Cucumber varieties are subdivided according to the ripening time into early, medium and late maturing, although the latter two are often combined into one. Many gardeners are interested in the question of which of these three types of plants will optimally bear fruit in open ground beds, and why, in general, do late varieties need to be planted? After all, it's easier to plant early cucumbers and enjoy fresh vegetables before anyone else. We will try to answer all these questions today.
Why do you need a late variety
Before we consider the late popular varieties of cucumbers for open ground, let's find out the purpose of such a vegetable. When buying seeds, many hobbyists first of all look at a colorful label with an advertising inscription of the dignity of the variety, for example, "Super early" or "Super early ripening". Is it possible to choose seeds according to this principle and why are these late cucumbers needed?
It is probably easier to plant an early variety in the garden and after about 35 days already enjoy the fresh vegetable. Why then wait one and a half or two months until late cucumbers ripen? A specialist or any experienced gardener, without hesitation, will answer that the secret lies in the final result.
A distinctive feature of late varieties
To understand why late fruits are needed, let's turn to botany and take a quick look at the development periods of a cucumber. At the beginning of growth, before the first ovary appears, the plant builds up the root system. Although the roots are not that big, they still grow. When the flowering and fruiting phase begins, root growth is inhibited, and the green stem begins to grow rapidly.
Now let's look at what happens to the early variety of cucumbers in the garden. The fact is that the more developed the root of a plant, the more it receives nutrients from the soil. The root system of an early variety plant ripens in about a month. Naturally, it is several times smaller than the root system of a late variety for open ground, which develops up to 50 days. A plant with a smaller root system will bear fruit to a minimum, or it will give many fruits at once in a short time and die.
From this we can conclude that a plant of an early variety, having completed its fruiting in a couple of weeks, begins to turn yellow, after which it dries up. Top dressing with nitrogen fertilizers can slightly extend the life of the green stem of a cucumber, however, this will not bring much benefit.
If you take the late varieties for open ground, then with a powerful root system, they will bear fruit for a long time in the garden, delighting the owners with fruits for the whole summer before the onset of cold weather.
When planting summer cottages with cucumbers for your own consumption, it is necessary to give preference to seeds not with colorful advertising packaging, but to select them according to the ripening period. Early varieties can be planted with several bushes for the first fresh salads, and the fruits of late ripening will be used for canning.
Advice! For a family of 2-3 people, it is enough to grow 2 bushes of early and medium varieties of cucumbers on the garden bed. All the rest of the allotted open ground must be sown with late varieties.
Cucumbers are among the most consumed vegetables, so they are in demand all year round. In the absence of a greenhouse, only late varieties for open ground will allow you to get fresh fruits for a long time. In addition, such cucumbers are well suited for conservation, barrel pickling and pickling. In the presence of a freezer, the owners manage to freeze the fruits of the late variety for cooking for the New Year holidays.
Advice! Cucumber is 90% water and is a low-calorie vegetable. This allows people who are inclined to be overweight or just to keep an eye on their figure without restriction.
Selection of a variety by branching
When choosing seed material for late cucumbers for open ground, plants with strong weaving are more suitable. The more actively their stem is formed, the better the harvest will be. An example for open ground can be the varieties "Phoenix", "Chistye Prudy", "Phoenix 640" and "Maryina Roshcha F1". A distinctive feature of these late varieties is abundant fruiting before the onset of the first frosts. Plants do not need to install trellises. They will simply trail on the ground, the main thing is to provide them with sufficient space. The dignity of the fruits of each variety is the absence of bitterness.
Briefly about the rules for planting late varieties
Cucumber is a thermophilic plant and can be slightly sore when planted with seedlings. First of all, this is due to a change in soil temperature.
The seedlings grew in a warm place, and with planting in open ground, even if it is already warm outside, the root system gets into a cool environment. It is important to reduce the amount of watering here, as the risk of developing putrefactive fungi that infect the root increases. At the first detection of rotting, the sprouts can be saved with fresh or sour milk.
Advice! A warm solution is prepared from 1 part milk and 1 part water. Each plant is watered at the root at the rate of 1 liter of liquid per 8 bushes.
Seedlings of late cucumbers should be watered early in the morning only at the root. This will reduce the amount of condensation that causes putrefactive fungal diseases. It is bad if water gets on the leaves of the plant during watering, and you also need to remove old leaves in time and remove fallen leaves. These simple rules will help prevent the development of a pathogenic fungus.
In this video you can see an experiment with planting cucumbers in July:
Getting to know the late varieties of cucumbers
Finally, it is time to take a closer look at the late varieties of open field cucumbers. There are a large number of them, however, we will consider the most popular varieties among ordinary summer residents.
The plant is characterized by the formation of a large number of female flowers, but good pollination requires the participation of bees. A highly branched plant that gives a bountiful harvest, intended for open ground, but can grow under film. The first fruits are harvested about 64 days after planting seedlings in the ground or germinating seeds. The variety is distinguished by long-term fruiting before the onset of frost. Crispy fruits up to 16 cm long and weighing 220 g do not accumulate bitterness. The cucumber is good for pickling and cooking.
A plant with long, developed lashes tolerates drought, coolness and is rarely exposed to fungal diseases. Long-term fruiting continues until the first frost. Cylindrical fruits are covered with large pimples with a yellowish tinge. The cucumber is famous for its pickling qualities.
This variety refers more to mid-season cucumbers, although you must wait at least 50 days before fruiting. Having landed it in an open garden like a late cucumber, the gardener will not fail.
The plant develops a large number of long side strings and stepchildren, which is optimal for growing in large gardens. The stem is covered with flowers of both types, which require pollination by bees. The vegetable is characterized by a sparse arrangement of tubercles on the skin and the presence of light green stripes. The weight of an adult fruit with a length of 12 cm is 138 g. A cucumber is most suitable for preservation.
The vegetable belongs to late-ripening hybrids. The strongly weaving plant bears fruit well in the open field and in the greenhouse, it is resistant to many diseases. The hybrid has an excellent taste without bitterness. Zelenets is optimally suitable for pickling.
Fruiting lasts all summer until the end of autumn. Green fruit up to 9 cm long with small pimples covered with white thorns.
The late bee-pollinated variety, depending on the care, can bear the first fruits 55–70 days after planting. The plant with long branches and medium branching is ideal for outdoor use. Fruits with a length of 12 cm gain weight 130 g.
The dignity of the variety is expressed by its good tolerance to low temperatures and protective immunity against common diseases. The vegetable has a marketable appearance and is well suited for salting.
The late variety can grow outdoors and under film. The plant with long lashes is dominated by the female type of flowers, but pollination requires the participation of bees. A dark green vegetable 11 cm long has a weight of 100 g. The rind is covered with large tubercles with dark thorns.
The vegetable is famous for its delicious taste, is optimal for pickling and does not have the peculiarity of accumulating bitterness.
The late hybrid takes root well in the open field and under the film.
The vigorous plant is resistant to many diseases. Long-term fruiting continues until autumn.
The bright green fruits, 10 cm long, weigh about 80 g. Juicy, without bitterness, the flesh with a characteristic crunch determines the popularity of the vegetable for conservation.
Late hybrids for conservation
Late hybrids growing outdoors and intended for salting have differences in cell structure and morphology. The main sign of the fruit's preservation purpose is the edge of the ovary. In an adult fetus, these harmless hairs turn into thorns.
They are dark and light, moreover, they are located both on the tubercles of the peel, and evenly over its surface. For a plant, pimples serve as a regulator of moisture evaporation, and when preserved, brine penetrates into the fruit through them.
Fruits with black thorns on large tubercles are optimal for preservation. The acquisition of such a dark color occurs due to the evaporation of moisture together with the pigment. The crunch rate of the pulp depends on the structure of the cells, which do not grow in an adult fetus, but stretch. Such characteristics are possessed by the hybrids "Mamenkin's favorite F1", "Liliput F1", "Khazbulat F1", "Athlete F1" and many others.
The choice of a certain late variety for an open garden directly depends on the preference of the owner and the purpose of the vegetable, whether it is preservation, sale or just eating raw.