Waiting for spring is not so tiring if you find something to your liking. For example, grow cucumbers on a windowsill. If there is additional lighting, you can sow cucumber seeds in an apartment already in January, if not, postpone sowing for February or March. But it’s worth now to prepare everything you need, to choose varieties and hybrids of cucumbers suitable for apartment conditions.
Leading suppliers of cucumber seeds helped us compile a list of the best indoor cucumber varieties and hybrids. The general requirement is shade tolerance because even in the southern window the plants will be much less illuminated than in the greenhouse. For other parameters, different solutions can be chosen.
Choosing varieties cucumber for growing in pots indoors
When choosing varieties and hybrids for growing in an apartment, you need to take into account not only their shade tolerance. There are other important qualities:
- The combination of high night temperatures (battery under the windowsill!) And low light (short day and cloudy weather) can increase the number of male flowers on the plant and, therefore, reduce the number of potential greens. Therefore, you need to choose the most hardy and unpretentious.
- It is worth avoiding thickened plantings and shading of plants with each other.
- Both bee-pollinated cucumbers and parthenocarpics are suitable for the windowsill. Of course, manual pollination will be necessary first, but on the scale of a windowsill, these are mere trifles.
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For early sowing without additional lighting (around mid-February), cucumbers are suitable:
F1 Forward, F1 Faust are smooth parthenocarpic hybrids. Their distinctive feature is increased shade tolerance plus high taste and marketability of zelent. These hybrids bear fruit well under conditions of short days and lack of light.
F1 Forward is a tall plant. The branching is weak, which makes it easier to care for.
Faust F1 is also tall, medium branching, female flowering type.
When sowing at a later date (early or mid-March) try the parthenocarpic hybrids F1 Arbat and F1 Flagship. They combine early maturity (up to 45–47 days from germination) and productivity with an excellent taste and the unique cucumber aroma of crunchy lumpy fruits.
Pots for growing cucumbers in pots indoors
For cucumber growing, select a container with a capacity of at least 5 liters per plant. The root system of a cucumber does not tolerate waterlogging or drying out of the soil when the concentration of the soil solution increases sharply. The larger the pot, the easier it will be to maintain a constant water-salt regime, in other words, keep the soil moderately moist.
Soil for cucumbers
Light fertile soil with a high content of organic matter and a pH of 6.3-6.8 is suitable for cucumbers. You can buy ready-made high-quality soil for cucumber seedlings or prepare one of the recommended potting mixes yourself:
- garden soil ( loam ), peat, humus (4: 1: 1), add half a glass of wood ash to 5 liters of the mixture and 1 tbsp. l. full fertilizer, 1 tsp. magnesium sulfate;
- sod or garden land (loam), biohumus (1: 1), 3 tbsp. l. wood ash per 5 liters of the mixture;
- peat , humus, sawdust, turf or garden soil (2: 2: 1: 2), half a glass of wood ash , 1 tsp. magnesium sulfate and 1 tbsp. l. complete fertilization per 5 liters of the mixture.
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Sowing cucumbers seeds in pots
Fill the container with soil, 3-4 cm short of the edge. The soil should be slightly moist but free-flowing. If the seeds are not expensive, sow 3 seeds at once in one hole, at a distance of 1-2 cm from each other. The seeding depth is 2-3 cm. Seeds pretreated with stimulants and or microelements (as in the photo) are sown dry. Ordinary seeds can be hardened first by keeping them in a damp cloth in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for two days. This will increase their resistance to stress and cold (in winter and early spring, the potting soil on the windowsill can get very cold). It is for this reason that it is better not to sow cucumbers on the windowsill, as is usually done in the summer in the garden with sufficiently warm soil.
- Water the seed hole.
- Cover the pot with glass or a plastic bag and put it in a warm place with a temperature of +25 … + 30 ° C before sprouting (for example, under the kitchen ceiling). As soon as shoots appear, remove the shelter, move the pot to the windowsill. It is advisable to put a heat-insulating material (for example, foam plastic) under it. Make sure that no drafts fall on the plant.
- When the first true leaves appear, we thin out the seedlings. You need to leave one of the largest, remove the rest.
- Use twine as a support for the lash. As the stem grows, it is wrapped around the support.
- Feed the plant with seedling fertilizer every 10-14 days as instructed. Be careful: if the fertilizer is applied to both potted plants and vegetables in the ground, the feeding rates for growing in containers should be 10 times lower, otherwise the fertilizer may burn the roots. Cucumbers prefer organic-mineral or organic fertilizers – for example, infusion of mullein or horse manure.
- When 5-6 nodes appear on the main shoot, pinch the top. If lateral lashes grow on the plant, they need to be pinched over the second knot.
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