Saltpeter is very often used by gardeners as a feed for vegetable crops. It also fertilizes flowers and fruit trees. Calcium nitrate is great for feeding cucumbers. But as with the use of other mineral fertilizers, it is necessary to figure out how to apply this dressing correctly. In this article we will see what calcium nitrate is special for, and how it can be used to grow an excellent crop of cucumbers.
The composition of nitrate
Calcium nitrate consists of 19% calcium and 14-16% nitrogen in the nitrate form. In other words, it is called calcium nitrate. We are used to seeing this nitrate-containing fertilizer in the form of white crystals or granules. Calcium nitrate dissolves quickly in water. Even with long storage does not lose its useful properties. To extend the shelf life, fertilizer must be kept in a sealed package.
Fertilizers containing nitrogen tend to increase the acidity of the soil. In this regard, calcium nitrate stands out favorably. Unlike urea, it does not affect the level of acidity of the soil. This fertilizer can be used on all types of soil. It manifests itself most effectively in sod-podzolic soil. Despite the fact that calcium nitrate contains nitrates, subject to the rules of use, it does not affect the body. Such a fertilizer can increase the yield and quality of cucumbers.
Properties of saltpeter
We have to admit that not all gardeners use calcium nitrate as a feed in their area. The fact is that calcium is not a vital mineral for growing vegetables. The main element of nitrate is nitrogen, which has a positive effect on the growth and fruiting of vegetable crops. But without calcium, nitrogen will not be fully absorbed by the plant. So without each other, these minerals are not so useful.
Calcium nitrate is a real find for soil with a high level of acidity. Calcium nitrate is able to absorb excess iron and manganese from the soil, as well as metals that increase acidity. Due to this, the plants come to life, and the whole growing season is very fruitful. Calcium contained in nitre is necessary for the development of the root system. This element is responsible for feeding the plant with essential substances.Important! Lack of calcium affects the general condition of the sprouts, because of which the root system gradually begins to rot.
To fertilize plants with fertilizers containing calcium nitrate, which is necessary in spring. It is dug along with the ground during the preparation of the garden for planting. In the fall, this fertilizer is not advised to make, as the melted snow will simply wash away all the nitrogen it contains. And the remaining calcium without it becomes harmful to cultivated plants.
To date, 2 types of nitrate are produced:
Crystalline nitrate has a high level of hygroscopicity, which can quickly leach out of the soil. Therefore, it is the granular form that is more popular, which absorbs less moisture and does not form dust when introduced into the soil.
The importance of feeding for cucumbers
Some gardeners do not use fertilizers when growing cucumbers. As a result, the harvest is poor, and the cucumbers grow small and gnarled. Using mineral fertilizers you can get the following results:
- Stimulation of growth and strengthening of the root system.
- Enhance immunity, resistance to diseases.
- Resistance to changes in weather conditions.
- Fertilizers affect the formation and strengthening of cell membranes.
- Improving metabolic processes.
- Stimulate and accelerate germination.
- Improves the process of photosynthesis and the absorption of carbohydrates.
- Yield increase by 15%. The taste qualities of the finished products are improved, the fruits are stored much longer.
Calcium nitrate is introduced in order to strengthen the root system and accelerate the growth of plants. It is suitable for any soil. You can make both in liquid and in dry form. Some gardeners use this fertilizer during drip irrigation beds.
Root feeding with calcium nitrate is carried out as follows:
- for feeding berry crops need 50 grams of nitrate per 20 liters of water. During the season, such fertilizer is applied only 1 or 2 times;
- for tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes and other vegetable crops, it is necessary to dilute 25 grams of fertilizer in 11-15 liters of liquid;
- To feed calcium nitrate, fruit trees mix 25 grams of nitrate and no more than 10 liters of water. Watering trees with this solution is necessary before the buds bud.
To make foliar feeding or spraying with calcium nitrate solution, it is necessary to mix 25 grams of fertilizer with 1 or 1.5 liters of water. For irrigation cucumbers need about 1.5 liters of solution per 10 square meters.
Spraying fertilizer on the leaves like this will help get rid of the top rot, which often appears on tomato bushes. Can be used as a disease prevention. Fertilizers using calcium nitrate are a real salvation in areas with arid climate. Such top dressing is very useful for vegetable and grain crops. Saltpeter is one of the affordable fertilizer. And if you compare its value with the results of the application, then it will be justified several times.Attention! In no case can not mix calcium nitrate with other mineral fertilizers, which include sulfates and phosphates.
Top dressing of cucumber saltpeter
Most often, saltpeter is used on small households, as it is not very convenient to transport it. To fertilize a large field will need a huge amount of calcium nitrate, but for home beds you can buy small packages of 1 kg. This feed helps the plants absorb nutrients from the soil, and also increases resistance to various diseases. Thanks to saltpeter you can grow strong and tasty cucumbers.
Calcium nitrate must be applied immediately before sowing cucumbers. This fertilizer will contribute to the rapid germination of seeds. The presence of nitrogen makes this dressing so useful for cucumbers. At the beginning of growth, this element is simply necessary for plants. Further, fertilizer can be applied throughout the growing season on demand. In this case, the solution is sprayed throughout the plant.
Using calcium nitrate to feed cucumbers, you can achieve the following results:
- green mass will be quickly and efficiently formed. Such a rapid growth is due to the active process of photosynthesis. Also, nitrate helps to form sprouts at the cellular level, participating in strengthening the walls of plants;
- spring dressing of the soil before sowing helps activate the enzymes in the soil. Thanks to this, the seeds will quickly grow and start growing;
- nitrate has a good effect on the root system of plants. It helps cucumbers to develop immunity to diseases and various fungi;
- this feed makes plants resistant to changes in temperature and weather conditions;
- nitrate improves the taste of cucumbers, and also increases the amount of the harvested crop. Cucumbers are stored much longer.
Extra root dressing of cucumber calcium nitrate is carried out every 10 days. The first feeding is done immediately after the appearance on the plants of 3 and more sheets. Stop feeding cucumbers only after the fruiting period begins. To make calcium nitrate based fertilizer, you need to mix:
- 5 liters of water;
- 10 grams of calcium nitrate.
Calcium nitrate is stirred until complete dissolution and immediately begin spraying cucumbers. This kind of feeding will prevent the appearance of rot on the roots. Also, the use of nitrate is an excellent protection against slugs and ticks.
We make calcium nitrate on our own
Gardeners know that calcium nitrate is not as widespread as ammonium. Therefore, some cook it yourself at home. To do this, you need to prepare the following components and accessories:
- Ammonium nitrate.
- Slaked lime.
- Aluminum pan.
You will also need a respirator for respiratory protection and gloves. You can not cook the mixture close to the house, as the process will stand out an unpleasant smell. So, at the beginning of the bricks, you need to build a structure for the fire. The bricks should be placed at such a distance that the prepared pan fits there. Then, 0.5 l of water is poured into the container and about 300 g of saltpeter are poured. Now put the prepared mixture on the fire and wait until it starts to boil. Then it is necessary to gradually add lime to the solution. At this number of components will need about 140 grams of hydrated lime. It needs to be poured in very small portions so that the whole process of adding lime is stretched out for 25 minutes.
The mixture is continued to cook until it completely gets rid of the sharp unpleasant smell. Now the fire is extinguished, and the mixture is left to stand until a precipitate of lime appears at the bottom of the tank. After that, the upper part of the mixture is drained, and the precipitate formed can be discarded. This solution is calcium nitrate.
Important! It is necessary to plant a mixture depending on what kind of plants should be fed. The amount of water also changes during root application and spraying.
Ammonium nitrate today is considered one of the cheapest fertilizers. Many gardeners and gardeners simply scatter it on their site even before the snow melts. Of course, this fertilizer is a source of nitrogen for cucumbers, but at the same time, you should be careful when using it as a feed.
It is impossible to spray cucumbers with ammonium nitrate solution. This substance can burn sprouts, and as a result, the entire crop will die. In order not to harm the plants, fertilizer is applied to the soil to a depth of about 10 cm with a shovel or rake. Often it is made during the digging of the soil. Thus, nitrogen enters the soil, but will not be able to burn the root system and cucumber leaves.
You can also use ammonium nitrate for watering cucumbers. Thus, the soil is enriched with nitrogen without harm to the green mass. To conduct such feeding should be very rare, especially after the start of fruiting and in the autumn.
Storage conditions and contraindicationsA warning! You cannot use fertilizer based on nitrate with straw, peat and sawdust.
Contacting such flammable materials, the fertilizer can catch fire. It is also not advisable to use organic substances at the same time. In no case can not make calcium nitrate with superphosphate or manure. Remember that an excessive amount of nitrate can trigger the accumulation of nitrates in vegetables and other crops. You should be especially careful when feeding cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkin ammonium nitrate. These vegetables are the most able to absorb nitrates.
Store fertilizer in plastic or paper bags. Remember that it is an explosive substance that should not be in close proximity with flammable materials. Choose a cool place to store saltpeter. Direct sunlight should not be in contact with fertilizer. Excessive heating of nitre may result in an explosion.
As we have seen, nitrate is a source of nitrogen, which is indispensable for cucumbers, which has a positive effect on the growth and productivity of plants. This kind of feeding should be made with great care, as it is a nitrate product. A few weeks before harvesting, the introduction of saltpeter must be stopped. Following the rules outlined, you can get an excellent crop of cucumbers.