even distribution of lashes and timely harvesting. When weeds appear, they must be removed, and in extremely hot weather, shade barrels with nonwoven fabric with the lowest density. The surface of the soil in barrels can, and sometimes even need, be mulched with a thin layer of overripe vegetation or peat crushed into crumbs.
Reviews of gardeners
Numerous reviews about such an unusual method of growing cucumbers are mostly very positive. Summer residents especially appreciate it for the low complexity of the process, which does not require prolonged digging of the soil, weeding in an uncomfortable position and endless struggle with slugs and other pests. Even in rainy and cold summers, gardeners who grow cucumbers in barrels note that this has almost no effect on productivity.
In addition, cucumber barrels are an excellent decoration for a summer cottage. They can be placed closer to the recreation area. To make them look more harmonious, many summer residents paint the walls of the barrels in different colors. Of the shortcomings of such growing gardeners note the need to periodically turn the barrels so that the hanging lashes do not overheat in the sun.
How to care for cucumbers in a barrel
Cucumbers grown in barrels are not only inferior, but often superior in quality to soil. Getting a big crop using this technology is much easier, especially if the plot is small.