Parthenocarpic cucumbers: how to get a great harvest without pollination
Every day more and more beautiful bags with new names of varieties appear on the shelves of shops for gardeners and gardeners. It is difficult to navigate in this stream. Especially depressing is the abundance of incomprehensible words characterizing the selected plant. For example, the word parthenocarpic is often found on a packet of cucumber seeds. What is this property and in what specific case should such seeds be preferred?
What are parthenocarpic varieties, the history of their origin
Stretching the fruiting of cucumbers for many months is the dream of any gardener. Even the gardeners of Ancient Rome tried to grow cucumbers all year round. During the colder months, they placed cucumber plantings on wheeled carts. During the day they were taken out into the sun, and at night they were rolled into heated sheds. They also used beds covered with transparent mica, a prototype of today's greenhouses. But for growing cucumbers in an enclosed space all year round, it was necessary to solve the problem of pollination of plants, because in cold weather bees and bumblebees do not fly. Nature itself suggested ways of solving this problem.
How surprised the ancient Roman gardeners would have seen a generous harvest of cucumbers under the roof of a greenhouse
As it turned out, there have long been plant species that bear fruit without pollination. Scientists called this ability parthenocarp.
The word "parthenocarpic" means "virgin", that is, the fruits on such a plant develop without pollination and do not form seeds.
The history of the emergence of self-fertile cucumbers goes back to ancient China in the 4th-3rd centuries. BC. Even then, among many different varieties, a group of long-fruited, lumpy fruits stood out that did not have male flowers, and the ovaries on them developed independently.
On the basis of these plants, cucumber varieties were bred around the world that had only female flowers and did not require pollination. These plants were spread first in Europe, North America, and then in Russia, where cucumbers have been cultivated from time immemorial. Scientists' work in this direction did not stop for many years.
Agronomist M.V. Rytov at the beginning of the last century, in 1916, bred a parthenocarpic variety of Winter cucumber, which was undemanding to light and bore fruit all winter on windows and in greenhouses.
You can cheat nature and grow fresh vegetables all year round with the help of parthenocarpic cucumber varieties.
Such famous agronomists as N.I. Vavilov. Many short-fruited varieties have been bred, the fruits of which can be salted or preserved by other methods.
Parthenocarpic cucumbers have a much higher yield than bee-pollinated ones. Their fruits are without bitterness. The yields are plentiful. They tend to be more tolerant to cold and cloudy weather. Many varieties tolerate well and lack of lighting in winter.
Some seed sellers mislead buyers by simultaneously indicating two concepts in the description of the variety - parthenocarpic and self-pollinating. This is a mistake indicating the complete incompetence of such traders. Parthenocarpic plants do not need pollination, they only produce female flowers, on which the ovaries grow independently.
The yield of parthenocarpic cucumbers is much higher than that of bee-pollinated
The main positive properties of parthenocarpic cucumbers are the ability to:
- grow under cover at any time of the year;
- bloom mainly with female flowers and set fruits without pollination;
- grow and bear fruit normally in low light conditions;
- endure long-term low temperatures;
- not to get infected with especially dangerous diseases;
- do not taste bitter even during dry periods with insufficient watering;
- give high yields with the correct formation of the bush;
- do not outgrow the fruit remaining on the plant.
But it would still be wrong to replace all varieties of cucumbers on the site with parthenocarpic ones. The fruit of many bee-pollinated varieties tastes better. It is necessary to note the following disadvantages:
- inability to obtain winter harvesting from a significant part of parthenocarpic varieties;
- the need for the mandatory formation of the plant.
Parthenocarpic cucumbers can be harvested in a heated greenhouse all year round
Cultivation of pollination-free cucumbers under various conditions
For a long time, it was believed that parthenocarpic cucumbers were only suitable for indoor cultivation. Until now, there are varieties that cannot be grown in an open garden due to the appearance of many curved fruits. The fact is that when flowers are pollinated in such plants, seeds develop only in a small part of the greenery, causing its deformation.
Only those varieties or hybrids of parthenocarpic cucumbers can be grown outdoors, in the description of which the seed producer indicates such a possibility.
Features of growing in the open field
For growing in an open bed, parthenocarpic cucumbers need the same conditions as bee-pollinated cucumbers, and the same terms:
- When grown in seedlings, seeds are sown in paper or peat pots 30 days before the intended planting in the ground. As a rule, in the middle lane it is mid-April. Accordingly, seedlings are planted in the garden in the second half of May - early June. In each region, the optimal timing is individual.
- With direct sowing in the garden, the seeds are sown when the threat of frost has passed, and the soil warms up to +15 aboutFROM. As a rule, this is the end of May - beginning of June.
- In the open field, parthenocarpic cucumbers should be grown on a vertical trellis. To obtain a bountiful harvest, they must be properly shaped. The main lash, on which all the ovaries are formed, is not pinched in them, like in bee-pollinated varieties. All ovaries and stepchildren from the first five sheets are removed from the bottom. The main shoot is carried out without pinching, and the lateral stepsons in the next five leaves are shortened to 20 cm, in the next five leaves - up to 30-40 cm, all subsequent ones - up to 40-45 cm. The top of the main shoot is pinched only when the plant reaches the height of the trellis ... You can, without pinching, just throw it over the top wire to grow down.
- The distance between plants in a row should be at least 40-50 cm.
On a high trellis, parthenocarpic cucumbers will be able to fully realize their yield
In the middle lane, open beds should be equipped with arcs and covering material. Given the possibility of recurrent frosts, it is recommended to keep such shelters until the end of June.
Growing cucumbers in a greenhouse
If the greenhouse is heated, then, provided that 16-18 degrees of heat is provided at night and 20-25 during the day, you can grow cucumbers in it all year round. But such greenhouses, equipped with additional lighting equipment, are rare among summer residents. As a rule, the bulk of gardeners have polycarbonate or film greenhouses, which allow planting cucumber seedlings only 2-3 weeks earlier than in open beds.
It is required to form a cucumber bush in a greenhouse in the same way as when growing on a trellis, preventing thickening of the upper part of the main lash, freeing the first five leaves from ovaries and stepchildren, and then shortening the stepsons from the sinuses of each subsequent five leaves according to the above rules for growing a cucumber bush on trellis.
Video: forming a cucumber whip in a greenhouse
How to grow parthenocarpics in the house and on the balcony
You can feast on fresh cucumbers all year round, growing parthenocarpic varieties on the window, given that in the conditions of an apartment there is little light for the plant, and the air humidity is not quite sufficient for cucumbers. To obtain a harvest, it is necessary to provide additional lighting at the first stages of plant development, especially in winter. The terms of development also differ significantly from those stated in the description of the variety.
To get a harvest of cucumbers from the windowsill for the New Year, you need to sow seeds in early September.
The growing container must have a volume of at least 5-10 liters. It is convenient to place the cucumber bush in a tight plastic bag.
It is most correct to buy soil for the garden on the window ready-made in the garden center, but it is also possible to use fertile soil from the garden intended for growing cucumbers.
The property of parthenocarp in low light conditions may weaken. In this case, the ovaries do not develop, they turn yellow and fall off. Experienced craftsmen advise to pluck a few male flowers from the plant and pollinate the female ovaries with them. In large greenhouses, this process is too time consuming, and it is not difficult to pollinate several balcony or indoor plants.
Video: growing parthenocarpic cucumbers on the balcony
The best varieties that form an ovary without pollination
It is difficult to name the best varieties, but rather the most popular ones, because each new variety has its own advantages over others. Among the parthenocarpic hybrids, you can choose the most productive and tasty. Or shade-tolerant, which can be grown in winter greenhouses. There are varieties for indoor use only and those that can be grown in open beds. But still, among this variety, one can single out the varieties most often mentioned by gardeners, who have earned their approval.
The hybrid was developed in Holland. In Russia since 2002. It quickly gained popularity. Differs in appearance: dark green skin in frequent small tubercles with white thorns covers short cylindrical cucumbers. The fruits do not outgrow, reaching a size of up to 10 cm in length and about 4 cm in width. When pollinated, the fruits do not swell.
Cucumber Adam can be cultivated both in the greenhouse and in the garden in the garden. It can be eaten fresh in salads, but also in a salted form, its fruits are delicious and crunchy. The variety does not come into fruiting too early; from the moment of planting to the collection of the first greens, it takes about 50 days.
It is not susceptible to diseases, it bears fruit for a long time, until the cold weather. Commenting on the variety, gardeners indicate tolerance to cold snaps, which the plant tolerates without dropping the fruit.
Parthenocarpic cucumber variety Adam F1 gives high yields both in the open field and in the greenhouse
Cucumber TSKHA-442 F1
A yielding shade-tolerant hybrid that can be grown year-round. Bred by scientists of the Moscow Agricultural Academy at the Vegetable Experimental Station. IN AND. Edelstein in 1990.
Fruits are oblong, 15–17 cm long, tasty and aromatic. The skin is smooth, the tubercles are rare, with white spines. Requires the formation of a bush in one stem, like the rest of the parthenocarpic hybrids. Gives stable, high yields. Resistant to major cucumber diseases.
With winter cultivation and a lack of light, the number of developing ovaries may decrease. Additional manual pollination with male flowers is required.
Parthenocarpic cucumber of the TSKHA 442 F1 variety gives high yields in greenhouses in winter
The variety was bred in Holland. It has been cultivated in Russia since 2000. He won the sympathy of vegetable growers with many positive qualities. Taste and yield come first. It can grow with equal success in a greenhouse and in a garden bed with temporary shelter. Ripens early, the first fruits ripen within 40 days after germination. Zelentsy are equally good fresh and salted.
The variety is determinant, that is, the growth of shoots is limited, and this makes it easier to care for the bush, which does not require special shaping. The flowers are mostly female.
The fruits are cylindrical in shape. The skin is thin, but strong, dark, slightly mottled. The stripes are dim, located along the entire length. Spines are white. As with all parthenocarpic cucumbers, there is no bitterness.
Ripe cucumbers are of the same size, small, up to 9 cm long and 3–3.5 cm wide. When pollinated, they are not deformed. Up to 10 kg of zelents can be removed from one square meter of the garden. The presentation of the harvested vegetables is preserved for a long time, despite the thin skin.
The hybrid is not susceptible to diseases of cucumbers: tobacco mosaic virus, spots, powdery mildew.
Video: Parthenocarpic cucumber variety Masha F1
Bred in Holland. In Russia since 2001. He became famous for the early ripening of fruits, which can be removed within 40–45 days from the moment of germination, and high yield. It grows equally well under cover and in the garden bed.
The hybrid is convenient to grow and form, since it is determinant and the growth of its shoots is limited. Zaviases are laid in bundles, 3-5 pcs in each node. Zelentsy are leveled, cylindrical, up to 11 cm long, up to 3 wide. The skin is dark green with faint light stripes, spines are frequent, white. The fruits tolerate transportation well, retain their presentation for a long time.
It is immune to diseases of cucumbers, from pests it is afraid of a spider mite.
Several bushes of cucumber varieties German F1 are able to provide a family of summer residents with tasty greens throughout the summer
Russian hybrid, cultivated since 2007. Feels best in an enclosed space. It is advisable to prevent accidental pollination as cucumbers take on a barrel shape due to developing seeds. Used freshbench press and salted. From germination to fruit ripening - 40–45 days.
Shoot growth is not limited, that is, the plant is indeterminate. Requires shaping. The ovaries are arranged in bundles of 3 or more in one node. The fruits themselves are short, with pronounced stripes. The tubercles are frequent, with white spines. All vegetable growers note the wonderful taste and aroma of Zyatek cucumbers.
Does not get sick with powdery mildew and other cucumber diseases, provided that the bushes are formed correctly without thickening.
Cucumbers of the Zyatek F1 variety not collected from the bush in time do not outgrow
He became famous in 2007. Created by Moscow breeders of the Gavrish company for growing under cover. The variety is early, the first zelents ripen 45 days after germination. Cucumbers of this variety are eaten fresh and salted. All growers who grow this variety note the excellent taste of the fruit.
Shoot growth is not limited, requires shaping. If done correctly, the yield is above average, up to 12 kg per square meter of greenhouse area. The ovaries are arranged in a bouquet, 3-5 pieces per knot. The fruits are short, with indistinct stripes, frequent tubercles and white thorns.
It is resistant to diseases, like many parthenocarpic varieties.
Dense, pimply greens of the Tescha F1 variety are good both fresh and salted
Courage F1 was created in Russia by a team of agronomists-breeders of the Gavrish company. Cultivated since 2002. A feature of this variety, which conquered the hearts of vegetable growers, was an unprecedented yield both in open and closed ground, and early maturity. From the moment of germination to the removal of the first zelents, about 40 days pass.
The yield of the hybrid is extraordinary due to the bouquet arrangement of the ovaries in the knots. Vegetable growers remove up to 20 kg of fruit from a square meter of a garden bed.
Zelentsi are oblong, up to 14 cm, with a pointed tip, slightly ribbed, tuberous, pubescent with white spines. Fruit color is bright green with indistinct stripes. Cucumbers taste excellent both fresh and salted. In open ground, when pollinated, they can bend when overgrowing. Requires formation in one lash, usual for parthenocarpic varieties.
F1 courage is not sick. Resistant to both low and sudden temperature changes, does not reduce productivity in adverse weather conditions.
Video: cucumbers of the Kurazh F1 variety in the open field
The hybrid was created in the Russian agricultural company SeDeK in 2007 for growing outdoors, but it grows well not only in greenhouses, but also on indoor windows in winter. It differs from other varieties in long, uninterrupted abundant fruiting until the cold weather. Productivity, due to the bouquet arrangement of the ovaries, is very high. Up to 25 kg of cucumbers can be harvested from 1 square meter of the garden per season.
It takes up to 50 days from seedlings to the first ripe greens. The purpose of the fruits is universal, the fruits are dense, tasty, good both in salad and in canned form.
The bush requires shaping into one stem, like the rest of the parthenocarpic cucumber varieties. Cylinder-shaped fruits with a pointed tip, with short stripes on a dark green background. The tubercles are numerous, with white pubescence. When grown outdoors and pollinated, cucumbers do not lose their shape.
Cucumber of the Prestige F1 variety amazes with its ability to harmoniously ripen the crop
Parthenocarpic cucumber varieties are attracting more and more vegetable growers. The work of breeders continues. More and more advantages of such plants appear, less and less disadvantages. In areas of risky farming, which are in the majority in our country, these varieties allow you to get generous harvests of tasty and healthy vegetables.
The herbaceous annual plant cucumber or common cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a species of the genus Cucumber of the Pumpkin family. This vegetable crop is very popular with gardeners all over the world. The name of this type comes from the Greek word "aguros", which translates as "immature". At the etymological level behind this name is the concept that the fruits of such a plant are eaten in a green unripe form, for example, in comparison with tomatoes that are not eaten unripe. This plant has been cultivated for more than 6 thousand years. The homeland of this species is India, today this culture is still found in the wild at the foot of the Himalayas. There is a mention of a cucumber in the Bible, it is called there "a vegetable of Egypt". This culture was grown first by the ancient Greeks, then by the Romans; in Central Europe, cucumbers became very popular during the time of Charlemagne. In Russia, this culture was grown already in 1528, this became known from the notes of the German ambassador to the Moscow state Herberstein.
Parthenocarpic cucumber: advantages and disadvantages
The almost complete absence of seeds in such fruits is explained by the atypical way of reproduction. Parthenocarp implies reproduction exclusively in the female way, without the participation of male cells. This means that pollen and insects are not needed for reproduction. Such a fertilization scheme greatly simplifies the growing process: you do not need to build hives, take care of the distribution of pollen. Breeders have been bred such varieties for a long time, but now production is only improving. This means that every year the fruits become more hardy. Previously, parthenocarpic cucumbers could only be grown indoors, but today they are grown in all conditions. For example, the Bully cucumber is suitable for low temperatures. This variety can bear fruit until the onset of frost. Cucumber Trickle has similar characteristics.
- fast growing shrubs
- higher regular yield
- resistance to most known diseases
- uniform color, bright color, which gives the fruit a presentation
- lack of bitterness
- versatility - suitable for salads, canning
- retaining its shape during transportation.
The disadvantages include the active growth of shoots, it needs to be regularly adjusted. Some fruits cannot grow without being tied to a trellis, such as the Kanalya F1 cucumber or F1 Zircon. Too spreading lashes need to be tied up, without strengthening they will touch the soil, crawl over each other. Some varieties have too thin skin: they can suffer during transportation and are not suitable for canning, pickling.
The main difference between parthenocarpic cucumbers and self-pollinated cucumbers, which include, for example, the Cuzia F1 cucumber, lies in the principle by which the ovaries are formed. In the first case, pollen is not needed at all, in the second, the pollination process occurs by itself. Both male and female flowers are found in self-pollinated varieties, in contrast to parthenocarpic ones, where there are only female flowers.
How to choose a pinning time?
The time for pinching cucumbers depends on the following factors:
- When you have planted the plant.
- The climate of the region.
In Central Russia, the procedure is carried out from mid-July to early August.
ADVICE. It is best to focus not on specific dates, but on the development of the plant itself. The variety of cucumbers can be early or late, but the stages of its development will still coincide.
Experienced gardeners advise to carry out the pinching procedure when the lateral shoots grow at least up to 3 cm. Optimally - up to 4-6 cm. There is no practical sense in removing the shoots earlier. But it is also not worth delaying the procedure. If the shoot gets stronger, you will have to leave it. Otherwise, you can harm the entire bush.
I have been growing hybrid types of cucumbers for a long time. I prefer the varieties "Sarovskiy F1" and "Blizzard". They need a little care, because they practically do not give side stepsons. I do not pinch very often, mainly for the main stem. I process the pruning site with charcoal so that the disease does not strike it.
I often grow parthenocarpic species because of their ease of care. I place them in a greenhouse to avoid unexpected frosts. Sometimes I plant seedlings in open ground, but I face some difficulties. The bush grows strongly, it is difficult to pinch. But the timely binding to the trellis makes the task easier.
Dazzling cucumber bushes allows you to limit their growth, form a direction of development, and stimulate the appearance of new inflorescences. For this, a garden pruner is used, observing all safety rules. Timely garter and pinching allows the culture to receive more light. Also, the procedures will help save space in greenhouse conditions.
The main properties of cucumbers
In our conditions, cucumbers are an annual plant, a herb that has a stem that creeps along the ground or branches. The height of cucumbers rarely exceeds 2 meters. The type of the plant's root system is superficial, located no deeper than 1 meter, and the main part is within 15-25 cm. Given the origin, it is not surprising that the cucumber has several properties at once, which are extremely problematic to ensure the implementation of which in domestic conditions.
- The heat-loving nature of a vegetable is one of the main reasons that its cultivation in greenhouses and greenhouses has become so widespread. So, it is easier to ensure the optimum temperature for the cucumber. Nevertheless, with the competent use of agrotechnical methods, it is quite possible to achieve good yields in the open ground of central Russia, which includes most of the Urals. In addition, varieties and hybrids with increased resistance to cold temperatures were bred back in Soviet times. In recent years, this work has not stopped, as a result, the number of varieties of cucumbers that are most suitable for growing in open ground in domestic conditions has become quite large.
- Moisture-loving is another property of cucumbers, predetermined by the climate of its place of origin. It is not surprising that the amount of precipitation even in the Russian regions with their maximum level is clearly insufficient for the normal growth and fruiting of the plant. Therefore, it is always necessary to organize regular and sufficiently plentiful watering of cucumbers, which is required even by the most unpretentious varieties. Naturally, there are situations where excessive moisture occurs, but they are so rare and only happen to very inexperienced gardeners.
- Even in the most favorable conditions of the Kuban, in order to obtain a good harvest of cucumbers, it is necessary to feed with various nutritious organic or mineral substances. If we are talking about the middle lane, where the soils, especially in open ground, are of much lower quality, the importance of correct and timely feeding increases even more. Therefore, it is so necessary to strictly follow the recommendations of specialists related to this topic.
- A plant's photoperiod is the amount of daylight required for normal growth and development. For all the thermophilicity of cucumbers, their physiology requires only 10-12 hours of photoperiod for full ripening and fruiting. This greatly facilitates the task of domestic gardeners, since for most of the country this is a completely feasible condition, moreover, in some areas, certain varieties of cucumbers take root well even in shady and poorly lit areas of gardens and vegetable gardens.
Fruits can crack from excess water
Caring for a cucumber is not much different from caring for a common variety of hybrid cucumbers.
The vegetable does not need frequent watering, like a cucumber, it even tolerates a short-term drought. It is necessary to moisten the soil with warm water when its top layer dries. During the period of fruit formation, watering is reduced, otherwise they become watery and crack.
With the correct formation of the bush, the yield increases, therefore, when there are already 5-6 leaves, they pinch the main stem. Thanks to this action, many female flowers appear on the lateral shoots.
In the process of crop growth, it is fertilized with cow dung. For 1 bucket of water, take a shovel of manure and 1 tbsp. l. saltpeter. The infusion is applied every 2 weeks. The first feeding is done when the cucumber reaches a length of 20-30 cm.
Poultry manure is used as a fertilizer, however, due to the nitrogen content, it should not be used in large quantities, otherwise the plant will intensively increase the green mass, and the generation process will stop. This will result in a lack of fruit.
The temperature in the greenhouse is kept at the level of 25-30˚С, and the indicators for the soil should not exceed 25˚С. Otherwise, the gherdon drops the fruit ovaries, and this brings damage to the crop. With a lot of shading and thickening, barren flowers form and female flowers develop poorly.
If the cucumber is grown on vertical trellises, it is worth making special supports, because ripe fruits are heavy. To prevent them from falling, you need to harvest on time. If the culture lies horizontally, in some places the lashes are sprinkled with earth. The plant will put down additional roots and receive more nutrients from the soil.
With good care, the exotic will delight with the first fruits already a month after disembarkation. When they are collected, a stalk 3-4 cm in size is left: this prolongs the shelf life.