To grow tasty and crunchy cucumbers in order to enjoy them throughout the summer and to make bulk stocks for the winter, any gardener considers it his sacred duty. But it's not easy for everyone to cope with this task, because cucumbers are a culture that is quite demanding for heat, moisture, and intensive nutrition. I want to dwell on the latter in more detail. Because on loose, well-filled with organic soils, cucumber itself grows almost without supplements. But not all have similar soils. They also need to be able to create. And I want to grow cucumbers here and now. Therefore, feeding for cucumbers is almost a mandatory item in the care of this culture. Especially since they respond to them with great gratitude.
Feeding: what they are
Everyone knows the most traditional liquid dressing - when in a watering can with water some dark liquid is diluted and cucumbers are poured over the root. Similarly, you can do with powdered and crystalline solid fertilizers, spreading them previously in water. All these methods are called in one word - root feeding.
They can be mineral and organic. Fertilizers for mineral dressings are usually purchased in stores. Organic fertilizers can also be bought ready-made, which is very convenient for urban residents - summer residents, who sometimes have no place to take the ingredients for such dressings. But more often they are prepared on their own site from various ingredients: manure, bird droppings, grass, hay, ash, etc.
There is also a whole class of dressings, when some substances that make up the usefulness for cucumbers dissolve or infuse for some time in water, and then the resulting cucumber bushes are sprayed from the bottom up. Our grandmothers used brooms for this purpose, while the modern industry has created a whole army of all kinds of sprayers, from manual to automatic ones.
This operation is called foliar or leaf feeding of cucumbers. After all, plants are fed through the leaves, not through the roots, which means that all nutrients are absorbed several times faster. Accordingly, the effect of this procedure becomes visible soon enough, which can not but rejoice the eye of the gardener. Perhaps that is why foliar top dressing cucumbers have become so popular lately.
In addition, cucumbers, unlike the same tomatoes, like such procedures, because they quite favorably refer to the effect of high humidity. It is only necessary to take into account that feeding on a leaf for cucumbers will be much more effective in cool, cloudy weather.
- Firstly, at low temperatures, the roots begin to absorb nutrients from the soil much worse, which means that foliar feeding will have to be more appropriate.
- Secondly, in cloudy weather there is less likelihood of burns on cucumber leaves from simultaneous spraying and sunbathing. In any case, for this reason, foliar feeding is better to produce early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun is still or no longer.
Attention! When using conventional fertilizers for foliar application, their concentration is usually taken two to three times less than traditional.
This is done so that cucumber leaves do not get burned.
The first thing that comes to mind when you need to think about fertilizer for cucumbers, is the use of mineral fertilizers. Indeed, in recent decades they have become a means of traditional feeding of most vegetable and horticultural crops, thanks to the ease of application and speed of exposure.
This is one of the most popular fertilizers for use, including when growing cucumbers. Nitroammofoska (azofoska) - is a complex fertilizer, which contains all three of the most essential batteries in equal proportions. It dissolves well in water. To prepare the fertilizer solution for root dressing, 1 tablespoon of azofosca is diluted in a 10-liter bucket of water.
Tip! On a bucket of the solution obtained, it is good to add 1 cup of wood ash. It will enrich it with various microelements.
For feeding cucumbers one liter of this solution is poured at the root of each bush. The land under the cucumbers should be wet before.
If you want to conduct foliar feeding with azofoskoy, then reduce the concentration by half and do it before fruit set. When the first ovaries appear, it is better to switch to root dressings and use other fertilizers with a high content of potassium.
Urea or Urea
If you urgently need to saturate cucumber plants with nitrogen, then urea is usually used for this purpose. In the case of acute nitrogen deficiency, 40 g of the substance is diluted in 10 liters of water, if preventive supplements are needed rather, then 15 to 25 grams per 10 liters of water can be used. Why precisely carbamide? Unlike ammonium nitrate, it will not harm the cucumber plants when foliar application. But you shouldn’t be zealous with him either - it’s always better to underfeed with nitrogen.
During the flowering of cucumbers and in subsequent periods, other nutrients are more relevant for plants, for example, phosphorus. The simplest feeding will be the use of superphosphate at a concentration of 35 grams per 10 liters of water. It must be borne in mind that superphosphate is very poorly soluble in water. Therefore, usually experienced gardeners use the following trick: the required amount of the substance is poured boiling water and insist about a day. Then the sediment is carefully filtered and the fertilizer solution is brought to the original volume.
Other types of fertilizers
For fertilizing cucumbers, both traditional root and leaf, in recent years it has been convenient to use a variety of complex fertilizers, among which the following varieties are most popular:
- Crystal - this fertilizer is of many different brands, differing in the ratio of nutrients in them. It is important that chlorine is absent in its composition, but magnesium, sulfur and a number of the most important trace elements in chelate form are present. This form greatly facilitates their digestibility by plants. The nitrogen in the fertilizer crystal is in amidian form, which is ideal for foliar dressing. For feeding cucumbers, you can choose a special or green crystal. The composition of the NPK in it is 18:18:18, so it is a universal fertilizer. Ideal also Cucumber Crystal, which was specially designed for cucumbers. NPK in it is 14:11:31, so it can be applied at any stage of development and on any type of soil.
- Master - if the fertilizer described above was the brainchild of the Netherlands, then the master fertilizer is a product of the Italian company Valagro. The rest of the variety of compositions and effects on plants, they are very similar. It also dissolves very well in water, so it can be used both for watering under the root and for dressing over the leaf. In addition, the magnesium presence also allows you to use the master for dressing during the flowering and fruiting of cucumbers, when this element is vital.
- Plantofol is a high-quality complex fertilizer also from Italy, specially designed for foliar dressing of plants.
In recent years, many gardeners are increasingly turning their backs on chemical fertilizers, wishing for their own hands to grow cucumbers that are natural and environmentally friendly.
Of course, classical organic fertilizers are infusions based on manure or bird droppings. But in recent years, when feeding animals and poultry with various feeds, it is impossible to vouch for the complete safety of even such infusions. Therefore, the use of so-called green fertilizers is becoming increasingly popular.
Usually this fertilizer is prepared as follows - any capacity from 50 to 200 liters is filled with 2/3 weed grass: nettle, dandelion, quinoa, burdock, snytya, wheat grass, etc. The container is filled to the top with water, covered with a lid and left to infuse for several weeks. .
Tip! When a peculiar flavor appears, you can add a little yeast, half a bucket of ash, whey, bread crusts, eggshell and other food waste to enrich with trace elements.
Liquid must be mixed daily. After the specified period, green fertilizer can be diluted in the ratio of 1:20 and use the resulting solution for feeding cucumbers by spraying and watering under the root.
Very useful for cucumber foliar nutrition hay infusion. To make it, the preserved hay is poured with water in a 1: 1 ratio, infused for several days and then filtered. The resulting solution serves not only to feed, but also to protect the cucumber plants from powdery mildew. Hay can be obtained by cutting the green manure sown in winter. It is enough to leave it on the street in the rain for several weeks and by the summer there will already be a sufficient amount of rotten hay.
Most recently, the Swiss company Syngent on the Russian market was released a new biological fertilizer - Izabion. This preparation consists of 62.5% of amino acids and peptides. It is able to penetrate cucumber plants with the help of ordinary diffusion, accelerates the overcoming of various starvation. It transports various batteries when combined with fertilizers. It is a plant growth biostimulator. For foliar fertilizing cucumbers 20 grams of the substance must be dissolved in 10 liters of water.
Some folk remedies
Eggshell fertilizer is popular with many gardeners. If you have acidic soil, you can use it when transplanting cucumber seedlings into open ground. Shells are best taken from raw eggs that have not been cooked. For use as a fertilizer it is recommended to chop it thoroughly. Eggshell can be added directly to the soil for soil deoxidation and feeding with calcium. But this method of application is not very effective, since calcium from its composition is poorly absorbed by the roots of cucumbers.
Attention! It is much more effective to add it to the compost, and then for the next season it will be able to give more than 90% of calcium and this will serve as a wonderful fertilizer for cucumbers.
Also from the egg shell prepare an infusion for foliar application. For this, the shell of 5 eggs is thoroughly crushed and poured with 1 liter of warm water, after which it is drawn for 5 days. The appearance of a specific smell indicates that the infusion for leaf feeding cucumbers ready.
Probably, many have heard about banana dressings. And this is not surprising, since bananas contain significant amounts of potassium, as well as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. The listed elements are especially necessary for cucumbers both during flowering and especially during fruit ripening. In particular, potassium and magnesium increase the number of ovaries, and, therefore, have a beneficial effect on yield.
There are many ways to make banana peel fertilizer. But the best option is the following: the skin of 3-4 bananas without tails is placed in a 3-liter jar, filled with completely filtered water (without chlorine) and left for 4-5 days. Then the solution is filtered, diluted twice and spray them several times on cucumbers with an interval of 10 days.
It is interesting that even ordinary brilliant green can serve as a fertilizer for feeding cucumbers. True, to a greater degree this solution will serve to protect plants from powdery mildew and other fungal diseases. To prepare it you need to dissolve 40 drops of green stuff in a 10-liter bucket of water. Watering the beds with cucumbers more concentrated solution of greens (a vial of 10 liters of water) will help get rid of slugs.
In order to grow a bountiful harvest of tasty and crispy cucumbers, you can choose any of the above fertilizers. Trying, combining them in different sequences, you can derive your own ideal formula for feeding cucumbers, which you then pass on to next generations.