Why do my cucumbers come out hollow

Snake cucumbers, cucumbers

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Like pickled or pickled cucumbers, which are usually cultivated outdoors, snake cucumbers or cucumbers are a group of cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) and, like all cucumbers, belong to the cucurbit family (Cucurbitaceae). The cucumbers, which largely consist of water, can be eaten raw or made into tasty salads. Since they have a high heat demand, they are best suited for growing in the greenhouse.

Appearance and stature

Snake cucumbers are annual like other cucumbers. Depending on the variety, they are between 30 and 70 centimeters long, dark green, spindle-shaped and more or less straight. Cucumbers are climbing plants: They grow along the ground without support and form shoots one to four meters long. Therefore, they absolutely need a scaffold on which they can climb. Almost all modern varieties of cucumber are purely female and parthenocarp (Greek for "virgin fruit"), that is, they form a seedless cucumber from each flower without pollination. The advantage of these hybrid strains is earlier and higher yields. Resistant and vigorous young plants are often offered on the market. These cucumbers were usually refined on the fig leaf pumpkin (Cucurbita ficifolia), and more rarely on seedlings of the musk pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata). The flowers of cucumber are bright yellow.

Location and soil

Snake cucumbers and cucumbers need a lot of light and warmth. For this reason, most types of cucumber are grown in the greenhouse. Humus-rich and loose soil, which heats up quickly and can still store enough water, is suitable as a substrate. You can also grow varieties for outdoor use on mulch film with a cover made of fleece.

Crop rotation and mixed culture

Like other types of cucumber, you should only grow snake cucumbers, which are among the strong eaters, in the same area about every four years. Legumes or celery, for example, are suitable for preculture. We recommend lettuce, cabbage or beetroot as border plants. Attention: Tomatoes and cucumbers should not be grown together in the greenhouse - tomatoes like it sunnier and more airy than cucumbers with slightly lower humidity.

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sowing

Since the young plants grow quickly, you should start the preculture three weeks before planting in the vegetable patch or in the greenhouse. You can pre-cultivate cucumbers in the heated greenhouse from mid-March: To do this, place three seeds in an eight-centimeter pot, half of which is filled with potting soil. Let the seeds germinate at around 22 to 24 degrees Celsius and keep them moist at all times.

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planting

When the seedlings have two to three leaves they can be carefully planted out. Be careful not to damage the roots. The cucumbers can be put into the heated greenhouse from mid-April, in an unheated greenhouse you should wait until the beginning of May to plant them out. In the greenhouse, the planting distance between the rows is 130 to 170 centimeters, in the row 40 centimeters. Important: With grafted cucumbers, place the grafting point a finger's breadth across the ground. Fleece covers serve as protection and heat storage.

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maintenance

Snake cucumbers have a high water requirement, namely one to three liters of water per plant per day. In the greenhouse it is important to guide the cucumbers upwards on wires or strings, in the open field a trellis is a good choice. Wrap new shoots around the trellis or string twice a week so that the shoots are directed upwards. The best fertilization in the greenhouse is a thin layer of mulch made of grass clippings.

For optimal fruit set, you should continuously shorten side shoots below 60 to 80 centimeters in height to two to six leaves and leave only one of the fruits formed in the leaf axils. The central drive is slipped on a rod or a thick cord and cut as soon as it has reached the end of the cord.

Harvest and recovery

With cucumbers, the harvest usually begins seven to ten weeks after sowing, depending on the variety. Up to three harvests per week are necessary. You can store the fruits at around ten degrees Celsius for about one to two weeks. Snake cucumbers taste wonderful with salad, as a healthy snack in between meals or in summer soft drinks.

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Variety tips

When growing snake cucumbers in the greenhouse, purely female-flowering varieties such as ‘Sudica’ or ‘Dominica’ have proven their worth. ‘Dominica’, like the ica Eiffel ’variety, is up to 35 centimeters long. New is ‘Midios’ with medium-sized, juicy and aromatic fruits. ‘Delfs No. 1’ is a cucumber for outdoor cultivation that has proven to be very robust; ‘Dorninger’ is an old variety with tender meat and is suitable for both outdoor and greenhouse cultivation. ‘Long de Chine’ is also around 35 centimeters long and is characterized by firm meat and fine taste. In mild regions, this variety is also suitable for outdoors. ‘Dispute No. 5’ and ‘Selma Cuca’ are robust and rich cucumbers.

Diseases and pests

In addition to downy mildew, powdery mildew can be infested in greenhouses in particular. Make sure that the planting spacing is large enough and choose robust varieties. In addition, spider mites tend to appear on cucumbers, but they can be easily and naturally combated with beneficial insects (predatory mites). The signs of cucumber wilt are weak leaves.