All about pinching cucumbers in the open ground
Along with potatoes and tomatoes, cucumber is the most common culture in the vegetable gardens of our country. Most often, cucumbers in summer residents grow spontaneously. And all plant care comes down to watering and rare feeding.
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But, if you approach the care of cucumbers wisely, you can significantly increase the volume of the crop and improve the taste of the fruit.
One of these procedures, with which you can achieve this, is pinching.
In our article, we will tell you about what it is like to properly pinch and what are the features of pinching different types of cucumbers.
What is pinching
Stepson - this is a removal according to a special scheme from the main stem of a cucumber bush of lateral shoots ("stepsons").
Stepsons grow in the axils of the leaves. If they are not cut, then over time they will develop and turn into large lashes. By the way, cucumbers will also grow on them.
Why, then, remove the shoots that will bear fruit?
The fact is that in the early stages of plant development it is very important to direct energy and nutrients to strengthen the root system and the formation of the main stem. Stepchildren will take part of the nutrients.
To avoid this, the side shoots must be removed. A little later, when the cucumber bush grows and gets stronger, stepsons can be left to grow.
How to choose a time for pinching?
The time for pinching cucumbers depends on the following factors:
- When you planted a plant.
- The climate of the region.
In Central Russia, the procedure is carried out from mid-July to early August.
TIP. It is best to focus not on specific dates, but on the development of the plant itself. The variety of cucumbers may be early or late, but the stages of its development will still coincide.
Experienced gardeners advise to carry out the herding procedure when the side shoots grow to at least 3 cm. Optimum - to 4-6 cm. Removing the shoots earlier makes no practical sense. But delaying the procedure is also not worth it. If the shoot gets stronger, then you have to leave it. Otherwise, you can harm the entire bush.
How to calculate the stepson?
Finding a stepson on a cucumber lash is very simple. They are formed in the axils of the leaves, that is, in the place where the leaf is attached to the main stem.
Stepsons are the future lashes of cucumbers. In other words, if they are not removed, then after some time they will develop and will be only slightly thinner than the main stem.
The first stepsons usually appear when the bush grows to 30-40 cm.
The procedure for pinching cucumbers in greenhouses and greenhouses is extremely important. If you do not remove the side shoots, then the cucumbers will grow, but will not bring almost any crop. The procedure for pinching in a greenhouse takes place in several stages.
You can read more about this in our article “How to step in cucumbers in a greenhouse step by step”.
Step-by-step outdoor steps
Many, especially novice gardeners, believe that it is not necessary to pinch cucumbers. But experienced summer residents know that this procedure is very important. The fact is that the side shoots consume too much nutrients. As a result, the yield of one bush is reduced by 3-5 kg.
Of course, if you have a lot of beds with cucumbers, then such crop losses will be insensitive. But, if you have not too large a summer cottage, then you need to spend useful space wisely.
IMPORTANT! To carry out the herding procedure, cucumbers are necessarily tied to a trellis or support. Bushes growing on the ground, usually do not stepchild. For open ground, it is best to use triangular supports.
How to form cucumbers in 1 trunk, removing all side shoots?
This is one of the simplest and most common stepson schemes. The formation of cucumbers in 1 trunk is common in small summer cottages and in commercial organizations involved in growing vegetables.
- At a height of 30-40 cm from the ground, all leaves are removed.
- At a height of 40 - 80 cm, side shoots are removed. At the same time, leaves and ovaries are left on the main lash (1 ovary per 1 leaf).
- At a height of 80 - 120 cm, 1 ovary and 1 leaf are left on the side shoots. At the same time, the shoot is pinched when it reaches 20 cm in length.
- At a height of 120 - 150 cm, 2 to 3 leaves and the same number of ovaries are left on the side shoots. All that grows further pinch.
- At a height of 150 - 200 cm, shoots do not remove and do not pinch. If the trellis is low, then the lashes are simply thrown over it and lowered down.
- Pinch the main vine upon reaching the top of the trellis or support.
REFERENCE. Only self-pollinated varieties and hybrids of cucumbers are formed in one trunk.
How to pinch in several stems
Usually indeterminate varieties of cucumbers form in several stems. That is, those that are constantly growing.
Stage 1. When the bush has 5 real leaves, it is tied to a support or trellis.
Stage 2. When the second shoot appears, it is tied up separately. In this case, it is advisable to direct the second stem to the other side so that the lashes do not interfere with each other.
Stage 3. As soon as both lashes grow to the top of the support, remove the stepsons, flowers and greenery to 4 leaves. Do not be afraid to remove the fruits, the plant will still bear fruit.
Stage 4. In the interval from 5 to 9 leaves, leave 1 ovary in the sinus and remove all other processes.
Stage 5. Pinch the next 4-5 stepsons at a distance of about 30-40 cm from both stems.
Stage 6. Everything that grows higher does not need to be removed. Here the bulk of the greens will be formed.
This is a diagram of the formation of cucumbers in 2 stems. But in exactly the same way you can create 3, and 4 main lashes.
Formation of self-pollinated varieties
Self-pollinated varieties must be stepsoned. The fact is that they develop mainly female-type inflorescences, which then become cucumbers. Because of this, a high load on the bush is created.
If such varieties and hybrids are not formed, then you can lose both in the volume of the crop and in the taste of the fruits.
Parthenocarpic cucumbers form mainly in 1 stem (in rare cases, 2). The general principles of pinching are as follows:
- removal of all ovaries and processes at a distance of 30-40 cm from the ground;
- pinching of the processes according to the method of the inverted pyramid (shorter shoots from below, longer from above);
- crop control.
Formation of bee pollinated varieties
The peculiarity of the pollinated varieties and hybrids is that male inflorescences, that is, empty flowers, are formed on the main stem. Female-type inflorescences are formed on stepsons. Therefore, pollinated varieties and hybrids are formed into several stems, and male inflorescences are removed.
At the same time, the main lash is pinched as early as possible so that the plant directs all the energy to the growth of just the side shoots.
REFERENCE. You do not need to cut all the empty flowers to one. Be sure to leave a few pieces on the whip.
How to shape bunch cucumbers
Tufted cucumbers must be stepson. The algorithm is as follows.
Stage 1. We remove all stepsons and ovaries at a distance of half a meter from the root. Please note leaves do not need to be removed.
Stage 2. 50 - 100 cm from the root. Leave 1 ovary in the bosom of the leaf. We remove the remaining shoots.
Stage 3. 100 - 150 cm. On each shoot in this section, leave 2 leaves with 2 ovaries. All processes above are removed.
Stage 4. 150-200 cm. On each shoot in this section, leave 3 sheets with 3 ovaries. All processes above are removed.
Stage 5. Count 4 sheets and pinch the crown. Leave 1 ovary on each leaf.
This is the most common pattern of pinching beam cucumbers. You can also see the scheme recommended for each particular variety on the back of the package with seeds.
Other methods of procedure
In addition to the above, there are several more methods of pinching.
For example, when forming cucumbers in one trunk, some summer residents remove all stepsons and leave leaves. That is, the fruits appear exclusively on the main stem. In this case, the yield of the bush does not suffer. Just in place of the harvested greens, new ones are formed.
The advantages of this method in good lighting and ventilation of the plantings, as well as in easy harvesting.
What is pinching cucumbers
Pinch - This is another important procedure in the process of forming a cucumber bush. Its purpose is to limit the growth of cucumber vines. The fact is that after a certain moment, the growth of lashes in a cucumber does not bring any practical benefit. No shoots are formed on the shoots.
In order not to spend nutrients, pinch the whips. That is, they are limited in growth.
How to pinch?
There are 2 schemes for pinching cucumbers. Depends on them, you will collect the bulk of the crop from the main lash or from the side shoots.
Scheme 1. The pinching of the main stem is done when the plant grows to at least 1 m. The lateral shoots are pinched after 2 leaves.
Scheme 2. The main stem is pinched as soon as it grows to half a meter. Side shoots pinch when they grow to 1 m.
REFERENCE. The first method is preferred for self-pollinated varieties and hybrids, and the second for bee pollinated. The fact is that male-type inflorescences develop on the main stem, but among them the largest number of empty flowers.
What varieties do not stepchild?
If you do not have time to engage in pinching and pinching, then you need to pay attention to those varieties that do not need to be formed.
Basically, these are hybrids that grow in a lush bush, and not in lashes. It is not necessary to form varieties in which the lateral shoots do not grow and do not thicken the plantings. Also, some partencarpic varieties of cucumbers do not step in.
The most popular varieties and hybrids that do not need to be stepson are Alphabet F1, Bouquet F1, Regina Plus F1, True Friends F1.
Does the procedure affect fruiting
Agronomists argue that herding favorably affects the fruiting of cucumbers. Yields increase, the palatability of fruits improves.
This happens because, after removal of the lateral processes in the lower part of the plant, the bulk of the nutrients is directed to the development of the root system and the formation of the main stem.
On average, a formed bush brings 3-5 kg more fruit than a bush without pinching.
Do I need to pick leaves?
When conducting pinching, you can also tear off part of the foliage on the cucumbers. Removing excess leaves is necessary to improve access to air and light, prevent thickening of plantings and prevent disease.
In this case, you can not pick off all the leaves at once. There is a certain scheme that must be adhered to.
The whole cucumber bush is divided into 4 parts:
- Base. All inflorescences, ovaries and leaves that lie on the ground, yellowed or dried are removed.
- 1 m from the root (approximately 4 true leaflets). Empty flowers are removed. There are a few leaves (4-6 pieces) and the same number of cucumbers.
- The next 50 cm. All leaves are left on one half of the shoots. On the other, half of the foliage is removed.
- Top. 4 sheets are counted from the end of the lash and cropping is performed.
This scheme of pruning leaves provides good ventilation and uniform illumination of the whole plant, stimulates the formation of fruits on pristine lashes.
Care after work
If you want pinching to bear fruit, you must take care of the cucumbers. You need to carry out care even when the cucumber bushes are fully formed.
- Water cucumbers in a timely manner. This crop loves moisture and regular watering. But you need to use only warm water, which settled on the street. You cannot water cucumbers from a hose. Water from the water supply system is too cold and has a detrimental effect on the plant.
- Loosen the ground regularly. In the heat of the earth at the roots dries quickly and turns into a hard crust.
- Remove weeds on time. Firstly, they take away nutrients from cucumbers. Secondly, shade the bushes.
- Remove diseased and damaged leaves in a timely manner. They can cause disease in the entire bush.
- Remove fruits from the lashes in a timely manner. If you do not grow cucumbers for seeds, then do not let them linger on the lashes. Firstly, they lose their taste. Secondly, they spend useful nutrients that would go to other greenbacks.
- Additionally feed the bushes of the plant. Pasynkovka is a necessary procedure, but it is still a stress for plants. Therefore, it is recommended that after pinching the side shoots, additionally feed the cucumbers.
Pasynkovka is a simple procedure, but some mistakes due to inexperience can be made:
- Coarse removal of lateral shoots. Stepsons need to be cleaned carefully without injuring other parts of the plant. Small stepsons are usually removed with your fingers, and grown-ups with scissors. If you are going to carry out the procedure for the first time, then it is better to use garden tools.
- Deviation from herding patterns. Each action that you perform in the process of sprout removal has a specific practical meaning. If you don’t follow the rules, then stepsonking will become a simply useless activity.
- Bad start time for the procedure. If you start to remove the shoots too early, then injure the plant and you can destroy it. If you are late with pinching, then the shoots will grow too much. In this case, you cannot delete them.
- Lack of proper care. Do not think that after removing the side shoots, the work with the cucumbers is finished. The plant must be watered, fed and loosened the soil.
Step-planting is a way to increase the yield of your cucumbers. There is nothing complicated in this procedure. It is enough to adhere to the described schemes and work carefully with plants.