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Cucumber - Competitor: features of growing and care

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Breeders every year produce new varieties of vegetable crops. More, sweeter, harder, before - these are their characteristics. But gardeners, despite the abundance of new varieties, stubbornly continue to sow the old and time-tested. One of them is a competitor cucumber.

"Competitor" - an early grade. Seeds germinate well. The plant begins to bear fruit after a month and a half after germination. "Competitor" - a very productive cucumber.

It has oval-cylindrical large-tuberous fruits of bright green color. Length - from 9 to 12 cm, weight - from 70 to 100 g.

Variety universal purpose. Cucumbers can be eaten fresh (very tasty) or canned.

"Competitor" is relatively resistant to major diseases, affecting the whole family of pumpkin. Grow it in greenhouses and open ground.

Seed sowing

Cucumber seeds are sown dry or germinated. But they should be last year’s, and the better even older: the longer the seeds lay, the more female flowers form on the lashes. The most productive varieties of cucumbers are suitable for growing six years.

Before germinating seeds, they need to be calibrated - hold for 10 minutes in a three percent salt solution. Seeds that have settled on the bottom are washed with clean water and kept for a day in a weak solution of microelements (boric acid, potassium permanganate) for disinfection.

Further dried for sowing or germinated.

  • Placed in a bowl, covered with a damp cloth. Make sure that it does not dry out. It is necessary not to miss the moment when the sprout that emerged from the seed will be half the length of it. Cucumber seeds sprout quickly enough. They are sown in open ground, greenhouse, seedling cups or tablets. If at this stage the plant develops stronger, it will be difficult for it to settle down.
  • When using the landless method, polyethylene tape is prepared, toilet paper is placed on it, and seeds are placed closer to one of the edges. The distance between them is a couple of centimeters. Then this tape is rolled into a roll and put into a glass or other narrow container with water. It should not reach the seed. Gradually, the moisture will rise through the capillaries of the paper and moisturize the seeds. They will germinate when exposed to a temperature of 26 degrees. When germinated, you need to unwind the tape and sow the seeds

They are placed in the hills or peaty bricks at a depth of 1 cm. The temperature is reduced to 22 ° C during the day and to 16 ° C at night. Moderately watered with warm water.

To speed up the fruiting can shine seedlings.

Feed an aqueous solution of mullein or chicken manure. You can use mineral fertilizers: superphosphate, urea, potassium sulfate.

Be sure to harden the seedlings so that she was ready to withstand the cold.

Soil preparation

Good precursors for cucumber - onions, tomatoes, potatoes.

In the fall they fertilize the soil with mineral or organic fertilizers. In the spring they dig up or cultivate the soil.

It is necessary to decide in advance on the method of growing cucumbers. They can be sown in rows, leaving more room for stretching lashes. You can sow sweet corn next to cucumbers, which they will use as a support.

Growing on the trellis

Increasingly cucumbers are grown on the trellis. This is done so that they are not damaged by perinospora (powdery mildew). It is provoked by moisture, which gets on the leaves from the soil. The competitor cucumber often suffers from peronosporoza.

Growing on the trellis makes it possible to protect it from diseases and facilitates care. Raising the stems from the ground, facilitate harvesting of fruits, increase the terms of fruiting and yield. To do this, you must first work a little.

Early varieties are grown in this way, including the competitor cucumber.

Description of the installation process trellis:

  • Tapestries are installed so that it is convenient to pass between the rows.
  • Tension the wire in several rows or stretch the cucumber net. The height of the structure can reach 1 m 70 cm.
  • Seedlings are planted in the prepared soil under the net or seeds are sown to a depth of one and a half centimeters. The seedling at the time of disembarkation has four true leaves. On the square meter should be about 15 pieces. With such a density, the competitor cucumber develops well. Reviews advise between the trellis to place another row of these plants. This will help save space, but will thicken the landing.

When to sow cucumbers? Soil temperature should be 15 ° C. Sowing in the southern regions produced in the second half of April. In the north - in the third decade of May. Seeds germinate in a week.

When growing cucumbers on the grid additional strengthening of the structure is not required. If wires are used, then after weeding and the formation of plant density, it is necessary to install vertical supports near each plant with a twine or rope. Variety of cucumbers has a long lash. Shoots will cling to the support antennae and rise up. But first, they need to be sent, tied to the trellis.

Seedlings are watered regularly. It used to be that sprinkling was the best way to water. But it contributes to the infection of cucumber with powdery mildew. Sometimes its signs appear on the second day after such irrigation.

Therefore, now more often they pour water into specially prepared furrows. They need to be done so that the water flows as slowly as possible. To do this, you can loosen the soil or mulch it.

But you do not need to flood the plot either. This can lead to decay of the roots. To increase the rate of watering can be in the period of fruiting. Water cucumbers in the morning or evening.

Before this procedure, the plants need to be watered so as not to burn the roots. Can these two processes be reduced to one. Feed a solution of mullein or chicken manure, mineral fertilizers.

Forming a bush

When planting with normal density, you can not form a vine from such a vegetable as a “competitor” cucumber. Reviews gardeners say that if the plants are thickened, then they need to pinch.

The first shoots are removed after the formation of several fruits. The subsequent ones, like the main stem, are tied up on a trellis.

Diseases and pests

Cucumber is often affected by various diseases. It is powdery mildew, olive and angular spotting (bacteriosis), ordinary mosaic, cladosporia. To prevent these infections, cucumbers in the stage of one or two true leaves are treated with preparations containing copper. This is copper oxychloride, Bordeaux liquid. It is used during the growing season when signs of the disease appear. Do it in the early morning or in the evening so that there are no burns on the leaves.

With ticks, aphids fight ten percent karbofos.

Harvesting

When growing cucumbers on a trellis, the yield is doubled. And the fruits on plants grown from seedlings are harvested 20 or even 25 days earlier than from those sown in the ground. This makes it possible to get a good harvest until mid-July, when the competitor cucumber is affected by powdery mildew.

Reviews of gardeners say that their varieties are suitable for each region. In addition, you can not sow alone. After all, if he does not give the harvest, you will be left without cucumbers. The method of growing on a trellis using seedlings is suitable for the middle band, including for the variety in question.

Reviews of consumers near Moscow say that they do not use cucumbers from the greenhouse for pickling and preserving. They are afraid that the covers will blow up, and all their efforts will be in vain.

Varieties of cucumbers for the Moscow region:

  • "Zozulya" - early, fruits up to 23 cm and weighing up to 300 g. Resistant to powdery mildew, but is affected by white rot.
  • The Moravian Gherkin is a hybrid of a universal type. Fruits - up to 10 cm in length. Bee pollinated.
  • “Herman” is a parthenocarapic hybrid. Very popular due to early ripening and good yield. Used as a salad and for salting.
  • Cucumber "competitor". Reviews of gardeners indicate that it is excellent fruits and unpretentious to the conditions of cultivation.

The most productive varieties of cucumbers:

  • "Hector" F1 - bush type cucumber. Resistant to diseases and lack of moisture.
  • "Sparta" - bee-pollinating hybrid. Fruits have soft skin, therefore they are suitable for preservation and salting.
  • "Altai Early" - quickly ripens (on the 37th day) and fruitful.
  • "Evita" - is valued for the taste of the fruit. They are not at all bitter.

Dutch cucumber varieties for the Moscow region are not always suitable because of their unsuitability to the weather conditions in the region, although they are leaders in terms of yield.

Interesting Indian cucumbers, which grow by 7 cm per day. They are resistant to lower temperatures.

Chinese varieties ripen very early and have a strong pleasant aroma. This sort of "Chinese miracle", "wait-jo."

General description of the variety

Initially, the variety was bred for cultivation in regions with a southern climate, but over time it spread throughout the country. Due to short ripening periods (40-45 days), the "Competitor" has time to give the lion's share of the crop even in areas with short and cool summers. And with the use of temporary film shelters, fruiting can be extended until autumn.

Plant description and pollination features

Shrubs varieties are a fast-growing creeper. If you do not control the growth, the length of the main lash can reach three meters. Tendency to the formation of lateral shoots is large. The leaf plates are large, painted in a light green color and have the shape of a heart. Tendrils are actively formed on the side shoots, which are struggling to cling to the support. So at the genetic level, the plant has the desire to grow upwards in order to get the maximum amount of heat and light.

The first flowers are formed on the "Competitor" within 30-35 days from germination. The plant forms flowers of female and male type. As a rule, female flowers that are capable of forming ovaries of a single type are located on the side shoots. But for pollination need the help of insects. This makes it difficult to grow a variety in greenhouses. But experienced gardeners have learned how to attract insects in greenhouses and even pollinate cucumbers on their own.

Characteristics of fruits and their use

The fruits of the "Competitor" have a cylindrical shape with sharp tips. The average weight of a cucumber ranges from 80 to 120 grams, and the average length is 10-12 cm. The surface of vegetables is hilly, with soft black spikes and painted in a thick dark green color. The stem is rather long, which greatly facilitates harvesting.

The pulp of cucumber is very juicy and tasty, crunchy, slightly sweet. The seeds are small and practically not felt during the meal. For the variety is not characterized by the formation of voids inside the fruit. The skin is quite dense and does not limp during canning. Such fruits are good for use in summer salads, and are perfectly used for the preparation of various winter preparations, both in pure form and in assorted composition.

Yield

With one square meter of cucumber beds you can collect up to four kilograms of vegetables. When grown on trellis and in greenhouse conditions, the yield reaches six kilograms per square meter. This characterizes the "Competitor" as a variety with high and stable yields.

The advantages of the variety

Among the advantages of a cucumber variety "Competitor" are the following:

  • early maturity
  • high yields,
  • suitable for indoor and outdoor cultivation,
  • long fruiting period (90 days),
  • excellent taste,
  • presentation of fruits,
  • universality of use
  • powdery mildew resistance.

Cons variety

According to reviews of gardeners, the variety has the following disadvantages:

  • in case of insufficient watering, fruits may taste bitter,
  • grade not self-pollinated.

Sowing seeds

In the southern regions and the middle zone, seed sowing can be carried out directly into the ground. In regions with a short and cool summer, the "Competitor" is grown by seedling.

It is possible to sow seeds on a bed when the temperature of the air and soil warms up to 16 degrees, otherwise the seeds will simply lie in the cold ground and will not sprout. It is possible to accelerate the heating of the soil by closing the bed with black film and leaving it for 3-4 days. Soil temperature is measured by a thermometer at a depth of 13-15 cm.

The sowing dates for the seedling method are calculated in the following way: from the expected date of transplant to a permanent place they count back 25-30 days, this will be the date of sowing the seeds. Maintaining seedlings at home for more than one month is not recommended, as the root system is actively developing at this time, and the volume of a small pot is not enough for this.

In addition, you should know that cucumbers are very poor tolerate transplant. The root system of culture is very gentle and easily damaged, so the plants are sick for a long time. To avoid this, the seeds are sown immediately in individual peat pots. This will allow you to do without picking, and the root system will not be damaged if it is transplanted into the ground with the pot.

Before planting seeds or grown seedlings need to properly prepare the soil. "Competitor" is not particularly fastidious to the composition of the soil. The main thing is that the land should be fertile, moderately friable and neutral in acidity.

A month before planting, the beds are disinfected with a strong solution of potassium permanganate. Two weeks after treatment, the soil is carefully dug up with fertilizer. Per square meter contribute:

  • one bucket of manure or compost,
  • 30 grams of urea,
  • 30 grams of superphosphate,
  • 20 grams of potassium sulfate,
  • 15 grams of potassium chloride.

Two weeks later, when the soil settles, and fertilizers dissolve, start sowing or planting. The distance between the bushes can withstand 30-35 cm, between rows 60-70 cm.

Plant Care

Small cucumber bushes require daily, but not abundant watering. Grown plants increase the rate of watering, and reduce the frequency. It is best to irrigate plants in the evening or early morning. Water should be separated and warm, but not hot. Watering with cold water inevitably leads to disease culture.

During the period of active growth of lashes, before flowering, water consumption per square meter is 3-4 liters every 6-7 days. During fruiting - the rate increases to 6-7 liters per square meter every 2-3 days. In open ground, the rate is adjusted in accordance with weather conditions.

If the “Competitor” is grown in a greenhouse or under a film, then after watering, the planting must be aired to avoid excessive moisture accumulation. With the establishment of stable warm weather, the greenhouse is always kept open, and the film cover is removed before the onset of cold weather at the end of the season.

If a few bushes grow at a sufficient distance on a bed, then it is possible not to engage in the formation of a bush. In this case, cucumber vine grows strongly and forms a lot of ovaries on all lateral shoots. The maturation period with such cultivation will increase slightly, since the plant will spend a lot of time and effort on building up the vegetative mass. In order to obtain an early harvest, nip shoots are carried out, leaving no more than 5-6 sheets on each. It is possible to grow up the “Competitor” both in the creeping form and on the trellis. The use of the second method significantly increases the yield.

Loosening, weeding and mulching

In order to ensure access of oxygen to the root system of the cucumber beds, it is necessary to regularly loosen and weed. The complexity of these procedures lies in the fact that the roots of the plant are located very close to the surface of the earth, which means that they are easy to damage. Therefore, experts strongly recommend mulch cucumber beds. This procedure, in addition to freeing from weeding and loosening, performs several important functions:

  • retains moisture in the soil,
  • prevents overheating of roots and drying of topsoil,
  • organic mulch gradually decomposes additionally fertilizes the plants,
  • when grown in a creeping form, it excludes contact of the fruit with the ground.

"Competitor" is not very picky about soil fertility, but at the same time it is responsive to top dressing. The first two or three weeks the plant will have enough nutrients embedded in the soil during planting. In the future, the cucumber beds are recommended to be fed every two weeks with organic fertilizers. For this purpose, an infusion of mullein or cocktails from herbs such as nettle and dandelion is perfect.

Closer to autumn, when warm weather changes to cool, it is good to feed cucumbers with superphosphate. This will significantly prolong the period of fruiting, and will increase the resistance to low temperatures.

Protection against diseases and pests

For the prevention of possible fungal and viral diseases should follow the rules of care for the variety. Proper watering, timely weeding and feeding will avoid infection. In the case of the first signs of disease, the affected parts are removed, and the plant is treated with products containing copper.

Harvesting and storage

Harvesting of cucumbers is carried out in the morning when they are not yet warmed by the heat of the day. Чем чаще снимать урожай, тем больше новых завязей будет образовываться. Специалисты рекомендуют собирать овощи один раз в два дня. Лучше всего срезать огурцы ножницами или секатором, так меньше риск повредить плети. Укладывают урожай в корзинки или вентилируемые деревянные ящики и сразу перемещают в прохладное помещение.Vegetables can be stored without processing for about 7-10 days.

The “competitor” is a universal variety of cucumbers, which, by its characteristics, will suit both the novice gardener and the experienced vegetable grower. Unpretentious plants with minimal financial and physical costs bring good yields of tasty vegetables.

The time-tested variety "Competitor" for many years demanded by vegetable growers. It is noted that with proper care, cucumbers grow small in size. The summer residents of the variety of consumers have the following advantages: Zelentsy ripen very quickly, they are very tasty, attractive and perfectly suitable for home-made products. Cucumber "Competitor" are good for collecting their own seed, which is valued by many gardeners in our country.

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