Cucumbers are loved not only for their taste, but also for their ease of growing. These crops do not require complex maintenance, special soil and any special conditions - they grow in ordinary beds or in greenhouses. Each gardener, if desired, can collect seeds from his own cucumbers and, thus, not spend money on seed material. But this method is not suitable for those who love unusual, exotic varieties and expect bountiful harvests.
To get the best cucumbers, you need to buy hybrid seeds.
The origin of hybrid cucumbers
Hybrids are the descendants of several crossed varieties. Breeding a high-quality hybrid cucumber requires years of scientific work, the annual cultivation of crossed crops. Only in the 5-10th generation, breeders get the best results - those hybrids, the seeds of which will go for sale.
Such painstaking work determines the high cost of hybrid seeds. As a rule, the price for them is several times higher than the cost of varietal cucumbers.
Many countries are engaged in breeding today, in the domestic market you can find seeds of German, Chinese, Japanese and, of course, Dutch origin.
"Dutch" appeared in Russia earlier than other hybrids, and to this day remain the most popular among farmers and gardeners.
This demand is quite justified, Dutch cucumbers have a number of exceptional qualities and characteristics.
Why the Dutch are the best
The title of "best" Dutch hybrids was awarded for a number of reasons, the most important of which are:
- Good adaptability to local climatic conditions. Unlike "Asians", seeds from Europe are more adapted to the temperature regime of Russian regions. Cucumber seeds are hardened and can withstand temperature fluctuations and changes.
- Plants are resistant to most cucumber diseases. The seeds are processed and are completely ready for planting in the ground.
- Most often, the ovaries of Dutch cucumbers appear in clusters - 5-10 fruits grow from one node.
- The high yield of the hybrids is ensured by their resistance to external factors.
- The taste qualities of the "Dutch" are in no way inferior to Russian varieties. Hybrid cucumbers can be used for both salads and preserves.
- Lack of bitterness. A bitter taste appears in a cucumber due to a violation of the water-temperature regime. And Dutch hybrids are completely devoid of the enzyme that is responsible for bitterness, so these cucumbers are never bitter.
- Fast ripening. Both early and late Dutch varieties are characterized by fast fruit ripening. On average, the period from the appearance of the first leaves to the ripening of cucumbers is about a month.
Important! The only drawback of Dutch hybrids is the lack of seeds suitable for further planting. Seeds inside hybrids, most often, do not germinate, and if an ovary appears from them, then the cucumbers will grow defective, with a violation of genetic links.
The material from the purchased bag is completely ready for planting, the seeds do not need additional processing and hardening.
All of these characteristics indicate the high quality of Dutch seeds.
Classification of hybrids
Growing conditions for cucumbers differ in the degree of openness of the soil. For greenhouse crops, the method of pollination is an important factor; it is better to grow cucumbers that do not require pollination in greenhouses. These are parthenocarpic and self-pollinated species. It is these types of hybrids that prevail among Dutch seeds, so they can be grown both in greenhouses and in an open garden plot or in the field.
The next classification to look out for when buying seeds is ripening times. There are:
- early varieties;
- with late ripening.
Advice! When choosing seeds, it must be borne in mind that early-ripening varieties are distinguished by short-term fruiting, but the first cucumbers appear quickly. If a long fruiting period is important for the gardener, it is better to prefer the seeds of mid-season or late varieties.
The last division of varieties is performed depending on the purpose of the cucumbers, there are:
- Fresh salad cucumbers.
- Salting or preservatives tolerate contact with brine and heat treatment well.
- The versatile varieties can be eaten raw or canned.
Feature of salad Dutch cucumbers
The best cucumbers for salads are Dutch. It is easy to distinguish such varieties by the ripe fruit - the cucumbers grow long, have an elongated shape. The skin of the salad cucumber is thin, tender.
On its surface, there are often rare tubercles and white spines. The pulp of cucumbers is juicy, with a characteristic taste and smell. Small seeds can often be seen inside the fruit. Many hybrids of salad cucumbers perform well in the marinade, although they cannot be preserved for the winter.
One of the best hybrids for fresh consumption is Agate F1. The plant is hardened from many diseases, differs in average ripening times, adapted for the climate of central Russia.
The fruits of the hybrid have good commercial characteristics, the cucumbers grow beautiful and have good keeping quality. The length of the greenery reaches 45 cm, and the weight is 250 grams. The skin is tender, smooth, without thorns and bitterness. The cucumbers taste juicy and aromatic.
It is necessary to plant seeds in April-May, this can be done both outdoors and indoors, because the hybrid is parthenocarpic and does not require pollination.
The bushes of the plant are vigorous, reaching a height of 2.5 meters, the ovary is bunchy. This provides a high yield of the hybrid - up to 11.5 kg of cucumbers can be obtained from four bushes.
Another hybrid for preparing salads is the Alligator F1. This is a bee-pollinated species that is best planted in open ground or provide artificial pollination in a greenhouse.
The hybrid belongs to the early maturing, the first greens appear on the 46-48th day after planting. The seeds are protected from many diseases, the plant is stress-resistant - it tolerates temperature extremes well.
The fruits have a cylindrical shape, elongated, their length reaches 35-40 cm. The peel is tender, with large tubercles.
The bushes of the hybrid are tall, spreading. Up to 16 kg of cucumbers can be harvested from one square meter of land.
What is the difference between pickled cucumbers
Salad cucumbers are not suitable for preservation, because their peel is too porous, it is quickly saturated with brine and becomes soft - the cucumbers do not crunch.
The best pickled cucumbers have the ability to gradually pass the brine through the pores.
Dutch pickles for pickling differ from Russian in appearance. Their skin is covered with a large number of black thorns and bumps, gardeners call this shell "Dutch shirt". Through these thorns-needles, the brine slowly penetrates into the flesh of the cucumber, the vegetable remains crispy and dense.
Important! Bee-pollinated varieties are considered the most suitable for conservation - cucumbers have a strong taste and aroma, which remains after salting.
Hybrid "Authority F1" is a representative of bee-pollinated species. Early ripening culture begins to bear fruit as early as 43-48 days after planting. The plant is protected from many diseases, including root rot.
Cucumbers grow in bunches, fruits are small in size - 9-11 cm each. Peel with tubercles, the shape of zelents is cylindrical. The pulp of the fruit is juicy, without bitterness - cucumbers are tasty both fresh and canned.
The bushes are medium-sized with small leaves, from one meter of soil the gardener can collect up to 5.5 kg of excellent vegetables, which are quite suitable for sale.
The Angelina F1 hybrid loves warmth and is best grown in southern regions with early, warm summers, or in greenhouses. The plant is parthenocarpic, has many female flowers.
The fruits grow medium in size - 10-12 cm, their weight reaches 110 grams. Zelentsy has absolutely no bitterness, can be used both fresh and pickled, canned.
Variety "Angelina F1" - one of the best-selling, cucumbers perfectly tolerate transportation and retain their presentation for a long time.
The bushes are low (up to 80 cm), require feeding and timely watering. Three fruits ripen in one node. The plant is resistant to diseases, but does not like the cold. The yield of the hybrid is high - 2800 kg from each acre of land.
How to identify the best Dutch varieties
Every seasoned gardener has his own favorite varieties that he has been growing over the years. Dutch hybrids "Masha F1" and "German F1" are one of these, enjoying constant popularity. These cucumbers are versatile:
- suitable for planting in the ground and in the greenhouse;
- are parthenocarpic, that is, they do not require pollination;
- are resistant to disease;
- produce medium-sized fruits with excellent taste, suitable for salads and pickling;
- undemanding to soil, watering and temperature;
- are distinguished by high productivity.
These are the qualities that the best Dutch cucumber seeds should have.
And let the gardeners not be confused by the high cost of Dutch seeds, it is more than compensated for by high yields.