How to properly water cucumbers

cucumber plants in a green house
cucumber plants in a green house

In order for cucumbers to grow well and produce beautiful fruit, they need to be watered regularly. Here are some of the most important tips for watering this healthy and popular vegetable.

Cucumbers belong to the heavy feeders and need a lot of water to grow. In order for the fruits to form well and not taste bitter, you need to water the cucumber plants regularly and sufficiently.

The composition and condition of the soil also affects how often cucumbers need to be watered: The soil should be rich in humus and loose, easily warmed and able to retain sufficient moisture. This is because cucumbers are shallow-rooted and air-hungry. If the irrigation water seeps away too quickly because the soil is very permeable, the cucumber roots only have a short time window to absorb liquid from the soil. Compaction and waterlogging, on the other hand, are also detrimental to the vegetable and can be reasons why only a few, too small or no fruits form at all.

How to properly water cucumbers?

In order for cucumbers to have a uniform soil moisture available, they need to be watered in a timely manner. Always water the vegetables in the morning, using ambient warm water collected beforehand, for example in a rain barrel or watering can. The lukewarm or ambient rainwater is important so that the cucumber plants do not suffer cold shock. In addition, tap water does not agree with the summer vegetables, as it is often very hard and calcareous. As a guide, for every cucumber harvested, a cucumber plant needs twelve liters (3.2 gal) of water throughout the growing season.

If possible, water only around the root zone and avoid the leaves, because wet leaves can promote infestation with diseases such as downy mildew. For outdoor cucumbers, it is also recommended to mulch the soil with a layer of lawn clippings or straw. This prevents excessive evaporation and protects the soil from drying out prematurely.

Be sure to water regularly, as too dry a crop can easily lead to powdery mildew and bitter fruit. For salad cucumbers, which are mainly grown in greenhouses, you should constantly provide a warm and humid microclimate. An air humidity of 60 percent is ideal. Therefore, on hot days, spray the paths in the greenhouse with water several times a day.

If you follow these rules and other care tips for cucumber cultivation and fertilize the cucumber plants twice during the summer, as soon as the first fruits form, with a strengthening plant liquid manure, for example nettle liquid manure, nothing will stand in the way of a rich cucumber harvest.

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