It is impossible to imagine a country plot without at least a small garden with cucumbers. Everyone’s favorite vegetable is grown almost everyone who has at least a small allotment of land. In a fresh, salted or pickled form, cucumbers love absolutely everything. Especially tasty cucumber, if grown with his own hands. There are many ways to plant and grow cucumbers. Amateur and professional gardeners to obtain a rich harvest use a variety of agricultural practices: they grow their crops in greenhouses, greenhouses, tents, nets. But many, faced with the problem of lack of space, resort to incredible, at first glance, methods of growing vegetables and herbs in various containers. Recently, a popular and, importantly, economical and fruitful method of growing cucumbers in a barrel has become popular.
Positive and negative points of growing cucumbers in barrels
Before step by step to consider the features of planting and caring for cucumbers in barrels, it is necessary to figure out what the advantages of this method are and whether it has disadvantages.
First, consider all the “pluses”:
- saving land area (surprisingly, but one container with transplanted seedlings completely replaces the usual bed of 2 m²);
- the ability to locate a sowing barrel absolutely in any convenient place (even on an asphalt plot or in a flower bed with flowers).
- harvest earlier;
- relief in the organization of watering and weeding (it is not necessary to weed planted cucumbers since weed seeds almost never fall into the high ground in the barrel)
- lower consumption of fertilizers and minerals (if necessary, feeding);
- the convenience of harvesting and the purity of mature vegetables (in all weather conditions the fruits always remain clean and never rot);
- no risk of infection with fungal diseases and damage by pests;
- a great opportunity to use nutrient soil for several seasons (the remnants of the plant almost completely rot and turn into natural fertilizer for the next plantings);
- with a creative approach to decorating and coloring an inconspicuous barrel, the cucumber planting site becomes a garden decoration.
The minor drawbacks include preliminary preparation of the tank for planting and more frequent watering compared to open ground.
Organization of a mini-garden in a barrel
Now, when all the advantages of growing vegetables in barrels are highlighted, you can step by step familiarize yourself with all the intricacies of this process, from preparing the container location to collecting a rich crop of cucumbers.
Select the location of the tank. When choosing a place to install a barrel, remember that cucumber shoots do not like direct sunlight and drafts. Therefore, it is preferable to place them under the crown of garden trees and tall bushes in order to create partial shade in the hot heat and be able to tie the growing lash to the branches. You can arrange a few barrels near the gazebo or high fence and thereby create the impression of a hedge.
Preparation of the barrel. For growing vegetables is the best-suited capacity of 200-250 liters. The material from which it is made does not matter. It can be wood, iron, plastic, etc. The only condition is the presence of additional holes both at the bottom in the bottom and along the walls of the container. The presence of through holes will allow better penetration of air inside and remove excess moisture from the soil. In the cultivation of cucumbers, you can even use the old barrels without a bottom.
Preparation of nutrient primer. It is better if, at the beginning of spring, you decide on the installation site of such a decorative bed and begin, with the onset of the first warm days, to prepare the ground for future planting. At the very bottom put a small layer of river pebbles and thin dry branches. Last year’s grass and leaves, sawdust, hay, etc. can be thrown to the first drainage layer. Over time, all these plant waste rot and turn into fertilizer. The top can put a layer of manure. This is especially important for the cultivation of early varieties of cucumbers (heat released during decay has a beneficial effect on plants). Top fill the barrel with a loose mixture of soil and peat. After the barrel is almost filled with soil for planting, leave it for a few weeks to soil the donkey, tamped under the influence of rain and wind.
Hint! The plastic bottle with side holes dug in the middle of the barrel will greatly facilitate the process of watering and feeding. In a 1.5-liter plastic bottle, cut off the bottom and make small holes in the side walls around the perimeter. Bury your neck down the bottle, leaving only a few centimeters above the surface. This simple procedure will further allow you to evenly spread fertilizer and produce a kind of drip irrigation of cucumbers in the tank.
Selection of seed. Due to the fact that there is a possibility of planting and growing the earliest cucumbers in barrels, it is best to choose such early ripening varieties. Prefer self-pollinated hybrids. Such varieties of cucumbers as “Murom 36”, “Temp F1”, “Conny F1”, “Othello F1”, as well as the Phoenix variety will allow you to get an excellent harvest. If you have already decided on your unique and favorite variety of green vegetables, then plant along with the proposed options and it.
Sowing cucumber seeds. Already in the last days of April, one can safely sow the seeds of cucumbers into the prepared soil in a barrel. From above it is necessary to cover with a film or agrofibre (special fabric), protecting thereby seeds and shoots from possible frosts. In the afternoon, in warm weather, the film should be removed.
Hint! To eliminate root rot, a few days before sowing seeds, spill the soil with a saturated solution of potassium permanganate or “Fitosparin.” Also for the disinfection of the soil is recommended to shed it with hot water (boiling water).
In the usual 200-liter capacity planted no more than five seeds. If you doubt the germination of the variety, it is best to sow a little more. After the first shoots appear, they can either be transplanted or simply remove the weakest specimens.
Caring for cucumbers planted in a barrel consists of timely watering, dressing, and garter (if necessary).
Cucumbers are moisture-loving plants, so frequent and abundant watering they simply need. With a lack of moisture, plants grow slowly, and the fruits become bitter in taste. When grown in open ground, water evaporates more slowly, but cucumbers growing in containers should be watered much more often.
Watering must be done 3-4 times a week. It is best to moisten the plants early in the morning or after lunch. Water cucumbers with cool (not icy!) Water at the rate of 3 liters per plant.
If you placed a bottle with holes in the middle of the barrel before planting, you should fill it with water every day. This will provide the seedlings with the necessary moisture without additional effort and full irrigation.
To slow the process of evaporation of moisture from the surface, you should cover the soil in the barrel with hay or straw (mulch).
Top dressing (fertilization)
It is necessary to apply fertilizer several times. The first time should feed the sprouts of cucumbers before flowering. In order to actively plant greens during this period, nitrogen fertilizer should be applied to the soil (a teaspoon of urea is dissolved in a bucket of water and watered under the root).
During the formation of fruits do not forget to feed the cucumbers with a group of potash and phosphate fertilizers. Feed from chicken manure, as well as a solution of wood ash.
When growing cucumbers in a tank, they need to trail either down or up. Therefore, some gardeners install a high pole in the middle of the barrel or next to it and tie several ropes to its top. The ends of the ropes fasten around the edges of the barrel in a circle. After the appearance of the first 5 – 6 leaves, shoots cling to the stretched ropes and the plant begins to “crawl” up. Many gardeners for some varieties prefer to do without tying. Long stalks of plants simply hang down and intertwine, thereby creating a decorative look of capacity.
Possible diseases and ways to eliminate them
During the cultivation of cucumbers can be faced with the problem of dryness and yellowness of leaves for no apparent reason. This may be due to lack of lighting or nutrients, as well as sudden changes in temperature or rare watering. Under adverse weather conditions, improper storage of seed or from an excess of nitrogen in the soil can be observed a large number of barren flowers.
With all the rules of planting and caring for cucumbers, you will undoubtedly get a rich harvest of vegetables. But you should know and adhere to some rules when collecting fruits:
- For the speedy formation of new ovaries, ripe fruits should be collected daily or every other day.
- Harvesting cucumbers are best done in the morning or in the evening when the air temperature is lower.
- If signs of disease appear on young fruits or cucumber leaves (yellow spots, rot, etc.), immediately remove the affected plant element.
- To prevent damage to the ovaries and stems of the plant, it is recommended not to pluck ripened fruits, but to cut them with the help of small scissors.
Growing cucumbers in a barrel are quite entertaining and not at all troublesome. Capacities with landings help not only save space on the summer cottage but also advantageously emphasize it in decorative terms. If you follow all the recommendations according to reviews of experienced gardeners, you will not be left without a crop!