Fertigation of cucumbers – the basics
Cucumbers are sensitive to water stress (to little water) and to water logging (over watering). Any of these two conditions will reduce plant vigour and cause physiological fruit disorders such as crooked fruit. The frequency of water application cannot be standardized because of so many factors that vary within each farming system. Fertigation scheduling should be regulated according to crop stage, climate and the characteristics of the growth medium. The coarser the texture of the medium the more frequent and less water at a time should be applied. Crops grown in high density medium should receive water less frequently but more at a time.
Cucumbers consume more water per day than any other crop grown in hydroponics. It is estimated that a mature cucumber plant will absorb up to 3 L of water per day. The high water requirement is a result of the large soft leaves. It is important to keep the electrical conductivity of the nutrient solution low enough for easy water uptake but not too low to cause a reduction in energy which will result in crooked fruit. The ideal EC should vary between 1.6 mS.cm-1 and 2.0 mS.cm-1. During periods of high temperature the EC should be lowered and during periods of lower temperatures, the EC should be increased. However, never increase the EC above 2.5 mS.cm-1.
It has been found that cucumbers grow better in bag culture systems than in NFT or GFT systems. The reason can be attributed to the high water requirements of cucumbers. In GFT systems small volumes of the root systems is in contact with the water solution, whereas with bag culture systems the whole root is in contact. This allows the cucumber plant to absorb greater volumes of water at any time of the day.
A general nutrient formulation that can be used for cucumbers is provided below. However, the fertilizer combinations presented should be adapted to the grower conditions and variety. Informed decisions should be based on water and plant analysis with the help of an expert. Many books provide fertilizer recipes, but they are not the alpha and omega of plant fertilization. There is very little doubt that one fertilizer program will be significant better than the other if the basic principles are followed regarding plant nutrition. The main problem found with recipes are their implementation in the irrigation system. Factors such as how the fertilizers are mixed, at what pH are they mixed and the quality of the various components making up the fertilizers. Another very important factor is the quality of the water which can have a significant effect on the growth of the plant.Cucumber fertilizer program during three stages of growth
|Element||Before fruiting||Mature fruit||Late stage|
4 thoughts on “Fertigation of cucumbers – the basics”
Hi Antionious my name is John I’m a commercial baby cucumber grower in Sydney I have a small med farm roughly around 25000 plants under cover semi hydroponic we grow in bags of potting mix I have an A tank
where the calcium is and B tank where the potassium and trace elements are both 1000 litres of stock solution that get sucked into the line and mixed with all water when the pump starts I run an ec of 2.5 to 3 I just wanted to know what amounts of powdered Fertilizer I should use of each element in each tank of 1000 litres I should use to achieve those ppm ur recommended example how many bags of calcium nitarate in tank a how much chelate iron in tank a how many potassium nitrate in tank b ect ect a formula in both tanks that is balanced as there are so many differences in formulas that we are lost lol if you can help us thank you
Hi John, don’t worry about the amount of bags, it’s all about concentration of the elements. I would suggest reading through the article: Formulating a hydroponic nutrient solution. Once the concentration and ratio of nutrients are correct, the total amount added to each tank does not matter. As long as your EC is correct the ratio of the nutrients will be correct. It is a self balancing system.
I have got these cheicams, now am totally confused as you have shared it in pretty simple way.. but do not get what to to put, can you share the recipe with formuales
Calcium Nitrate –
Chelated Iron EDTA –
Magnesium Nitrate –
Mono Ammonium Phosphate –
Magnesium Sulphate –
Mono Potassium Phosphate –
Potassium Nitrate –
Potassium Sulphate –
Zinc Sulphate –
Manganese Sulphate –
Copper Sulphate –
Hi Pratik, I gave the basic formula for cucumbers in the article: https://www.commercial-hydroponic-farming.com/fertigation-cucumbers-basics/
You have to buy the various fertilizers that you can get in your country and mix them to get to those concentrations mentioned.
A lot of chemicals and their formulas are provided in this link: https://www.commercial-hydroponic-farming.com/list-of-43-hydroponic-fertilizers/