For a long time, the issue of protecting cucumbers from harmful factors remains topical. One of the most effective ways to increase the yield of cucumbers cultivated in the open field is mulching.
What is mulching
Mulching is called topsoil cover materials of natural and artificial origin to protect and improve its fertile properties.
The process allows:
- Preserve the natural moisture of the soil;
- Reduce the volume of weeds;
- Prevent overheating of the soil surface during the summer period and freezing during the frost period;
- Evenly distribute water over the surface of the soil during precipitation and watering;
- Prevent the transfer of harmful bacteria and fungal diseases from soil to plants;
- Improve the soil structure and ensure its looseness, porosity, moisture permeability;
- Prevent erosion (destruction) of soil;
- Prevent the formation of a crust on the soil to improve water absorption during irrigation and liquid fertilizers during root dressing;
- Create conditions for the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms;
- Contribute accelerated process of formation and development of the root system.
Feature of mulching cucumbers in open ground
Cucumbers grown in open ground are exposed to wind and precipitation, changes in day and night temperatures, early spring and late autumn frosts, attack by pathogenic bacteria and pests.
In the initial period of development, the root system is subject to the negative influence of harmful factors. Therefore, both in the developmental stage and in the phase of growth and fruiting, open-ground cucumbers require the closest attention and care.
The most optimal period for mulching open ground orugs is considered early spring.
In this case, the ground should be sufficiently heated by sunlight. It is necessary to begin mulching after planting bushes seedlings. If the sowing of cucumbers was carried out by seeds, the mulch is applied after the appearance of the third and subsequent leaves.
What materials to use to grind bushes
For mulching open ground cucumbers organic (natural origin) and inorganic (industrial manufacturing) materials.
Among organic materials, the most common are freshly cut grass, leaf litter, composts of various composition and other organic materials.
GrassCut grass as mulch
Before you mumble, cut grass needs leave in the sun for a few days. This will help get rid of various insects and pests contained in it.
As a herbal mulch as a cucumber, the best qualities are clover and nettle. According to the content of nutrients, these plants are unmatched.
The mulch is laid out on the surface of the pre-treated, loosened and fertilized soil.
Leaf litter is used as a mulch for cucumbers. only in hot, hot weatherwhen plants need a cool and moist soil. When applying leaves in the rainy season, they rot and develop fungal diseases.
SawdustCucumbers under sawdust
Mulching sawdust spend in the hot seasonwhen it is required to provide a sufficient amount of soil moisture.
In the rainy season, there is an accelerated rotting of sawdust, which can provoke the appearance of various diseases. To prevent these processes, it is recommended to use wood chips or large chips.
Compost is an excellent nutrient medium for beneficial microorganisms that make compost the most valuable and easily digestible biological fertilizer - biohumus.
Compost mulch is recommended in the cold and rainy season. High humidity will accelerate the process of decay with the release of thermal energy, which has a beneficial effect on the heating of the soil and root system in cold conditions.
Covering artificial material
As a covering protection, you can use various types of modern synthetic and textile rolls (film, agrofibre, geotextiles).
Due to its opacity and tight fit to the surface of the earth, such materials prevent freezing of the soil surface during the period of spring and autumn frosts, prevent the occurrence of weeds.Mulching cucumber film
Bulk Artificial Material
The mulch from bulk materials (crushed stone, gravel, expanded clay) enjoys wide popularity.
Such materials are particularly light, porosity, aesthetics. They suitable for all types of cucumbers, do not change the properties of the soil and are not carried by the wind.
Advantages and disadvantages
Mulching open ground allows with minimal effort and money increase the yield and quality of cucumbers.
However, like any other method of caring for plants, mulching outdoor cucumbers also requires special attention and a competent attitude. As an alternative to the procedure, you can plant cucumbers in a greenhouse.
Mulch, as a defense mechanism on the one hand, can be a source of germination of pathogenic bacteria and fungi. For example, tree mulching can cause nitrogen deficiency in the soil. Sawdust, wood chips, hay, straw, and other flammable materials can pose a high risk of fire.