Cucumber "Real Colonel": description and cultivation of the variety
“Real Colonel” is a variety that will surely appeal to lovers of medium-sized hybrid cucumbers, especially since it does not require close attention in the growing process. This variety is great for growing in closed soil, and for planting on the beds. In order for the seedlings to bring a good harvest in the future, it is worth considering the requirements for the planting process itself and the further care of the seedlings, which will be discussed later.
Selection History and Variety Description
"The true colonel" is a parthenocarpic hybrid variety, characterized by early ripening. He got to the State Register of Plants of the Russian Federation in 2004 after he was withdrawn by the specialists of the selection and seed-growing company “Manual”. These cucumbers are recommended for cultivation under film or glass shelters, as well as in open ground, where they can be planted in the form of seedlings or sown with seeds.
This colonel is suitable for cultivation in the Northern, Central, Middle Volga and Caucasus regions, where, with proper care, it will produce good and regular crops.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of the hybrid is its active fruiting, right up to the very frosts, and if there are suitable pots, cucumbers grow well even on the balcony. The fruits of the variety are curved Zelentsy larger than a cylindrical shape with white spikes and dense pubescence. The thin peel of dark green color is covered with infrequent, rather large tubercles. The mass of each cucumber is 100–120 g with a length of 11–15 cm and a diameter of 3–4.5 cm. The flesh is juicy and crispy. Fruits are great for fresh use, although they are often used for pickling.
Did you know? Peel of cucumbers is an excellent source of fiber and beta-carotene, which is important for the digestive system, which also helps to improve the immune function of the human body, the state of the organs of vision and skin.
Advantages and disadvantages
Each hybrid plant form has its own advantages, because the creators are not in vain trying to improve the original varietal characteristics of the selected culture. Thanks to the work of breeders, the cucumbers “Real Colonel” have an impressive list of advantages, for which gardeners are appreciated.
- First of all, they include the following characteristics:
- high resistance to common cucumber ailments;
- friendly ripening of greens;
- weak weaving, which allows you to save the area of the garden and plant seedlings as thick as possible;
- the possibility of universal use of fruits - they are suitable both for fresh consumption and for the preparation of preservation;
- lack of a bitter taste, even in aging specimens;
- the ability to bear fruit right up to the very frosts.
- As for the shortcomings, from this side the cucumbers “Real Colonel” are characterized by the following features:
- the possibility of the formation of voids with sharp temperature changes;
- low percentage of seed germination (not more than 60%);
- an increased likelihood of the formation of empty flowers with changing growing conditions
The disadvantages of cultivating the “Real Colonel” variety are actually less than the positive sides, which means that for this reason it is worth paying attention to it.
Optimal landing times
The exact timing of planting cucumbers of the described variety depends on what method you are going to grow plants: using seedlings or direct sowing of seed material into the ground. In the latter case, the ideal time would be those when there is no longer the probability of return frosts, and usually this time falls on the beginning of May. For seedlings, cucumber varieties are sown standardly - in late February or early March.
Planting and growing cucumbers
Real Colonel cucumbers can be grown in two main ways: by planting seedlings and sowing seeds directly into open soil. Each of the options provides its own features of the procedure, so we suggest you to understand them in more detail.
The soil for sowing cucumber seeds should be sufficiently fertile, loose and necessarily with a low level of acidity. If the selected soil composition is characterized by a reduced amount of nitrogen, then it will be useful to add a little lime to the ground.
Both organic and inorganic mixtures can be used to increase fertility, but the main thing here is not to upset the overall balance of nutrients in the substrate. The ideal fertilizer solution in this case would be superphosphate (10 g), potassium sulfur (10 g), copper sulfate (0.2 g), zinc and manganese (0.2 g each), which must first be diluted in a proportion of 0.5 g nutrient mixture per 1 liter of water.
As for the preparation of the planting material itself, before sowing it should be soaked in salt water and select only those seeds that have sunk to the bottom. The pop-up seed is no longer suitable for future use. Selected specimens must be wrapped in a damp cloth and left in a warm but moist room for 2-3 days, periodically additionally moistening the material. Once they sprout a little, they can be sown in a seedling box. It is advisable to deepen the seeds into the substrate no more than 1 cm, leaving about 5 cm of free space between adjacent seeds, and if as a result the planting is very thick, then it can be thinned out at any time.
To speed up the time of emergence of seedlings, the box with seedlings should be covered with a film or transparent glass. All the time of plant development, they must be regularly ventilated, temporarily removing shelter, and sprayed from the spray gun, moistening the soil.
Important! Seedlings that emerged at a constant growth site are planted only after the appearance of real leaves on them, that is, approximately 20–25 days after the seeds are sown. At this point, the outdoor temperature should be quite high, without the risk of return frosts.
In a reckless way
When the time comes, the grown seeds will have to be transplanted to the site, choosing well-lit places. With insufficient lighting, the fruits that appear will hide in the green foliage and will not grow to the desired size. In this case, the sunlight must necessarily be scattered, for which corn is often planted between rows with cucumbers. The distance between adjacent landings should not be less than 50 cm, otherwise, due to the high density, the fruits will not be able to get the amount of light and heat they need.
The process of sowing planting material in an open area involves performing the same actions as when planting cucumbers for seedlings, except that the depth of seed placement should be a little more - about 2-3 cm.
Read about why white spots appear on the leaves of cucumbers and how to get rid of them.
In case of early landing (for example, in early May or even more so at the end of April) it is better to stretch a film cover over the landings, especially if in your region there are frequent cases of return frosts at this time of year.
Cucumber care after planting
After transplanting seedlings to a permanent place of growth, it needs proper and timely care: regular watering, the formation of cucumber bushes, top dressing, and the prevention of diseases and pests. Each of these processes has its own specific features that directly depend on the selected plant variety.
Since the “Real Colonel” cucumber lashes do not have an increased growth rate, bush formation is not a priority when growing this vegetable. Almost everything that is worth paying attention to is the formation of extra processes, which must be removed by secateurs during fruit ripening, but it is better not to touch the main stem and lateral shoots so as not to injure the ovaries on the bush.
Video: Forming Cucumbers to Increase Crop
In greenhouse conditions, cucumbers are grown mainly vertically - lashes are tied to established supports. Without them, the crop will be less abundant, and picking it is not so convenient: using trellis allows you to get the same fruits from different sides of the plant.
The support structure must be as strong and stable as possible so that neither wind nor rain can move it from its place. Poorly fixed structures can harm plants, sometimes tearing bushes along with the root. A good option for support is metal or wooden rails, on top of which a trellis net is stretched, fastened to them with ropes. In height, such a support can reach 2 meters.
Important! It is advisable to fertilize the soil under the trellis with humus and spud as cucumbers grow, and as soon as the bushes grow to 30 cm, they must be trimmed.
Fertilizing and watering
Fertilize cucumbers of the described variety is necessary only when the air temperature exceeds the mark of + 20 ° C. At the beginning of the growing season, nitrogen-containing compounds that contribute to the growth of green mass will be the optimal solution to the issue of nutrients. During the formation of the ovaries, the soil is supplied with phosphate compounds, and with the development of the fruits, it is useful to combine nitrogen-containing and potassium substances.
As for the watering of the “Real Colonel” variety, its frequency depends on the place of cultivation of the cucumbers and the temperature regime. For example, in a greenhouse, it is enough to moisten the soil under plants once a week, using drip irrigation systems to spray the liquid.
Important! For watering cucumbers, it is advisable to use only water protected in the sun, adding liquid either in the morning (before increased solar activity), or even in the evening, when the sun does not burn the leaves of the crop.
The main soil care measures are carried out shortly after the next wetting of the substrate, which helps to avoid the formation of crusts on the ground. So, loosening helps to improve air exchange between the root system of plants and the environment.
The removal of weeds cleans the plantings and facilitates the penetration of more light into the depths of the plantations, while mulching with straw between rows saves a sufficient amount of moisture in the soil and protects the root system of cucumbers from sudden changes in temperature.
When spraying plants, it is not necessary to resort to special fungicidal formulations (for example, “Previkuru” or “Fitosporin”), because other substances, for example, copper sulfate and ash solution, have no less useful preventive properties.
Given the early ripening of the crop of cucumbers of the described variety, it is better not to spray the plants with potent chemicals, so as not to violate the quality of the fruits. Safer for health will be folk remedies for the prevention of diseases, especially since they can be prepared independently:
- Powdery mildew plants can be sprayed with a mixture of iodine (25 drops), milk (1 l) and soap (1 spoon), diluted in a bucket of water. The resulting solution is treated with cucumber leaves using a spray bottle for convenience.
- Soda-based solutions will help prevent the development of gray rot : 2-3 teaspoons can be diluted in one liter of water. In addition, in it you can soak and planting material, thereby disinfecting the seeds of cucumbers.
- The probability of infection of the bushes with bacteriosis can be reduced with the help of one tablet "Trichopolum", dissolved in 1 liter of water.
Did you know? The spider mite can survive even in the most severe climatic conditions, falling into a diapause state in winter. All vital processes during this period are significantly slowed down, and insects practically do not move, consuming 5.2 times less oxygen, and they do not need food at all.
Harvesting and storage features
The first crop of cucumbers “The Real Colonel” can be harvested 40–45 days after the appearance of the first seedlings. Typically, fruit ripening is even, which is very valuable for farmers who grow them for sale. Under standard growing conditions, at least 13 kg of fruit up to 15 cm long can be harvested from 1 m² of cucumber plantations. In order not to damage the stem of the crop, it is better not to pick, but to cut, performing the procedure mainly in the morning.
Zelentsy can be collected both in wooden crates and in other containers, the main thing is that they remain dry and not moldy. It is better to store vegetables in bulk in the basement or in the refrigerator, which will provide sufficient filtration.
Learn more about how to store cucumbers at home for the winter.
In general, the “Real Colonel” variety can be called a good hybrid variety, especially when you consider the possibility of growing vegetables in a variety of conditions and climatic zones. To get a good harvest, you only need to comply with the conditions and requirements for agricultural farming technology, and as a reward for your efforts, you will surely get a tasty and plentiful crop of greenery.