Fertilize cucumbers correctly: This is how it’s done


Cucumbers like it warm, are very thirsty and have an enormous appetite. Proper fertilization is the only way to ensure that cucumbers produce abundant and, above all, tasty fruit. Here is how you can provide your cucumbers with the nutrients they need.

There are outdoor cucumbers for pickling and greenhouse or snake cucumbers for fresh salads. Both types need a lot of water and, as heavy feeders, plenty of fertilizer during the growth phase. Since cucumbers need a lot of warmth, snake cucumbers are usually grown in the garden from April onwards in a greenhouse, with the young plants being pre-cultivated indoors. However, outdoor cucumbers can not be planted in the beds until mid-May, but you can sow the cucumbers directly into the beds in late April or early May, placing three grains per seed hole.

Fertilize cucumber beds before planting

Outdoor cucumbers go into the garden, greenhouse cucumbers into a ground bed, which is supplied with a full portion of seasoned horse manure and mineral complete fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the quick effect. Alternatively, if you can’t get horse manure, use mature compost, fertilize with horn shavings or horn meal, respectively, for a quicker effect, plus a complete organic fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the fertilizer, apply between 30 and 40 grams per square meter. A mulch layer of straw or lawn clippings between the plants keeps the soil loose and moist throughout the cultivation period.

Supply cucumbers with special fertilizers

Instead of the complete fertilizer, you can also use special cucumber fertilizers from specialized stores. These are available either as cucumber, tomato or also vegetable fertilizers, they are all suitable. The fertilizers have an optimal nutrient composition and a high potassium content for optimal water supply to the fruit. Fertilizing with special fertilizers is easy, but they are more expensive. The cucumbers are supplied once at planting and then again for follow-up fertilizing in July. There are also fertilizers with long-term effect for five or six months. However, even with these fertilizers it is important to have good soil, which should be well supplied with humus both in the greenhouse and in the open field. This is because cucumbers basically hate soggy, muddy soil. A foliar fertilization with nettle liquid manure diluted 1:10 with water additionally supplies the cucumbers with trace elements.

Fertilize cucumbers: Do not be too generous

You should also not mean too well with mineral fertilizers, as cucumbers have quite sensitive roots and react somewhat sensitively to the salts contained in the fertilizers. This is especially true of cheap fertilizers with their high content of ballast salts.

How to re-fertilize cucumbers

If the cucumbers want a follow-up from around the beginning of July, you can re-fertilize weekly with nettle liquid manure or liquid guano. When the cucumbers start to set their flowers, only re-fertilize every two weeks. Otherwise, the cucumbers will get a lot of leaves, but little fruit. To set fruit, cucumbers need a lot of potassium, magnesium and trace elements. If you fertilize with nettle manure, you can work some stone meal into the soil for this purpose. Guano and cucumber fertilizer already have these nutrients.

What is useful for fertilizing cucumbers?

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are suitable as a fertilizer for cucumbers, and they also have the advantage of scaring away aphids from the smell of coffee grounds.

Nettle liquid manure

Nettle liquid manure is very suitable as fertilizer during the growth phase of cucumbers. Nettle liquid manure does not have to be bought, but can be easily made yourself. For this you need only 500 grams of chopped nettle and 5 liters of water. The whole thing is left outside for 2 to 3 weeks until the liquid manure has formed.

To get the best fertilizer for your cucumbers, you need to mix the nettle broth with water in a ratio of 1:10. Then you can water your cucumber plants with it once.

Horse manure

Horse manure should be used as fertilizer for cucumber plants immediately after planting, applying 1 kg of horse manure per square meter where the cucumbers were planted.

Horn shavings

Horn shavings are also suitable as fertilizer directly after planting the cucumbers. If no manure is used, horn shavings should be mixed into the soil in any case.


Since guano contains nitrogen and phosphorus, it is a good fertilizer for cucumbers, which can be given 1 time per week.

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