100 DAY HARVEST PERIOD IN PICKLING CUCUMBER PRODUCTION IN HUNGARY
In order to utilize market possibilities earliness should be increased and the harvest period prolonged. The elongation of the season using traditional cultivation is limited to both directions. Direct sowing of cucumber in Hungary can be started between 10–20th May considering the spring warming up. Earlier sowings suffer from the low soil temperature, or the emerged seedlings can be killed by the late frosts. Later on mechanical injuries caused by harvests, difficulties in plant protection and irrigation lead to rapid deterioration of plant condition. In addition summer draught with low air humidity retards shoot growth and leads to quick senescence.
Earliness can be increased by transplanting, fleece covering or combing the two methods. Prolongation of the harvest season can be achieved by trellis cultivation (Hódosy, Milotay, Sicz, 1989; Bittsánszky, 1986) where plant condition is better controlled ensuring continuous harvest.
A good choice of cultivars offers possibilities in a better protection against downy mildew (Szarka, Pados, Balogh, 1985).
Theoretically it is possible to set up a production scheme for a 100 day harvest period (figure 1). Our aim was to test this timing scheme by practical experiments.