Cucumber is a unique vegetable that can be grown not only on open ground, in greenhouses, greenhouses, but also on a windowsill. This allows you to consume a fresh, environmentally friendly product grown in your own apartment in the cold winter. It should be noted that cucumbers on the windowsill in winter are not a novelty or exotic. This practice has been taking place for a long time and on its basis it is possible to distinguish some growing rules and the most suitable varieties of cucumbers for the windowsill.
Choosing the right seeds is key to growing cucumbers on a windowsill. Modern breeding has developed a number of special varieties adapted to the living conditions. They are parthenocarpic, which eliminates the hassle associated with pollination of the plant. In this case, the growers also take into account the growth of cucumbers, bushiness, which should allow the plant to exist in the "modest" conditions of the windowsill. So, special varieties of cucumbers for growing on a windowsill include:
- Balcony F1;
- Indoor F1;
- Balcony divo F1;
- Room Rytov F1;
- City gherkin F1.
According to the experience of experienced "apartment" gardeners, we can say that other universal self-pollinated cucumber varieties can be successfully grown on the windowsill:
- Berendey F1;
- F1 athlete;
- Bush F1;
- F1 calendar;
- Hummingbird F1;
- By the pike's behest F1;
- Goosebump F1.
The video shows examples of some varieties suitable for growing on a windowsill, their brief characteristics and advantageous features are given:
It is worth noting that for those who are not looking for easy solutions, bee-pollinated varieties of cucumbers may also be suitable. In this case, pollination should be done manually. Also, the process of artificial pollination can help to increase the yield when grown on the windowsill of somoplated cucumbers.
Choosing the right window
The main feature of the winter growing of cucumbers in an apartment is the lack of sunlight. The room is a barrier environment for its penetration, and the winter day is characterized by a short light period. Therefore, for the cultivation of cucumbers, it is necessary to select the windowsills of the southern or southwestern windows. The lack of lighting can be compensated for by the light of a fluorescent lamp, by installing reflective materials on the windowsill: mirrors, foil. Thus, the supply of light should not be less than 12 hours per day.
It is important that there are no drafts on the windowsill, and the temperature is over +200C. However, do not forget about regular ventilation of the apartment, during which the plant must be moved from the windowsill to the protected room.
Creating a nutrient pot
In order to grow cucumbers on the windowsill, it is important to choose a container of the required volume. So, for one plant, you need to prepare a container with a volume of at least 5 liters.
Nutrient soil for growing cucumbers on the windowsill can be bought ready-made or prepared on your own. It should include land from the garden, humus and peat. To reduce the acidity of the mixture, you can add sand and ash. Fertilizers should also not be forgotten during soil formation. For feeding, you can use special ready-made complexes for growing cucumbers.
Some gardeners recommend disinfecting the soil in order to remove pests that can destroy the seeds or roots of cucumbers during cultivation. To do this, the entire volume of soil in which the cucumber will grow can be placed in the oven until it is completely warmed up.
The cucumber container should have a bottom with holes to drain excess water. Additionally, for the drainage of the plant, expanded clay and broken brick are poured onto the bottom of the pot.
The preparation of the container and nutrient soil for growing the plant can be carried out in advance. The day before picking cucumbers, the soil must be spilled abundantly with water.
You can sow cucumber seeds on the windowsill at any time of the autumn-spring period, from the end of August until the beginning of the summer season. However, it is necessary to take into account the special growth conditions on the windowsill, which affect the duration of the period from sowing to fruiting. So, in order to get a stable harvest of fresh cucumbers for the New Year holidays, you need to take care of sowing seeds at the end of September.
Before sowing seeds into the soil, it is recommended to prepare them:
- You can disinfect cucumber seeds with a short soak in a weak salt or manganese solution.
- You can germinate them in a dampened piece of cloth, cotton wool. On the windowsill in the apartment, cucumber seeds germinate in 2-3 days. This event will not only speed up the process of plant growth, but also select the most viable, eliminate empty seeds.
Sprouted cucumber seeds can be sown in small cups for seedlings or directly into a large container. The seed is placed in the ground to a depth of 1.5-2 cm and covered with moist soil. The finished planting must be covered with protective glass or film and placed in a place with a temperature of about +250C. After the appearance of cucumbers, the container is placed on the windowsill. In order to prevent the roots of an adult plant from freezing from an insufficiently warm window sill, you can underlay foam plastic under the pot.
When sowing cucumbers in small cups, they can be transplanted as soon as three full leaves appear. The procedure should be carried out very carefully so as not to damage the fragile plant. At the same time, the picking process itself is stressful for the cucumber and temporarily slows down its growth.
In the compact conditions of the apartment, it is very important to start the formation of the cucumber on time and correctly, so that the plant receives maximum light and does not take up much space. For this, the seedlings are pinched at the level of 4-5 leaves, which contributes to the growth of lateral lashes. After some time, they can be pinched at the level of 6-8 leaves, after which new numerous shoots are formed in the axils of the cucumber.
The formation of a cucumber implies the obligatory garter. To do this, you can stretch twines along the window or install stakes and special nets in pots. It is necessary to arrange cucumber leaves in a fan, so that the plant can receive the maximum amount of light on the windowsill.
The first cucumber ovaries and whiskers can be removed so that the plant can gain strength.
It is possible to get a harvest of fresh cucumbers on the windowsill in winter only if a certain microclimate is observed and proper care of the plant is carried out. The main operations that both a beginner and an experienced "apartment" gardener will have to face include:
- Watering. Cucumbers are very moisture-loving, so you can water them every day or every two days, so that the soil does not dry out. In this case, rotting of the roots should be avoided and make sure that excess water leaves through the drainage holes of the pot. Optimum water temperature for watering cucumbers +22 - +24 0FROM.
- Spraying. The best moisture level for cucumbers is around 85-90%. In an apartment, it is impossible to constantly create such a microclimate, therefore, you can humidify the air for cucumbers with a spray bottle (spray the plant) or install a bowl of water near the pots. To maintain moisture, plants can be covered with polyethylene.
- Top dressing. 2 weeks after germination of the seed, the cucumber must be fertilized. To do this, you can use a mixture of ammonium nitrate, sodium sulfate and double superphosphate. You can also use ready-made mixtures for feeding cucumbers or organics. After 2 weeks after the first feeding and at the entire fruiting stage of cucumbers, the feeding should be repeated.
- Pollination. For the fruiting of bee-pollinated varieties, pollination is mandatory; when growing self-pollinated cucumbers, it allows you to get a rich harvest of high quality. Pollination is carried out in the morning (at this time, the pollen is sticky). To do this, pollen from a male flower (barren flowers) is carefully applied to a female flower (with a tiny ovary). This can be done with a cotton swab or by tearing off the stamen on the male flower. After pollination, all barren flowers are cut off, and the next time new flowers are used.
- Harvesting. Cucumbers should be harvested daily. This will prevent their overgrowth and accelerate the growth of young fruits. On average, 1 bush is able to give the owner 15-30 tasty, fresh cucumbers.
The full cycle of activities for growing cucumbers on the windowsill, from choosing seeds to harvesting, can be viewed in a video that will help even novice gardeners get an excellent harvest:
Growing cucumbers on a windowsill in winter is not a difficult process if caring for the plant becomes a hobby that gives pleasure. At the same time, a well-groomed, neat "bed" of cucumbers on the windowsill can become a real highlight in the interior of the apartment.