Cucumbers - one of the most common vegetables in the world. To date, there are many breeding types of cucumbers, as well as numerous hybrids, resulting from mutation of varieties. In order for the vegetable to bear fruit and bring seeds, cucumber must be pollinated.
Types of pollination
The very process of pollination is equivalent to fertilization - the pollen from a male flower should get onto the female. As a result of this, cross-pollination will occur and an ovary (the future cucumber) will form. Therefore, pollination is very important; without this process, so-called barren flowers form - inflorescences that do not turn into fruits, but simply dry out.
There are three types of cucumbers:
- parthenocarpic (self-pollinated);
- not requiring pollination.
The latter are a selection of cucumber hybrid, created specifically for growing indoors (in a greenhouse). These varieties have only female inflorescences, the number of barren flowers is minimized.
Natural pollination of cucumbers can be done in several ways:
- with the help of the wind;
- through the flow of water;
- insect pollination.
In addition to the natural method, artificial pollination of cucumbers is often used. This is necessary when the vegetables are planted in a closed greenhouse or the number of insects (bees) is not enough for the full pollination of all flowers.
How is pollination of cucumbers
In order to fully understand the process of pollination of cucumbers, you need to learn how to distinguish male inflorescences from female ones. Male flowers are arranged in groups in the same whip, and female flowers grow separately. In addition, the male flower has a stamen, but there are no pistils, while the female has, on the contrary, only pistils.
In order to properly pollinate, pollen from the stamen of a male inflorescence should fall on the pollen of the female pistils. This is the job that bees do. But these insects can not always cope, they interfere with them:
- closed greenhouses (at too low outside temperatures, for example);
- strong winds;
- overcast weather is also not conducive to fly bees.
In these cases, bee pollinated cultivars need human help — artificial pollination. You can perform it in several ways, here are two of them:
- To pick a male flower of cucumber and bring it to the female, while gently hold the stamen on the pistils in the direction from top to bottom.
- Equip with a soft brush for painting and transfer pollen from male flowers of cucumbers to female ones.
How to choose cucumber seeds
Buying cucumber seeds, you need to make a start not only from the qualities of the finished fruit. When choosing a variety, several factors are taken into account. Weather conditions, the type of soil, the possibility of irrigation, the type of treatment for diseases - all this is analyzed in combination.
If the choice fell on bee-pollinated varieties, you need to first think about the possibility of full natural pollination of cucumbers. In this case, it is better if there are bees on the same land plot. In extreme cases, the hive with insects should be in close proximity to the garden. If the number of bees is insufficient, the bee-pollinated varieties will not produce the expected yield, there will be many barren flowers instead of cucumbers.
You can fix the situation by mechanical (artificial method). About him was written earlier.
The best varieties of cucumber bee-pollinated type
Every gardener has favorite varieties of cucumbers: someone prefers more productive hybrids, for someone resistance to diseases, taste characteristics are important. Below is a list of varieties, the seeds of which are the most popular:
Differs in high productivity. Up to 5.8 kg of cucumber can be removed from each square meter. The hybrid is resistant to the most common diseases of cucumbers: powdery mildew and cladosporia. The bushes of this variety are small, the fruits rarely reach 100 grams. Tasteful high quality varieties, cucumber "Izobilny" is perfect for salads and fresh use. This bee-pollinated variety is intended both for planting in open ground and for greenhouse cultivation. It is recommended to sow the seeds of a hybrid only after the threat of frost - this cucumber loves heat (suitable soil temperature is above 11-12 degrees).
It has large fruits, the weight of which reaches 250 grams. It is easy to distinguish a cucumber on rather large tubercles and white thorns. Shrubs plants average climbing, cucumber has a predominance of female flowers. Productivity is very high - 26-28 kg per square meter. Taste characteristics of the variety is also at a height - it is perfect for both salads and preservation. Cucumber "F 1 TSHA-2693" can be planted in the greenhouse and in the open ground, it is resistant to olive spot and to ordinary cucumber mosaic.
Differs early ripening, fruiting hybrid occurs at 36-38 days after seeding. Bushes of this variety are distinguished by branching and bright green leaves, the cucumbers themselves are small (90-150 grams), with large bumps, without bitterness. The plant is resistant to downy mildew, suitable for planting in open and closed grounds. Cucumber variety "Avangard" is tasty both in fresh and in canned (pickled) form.
This is a variety that is distinguished by long (up to 45 cm) light green fruits. On cucumbers there are no pimples, but there is a slight ribbing. Bushes of medium height with green leaves and good lateral shoots. Cucumber is resistant to diseases, among which powdery mildew. Fruiting grade comes on day 65 after seeding. Planting cucumbers varieties "Abruzze" can be even in the greenhouse, even in the ground. Productivity reaches 10 kg / m ².
The strengths of bee pollinated cucumbers
Bee pollinated cultures have many “fans” among gardeners and summer residents. And it is not surprising, such recognition is deserved, because these varieties of cucumbers have the following advantages:
- unpretentious requirements for the illumination of the greenhouse or greenhouse;
- high degree of precocity;
- high taste characteristics and versatility (cucumbers are not bitter, excellent for salting);
- increased yield;
- profitability (the money spent on the purchase of seeds will return with a surplus after the harvest of cucumbers);
- disease resistance;
- good grade reaction to temperature changes.
With all the advantages, bee-pollinated varieties have a couple of drawbacks. The first of these is the necessary presence of bees in sufficient numbers. In the open area of the soil, this problem can still be dealt with, but in the greenhouse it is necessary to do manual pollination of cucumbers.
The second minus of this variety of cucumbers - for full pollination it is necessary to observe the proportion of male and female inflorescences. This involves the purchase and seeding varieties of cucumber with a predominance of male flowers.
Well-known breeding companies in each bag of seeds of bee-pollinated cucumber varieties put several such seeds. They can be distinguished by coloring in a different color, while on the package will be written about this feature of the seeds.
In addition, there are a number of less significant drawbacks of bee-pollinating varieties:
- low bushes with sparse leaves when growing greenhouse hybrids;
- increased consumption of planting material;
- large labor costs for the care of cucumbers;
- the need to maintain or attract pollinating insects.
Despite the shortcomings, bee pollinated varieties lead in the total number of purchased seeds. These cucumbers are distinguished by good germination and high yields, probably, these are still the main qualities of the vegetable, which gardeners take into account.
Seed preparation for planting
Cucumber seeds can be purchased from a breeder or harvested by yourself. Purchased seeds are complex processing, they are ready for planting. But with his own collected seeds will have to work. There are a number of rules and recommendations:
- You can plant seeds of cucumber, collected two years ago. Last year's not suitable for planting.
- For the initial selection, you need to carefully examine the seeds: they must be smooth, solid, of the same color. Defective seeds are discarded.
- Sort seeds by size into three categories: small, large and medium. Planted together need seeds from one category.
- Determine the empty seeds. To do this, they are placed in salted water (1.5 tsp of salt is added to a glass of water). Stir the water with the seeds and leave for a few minutes. The sprouted seeds need to be thrown away - nothing will grow from them.
- Seed material must be decontaminated. To do this, use a solution of boric acid or manganese. First, the seeds are heated in the sun, battery, or in a thermos with warm water. Then placed in a disinfecting solution, incubated, washed with running water. Very effective treatment with ultraviolet lamp.
- Wood ash will help to fill the seeds with necessary microelements. A tablespoon of ash is stirred in 0.5 liters of water. The seeds placed in the mixture are left for a day.
- In good, the seed must also be hardened. First, the seeds are placed in wet sand and kept for a day at a temperature of +25 degrees before swelling, the next stage is a refrigerator, where the seeds should lie for 2-3 days.
After all stages, the seeds are ready for planting.Important! It is not necessary to carry out all these manipulations with the purchased seeds. They have already gone through all the stages of preparation, additional measures can harm them.
The landing of bee pollinated cucumbers
In addition to seeds, soil needs to be prepared. If it is a greenhouse, the land from it must be mixed with humus and wood ash. When sowing in open ground, you need to prepare the grooves, their location and depth depend on the methods of irrigation, bushiness of cucumber and the height of the lashes. You need to add fertilizer to the ground; bird droppings are well suited from natural ones.
It is important to consider that any cucumbers do not like transplants, they are rolled over to a permanent place with the ground. Therefore, it is better to plant cucumber seedlings in disposable peat or paper cups, the diameter of which exceeds 10 cm.
In a heated greenhouse, cucumbers are planted in late February, early March. In open ground, you need to plant seedlings only when it comes to a stable heat. Cucumbers do not like temperatures below 17 degrees.
Bee pollinated varieties - the best choice for owners with their own bees or apiary near the site. To attract insects in a greenhouse with cucumbers, you need to open it in sunny weather, and spray the bushes with a weak sugar syrup. Cucumber seeds can be bought, the range of species and hybrids today is simply huge, but you can also harvest from your crop, observing the rules for preparing seeds for planting.