Early ripening, unpretentiousness, resistance to shading and cooling all this distinguishes this hybrid. How to get fruits in early summer and have them until autumn is the subject of this article.
1. Features of cucumber Chinese Snake
2. Pros and cons of the variety
3. Description of fruits and culinary features
4. Rules of cultivation
4.1. Planting seedlings or planting seeds?
4.2. Seeds preparation
4.3. Preparation of the best soil for Chinese Snake
4.4. Seedlings care
5. Outdoor and balcony gardening of Chinese Snake
5.1. Outdoor cultivation features
5.2. Greenhouse cultivation features
5.3. Balcony cultivation features
6. Cucumber diseases
8. Usage on medicine
Chinese snake is tall and early ripening hybrid, was created in India (maybe in China). It named after his fruits, which often looks like a snake (thin, long and sometimes curve).
1. Features of Chinese snake
For the best and bigger harvest it should be grown at a temperature not lower than 65oF (18oC). If temperature can be below that level it is better to grow them in greenhouse. It takes about 65 days from planting seeds to first harvest. Chinese snake indeterminate (it is growing in tall all its life, with small offsets). After plant reach comfortable length its top could be cut.
As fruits are big and heavy, trellis method used for growing this plant.
The variety does not need pollination - male and female flowers presents on the plant. Female flowers always have ovaries, male do not and fall after flowering.
Off-shoots often recommended to be cut, but it is wrong! Very often female flowers are growing on off-shoots, male on central. So we recommend to wait and see, what flowers plant have and only after that to make a decision what to cut.
Root system is very wide, strong and not deep.
2. Pros and cons of Chinese Snake variety
|1. big harvest,
2. high adaptation to cold and darkness
3. tolerance to classic cucumber's illness.
4. good taste
5. versatile (good for conservation or fresh salad)
6. high density of growing and big harvest
|1. unstable germination (from days to months)
2.Incompatible for long-tern storage in fresh
3. tying to a trellis is required
4. Often Snake-like form of fruits
5. like very much water and fertilizers
6. strongly depletes soil
7. only warm watering, don't stand with dry soil
8. taste of fruits differ from classical cucumber
All good quality of the fruit disappearing very quickly - it fades and become soft and rude after one day storage.
Overgrown fruits also lose their good quality quickly: become tough and rude, fade, and lose their taste. So this variety must be harvested often and used quickly.
3. Culinary features of Chinese Snake
- cylindrical, sometimes snake-like form of fruits;
- optimal weight of fruit not more than 1 pound (450 grams)
- the young fruit peel is thin, bumpy, fleecy. As they grown become more and more tough and rude;
- flesh is juicy, without seeds.
- special and strong smell, some gardeners don't like this fact
- in contrary of widespread opinion this variety is good for conservation (only young fruits must be used)
4. Rules of cultivation
As was written, the best harvest will be at a temperature not lower than 65oF (18oC). In this case open-air or a city balcony is very good.
Chinese Snake can stand lower temperature, but this is not good for him.
For good and early harvest some rules must be fulfilled.
4.1. Importance of seedlings preparation.
Seedlings must be grown, either for greenhouse or open air. In cold climates it shorten time for first harvest, but it is not the only reason!
Chinese snake seeds do not germinate at one time! Often some of them germinate in couple of days and some in couple of weeks. So without seedlings it is impossible to have an early harvest.
The best time is about 1 month before planting on permanent place of growth.
For planting of seedlings it is better to use individual high pots. Seedlings growth quickly and often become very long. So adding some soil will make root system wider and stronger.
4.2. Seeds preparing
Seeds, which were bought in reliable firms, often, yet prepared. Such seeds have colored shell and do not in need of any preparations.
If not they, must be disinfected by potassium permanganate, small aqueous solution (light pink color).
After disinfection seeds could be soaked in nutrient solution: bio humus - according instructions, aloe or potato juice, honey and ash solution - 1 tea spoon per 50 ml.
After preparation, seeds better to plant in individual high pots. Cucumbers do not like any harm of ruts and it is better to use individual pots for seedlings.
4.3. Soil preparation and feeding cucumbers
Components for soil preparation:
- black soil - main soil component,
- peat - water and air holding component,
- manure and plant humus - main nutrient component,
- sand, perlite and vermiculite - porous component,
- ash not more than 50 grams per 10 liters soil
Plants are not in need of any fertilizers for the first 2 weeks, if pit and manure was added enough.
If soil is weak, it is good to add fertilizers with potassium sulphate - ½ ounce (10 grams) and superphosphate 1 oz (20 grams) per 10 liter of soil.
Cucumbers should be feeding by organic or mineral fertilizers 4 times per season:
1. After 2 weeks from planting seeds (potash-nitrogen).
2. When blossoming starts (potassium-nitrogen + mineral fertilizers with magnesium, boracium).
3. When plants begin to harvest (composition and proportions similar to the previous one, but nitrogen fertilizer can be вуслкуфыув).
4. 2-d half of harvesting to increase its quantity and length (the phosphorus component is added to the used composition).
More detail about feeding cucumbers we write later.