Want to Learn About Fertilizing and Watering Cucumbers?
Most experienced vegetable gardeners know that watering cucumbers adequately is the key to high quality fruit production. Cucumbers have a very high water content. It's impossible for the plants to produce lots of cucumbers if they are starved for water.
A cucumber plant requires about an inch of water every week to maintain fruit production. If no rain falls in your area, it's up to you to give your cucumber plants the water they crave. When watering cucumbers, focus your efforts at the base of the main stem. Try to avoid watering the foliage as this may cause diseases to develop. It's usually a good idea to water in the morning hours. That way, the afternoon sun will evaporate any unused water. A soaker hose or drip irrigation system is ideal, but a simple watering can or jug will also do the job nicely. Make sure to water slowly so that the soil around the base of the plant is not eroded away.
After the cucumber plants have produced blossoms, it may be beneficial to apply a balanced, all purpose fertilizer. An all-purpose water soluble fertilizer will work fine. You can also use a balanced granular fertilizer. When choosing a granular fertilizer, pay attention to the three number code on the bag. Look for 10-10-10 or 12-12-12. These numbers indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium that are contained in that particular bag, respectively. The nitrogen will help the plant foliage grow as much as possible. The phosphate and potassium will help with fruit production. Apply the fertilizer according to the manufacturer's directions. Most are applied at a rate of 1 1/2 pounds per 100 square feet. Scatter the granules on the ground around the base of the plant. Avoid letting the granules touch the plant itself, as it may burn or have other adverse effects. Water the fertilizer in well after applying.
You can also use a water-soluble product like Miracle Gro. Just mix it according to the manufacturer's instructions and apply it when the blossoms first appear. If you are lucky enough to have your plants survive long enough, you can fertilize them again about a month after the first fruits are produced.
If you intend to grow cucumbers organically, several natural fertilizer products are available at your local garden center. Another option is to work a fair amount of compost or organic material into the soil prior to planting.
Now that you're done fertilizing and watering cucumbers, it's time to think about harvesting.
Click here to learn about harvesting cucumbers
Click here for some of our favorite cucumber recipes
Click here to learn about different cucumber varieties
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