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Chinese, or long-fruited cucumber is a whole subspecies of the melon family. In appearance and taste, this vegetable almost does not differ from ordinary cucumbers - green peel, dense and juicy pulp. Only in length this cucumber can reach 50-80 cm.
A plant that can give good yields both in the greenhouse and in open ground. Resistant to disease, heat and tolerates temperature reduction well. Some varieties of Chinese cucumbers give their first harvest within a month after sowing the seeds.
In addition to the high yield (from 30 kg of cucumbers from one bush), all varieties of this plant are distinguished by good taste and unpretentious cultivation.
The optimal planting density (4-5 plants per sq. M.) Saves space in the greenhouse.
Important! In order for long and even fruits to form, plants need a support (trellis). If the Chinese cucumber grows on the ground, the fruit, deprived of air, turns out to be ugly and hooked.
But there are also disadvantages. These include a low percentage (about 2%) of germination of cucumber seeds, a short shelf life of no more than a day, and the fact that some varieties of cucumbers are unsuitable for canning.
Varieties of chinese cucumbers
Choosing a variety of Chinese cucumbers depends on what they are for. All of them differ not only in appearance, but also in terms of ripening and the degree of resistance to cucumber diseases.
Cucumber variety "Chinese snake"
A variety bred specifically for growing in a greenhouse. Begins to bear fruit in 30-40 days after planting seedlings in the ground. Fruits are bright green in color, grow up to 50-60 cm, have a slightly curved shape. On the skin there are rare and large tubercles. The pulp is juicy, with a slightly sweetish aftertaste, without bitterness. Large fruits are good for salads. Cucumbers 12-15 cm long are tasty and salted. But removing small fruits is unprofitable when it comes to growing Chinese cucumbers on an industrial scale.
Cucumber variety "Chinese farmer"
The hybrid belongs to the mid-early varieties, begins to bear fruit 50-55 days from the emergence of shoots. Seed germination is unstable, but the plant is hardy and powerful.
Fruits are even cylindrical in shape. The peel is smooth, dark green in color. Cucumbers grow up to 45-50 cm, have an even cylindrical shape.
Cucumber variety "Chinese miracle"
The variety is unpretentious and heat-resistant - it can withstand temperatures up to 40 degrees. Differs in active and fast seed germination.
Sprouts appear 5 days after sowing. The fruits are dark green with a thin skin. The pulp of the Chinese Miracle variety is dense, juicy, almost without seeds. Cucumbers are good both in salads and in homemade preparations.
Cucumber variety "Alligator"
An early ripe hybrid, characterized by long-term fruiting. The fruits are long, thin, with juicy pulp. The peel has small, frequent tubercles. The variety is suitable for canning. The plant is unpretentious in planting and care, resistant to many cucumber diseases. The alligator belongs to the varieties that are pollinated by bees, therefore it is recommended to plant scented flowers near the greenhouse to attract them. This video talks in detail about this particular variety of Chinese cucumbers:
Cucumber variety "Emerald Stream"
Mid-season variety with vigorous bushes. Fruits are dark green in color with large tubercles. They grow up to 55 cm in length. By the end of ripening, on average, they gain weight 200-250 g. The emerald stream bears fruit for a very long time. It does not need sunlight, therefore it is ideal for growing in plastic greenhouses. The output from one bush of this variety is 20-25 kg of cucumbers.
How to grow a Chinese cucumber in a greenhouse
The agricultural technique of growing Chinese cucumbers differs little from the usual method. The main conditions for their stable growth are light, constant moisture, fertile soil. This is easier to achieve in a greenhouse - there the Chinese cucumber will not depend on the change in the weather. This has a beneficial effect on their growth and productivity. Regional features of the climate do not really matter when choosing a variety of cucumbers if they are planned to be grown in a greenhouse.
They begin to prepare the ground for cucumbers in the fall - from mid-October. The site of the future planting should be well ventilated and illuminated, so you should not plant the plants close to the wall - an indent of at least 1 m wide on each side is required. Since the plant has almost no side shoots, it will not take up much space and will not interfere with other plantings.
In advance, you need to take care of feeding for future plants. It is prepared in this way:
A deep container is installed in the greenhouse, into which manure, fallen leaves, straw, nettles, and tomato stems are poured in layers. Pour a set of mineral fertilizers for melons and gourds there. All this must be filled with water, covered with a lid or foil and left until spring.
Chinese cucumber, like all melons and gourds, loves fertile soil saturated with organic fertilizers. The earth is dug up together with cow or horse manure and plant humus. At this stage, it is also recommended to apply mineral fertilizers - kalimag, superphosphate and sawdust soaked in a solution of ammonium nitrate. Then the ground is well watered and covered with foil.
Chinese cucumber, just like ordinary cucumber, is grown by seedlings. It is harvested in late February - early March. The seeds are planted in separate plastic pots. For seedlings, purchased ready-made soil for indoor plants is well suited. A drainage hole is made in the pot, soil is poured and a seed is planted to a depth of 2-3 cm.
The ground is watered, and each pot is covered with plastic wrap. Seedlings can be grown in the greenhouse itself - this will then facilitate the process of planting in the ground.
Advice! There is one little trick that has a beneficial effect on the growth of Chinese cucumbers. On both sides of the seed, you need to plant a couple of germinated seeds of undersized beans.
Legumes hold nitrogen in the soil and help nourish the roots of Chinese cucumbers. Before planting in the ground, the stalks of the beans are cut to the very root.
The first shoots can be expected 7-10 days after sowing. But you should not throw out empty pots at the end of this period - some varieties can "sit in the ground" for up to two weeks.
As soon as shoots have appeared, the seedlings are opened. Next, you need to monitor watering and air temperature. Plants are planted in the ground as soon as 2-3 leaves have formed on it.
Planting plants in the soil
Before disembarking, the film is removed from the prepared site and digged again with the addition of sawdust and river sand. These additives will provide natural aeration to the root system - Chinese cucumbers need loose soil saturated with oxygen. Mineral and organic fertilizers are also added.
Attention! For cucumbers, it's best not to use fresh chicken manure. It burns the roots of plants. The ideal top dressing for cucumber soil is horse manure or mullein solution.
Now you need to install the plant supports. It is better to do this before planting - the root system of these plants, regardless of the variety, is powerful and well developed. Digging in the trellis after planting, there is a risk of damaging the roots of the cucumbers. Plants grow strong and heavy, so the supporting structure must be strong and stable.
A hole is dug at the landing site. Its diameter should match the size of the pot. The plant is carefully removed along with a lump of earth and planted in the ground. In order not to injure the roots, this can be done by cutting the plastic pot lengthwise.
Add a little sawdust to the hole under the root, dig in with earth and water.
In the process of growth, it is necessary to monitor the soil moisture and periodically feed the soil with mineral and fertilizers and organic humus. For this, a container with top dressing, which was prepared in advance, is useful. The lack of nutrients immediately affects the appearance of the fruit. The table below details the changes in appearance, their causes, and how to help the plants cope with it.
How to help
The fruits are too thin
Chinese cucumber lacks boron
Water the soil around the plant with a solution of borax (one and a half tablespoons per bucket of water) or boric acid (1 spoon per bucket of water)
The fruits are shaped like hooks, and the leaves have acquired a yellow dried border around the edges.
Insufficient amount of nitrogen in the soil
Water the soil around them with a solution of ammonium nitrate (30 g of nitrate per bucket of water)
Cucumbers lack potassium
Apply mineral potash fertilizers to the soil before watering
Fruits stop growing, leaf tips dry and turn black
Lack of calcium
Calcium fertilizers are sold in the form of tablets, which are dug in to a depth of 1-2 cm.
Leaves are thin and narrow, with a purple tint
Signs of phosphorus starvation
Lack of phosphorus can be replenished with birch ash. It should be scattered around the plants and watered on top. Ash cannot be buried directly at the roots - it can burn them
Top dressing of cucumbers is carried out very carefully - at a distance of 20-30 cm, fertilizer is scattered and the soil is slightly loosened, to a depth of 5-6 cm so that it does not tamp. As it grows, the stem is carefully tied to a trellis, cutting off the yellowed lower leaves.
Most greenhouse varieties are self-pollinated. During the flowering period, when the weather is already warm, you can open the greenhouse during the day. It is only necessary to ensure that there are no drafts.
Chinese cucumbers need water to grow properly. With the appearance of the first fruits, the plant is watered and sprayed every day. Chemical and organic fertilizers should not be applied - the land is already sufficiently saturated with everything necessary. Excessive chemicals during fruiting can ruin the taste of the cucumbers themselves.
In open ground, the plant bears fruit until the first frost. In a greenhouse, the fruiting period can be increased. To do this, you need to heat the greenhouse. For optimal growth, it is necessary to maintain a constant temperature of 30-35 degrees.
Growing Chinese cucumbers is an interesting and profitable activity. With a minimum of financial costs and efforts, you can collect up to 40 kg of tasty and aromatic fruits from just one bush. One cucumber is enough to feed a regular family of 3-5 people with fresh salad.
There is an opinion that the Chinese cucumber, after the part is cut off from it, continues to grow, and the cut regains its original structure. Experiments gardeners have shown that this statement is only half true. Indeed, after cutting, the cucumber does not die, and may grow a little more. But the place of the cut dries up, and such a cucumber loses its presentation.
Therefore, it is better to adhere to the general rules for picking a cucumber crop, and the plants will delight you with tasty fruits for a long time.