Cucumber plants, like tomatoes, for many simply belong in the home vegetable patch. And the vegetable is also quite easy to care for, so it is definitely a good idea even for beginners. However, the plants need a little more attention in terms of watering, because only with sufficient water cucumbers also become crisp and juicy, and a bitter taste is prevented. Today we would like to explain everything important about this topic, so you can expect a successful harvest. How to properly water cucumbers and what is best to use for this, you will learn below.
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Grow your own cucumbers and water them properly
Anyone who has ever grown tomatoes knows how much these plants “drink”. Quite especially in the hot summer months, you need to keep at it. It’s no different at all with cucumbers, which are a full 95 percent water. That should explain why the vegetables have such a high water requirement. But is there anything special to keep in mind when watering cucumber plants, and does it make a difference whether you’re growing outdoor cucumbers or greenhouse cucumbers?
Watering cucumbers – how often and at what time of day?
The perfect time to water your plants is in the morning hours – the earlier, the better. This way, the cucumber plant has enough time to absorb the water before it can evaporate due to the heat, and each cucumber plant is well taken care of. This is because cucumber plants are shallow rooted and thus do not benefit from soil moisture at depth. Instead, they use the water below the surface of the soil and should it evaporate too quickly, they won’t have enough time to take care of themselves.
This should be your daily task, allowing one and a half to three liters of water per plant, and on hot summer days a further watering in the evening can also be beneficial. At the latest when the leaves hang limply down, you should water the cucumbers, because this indicates dry soil. And dryness can lead to bitter fruit, as well as promote the formation of powdery mildew.
Greenhouse cucumbers benefit from 60 percent humidity. You can maintain this by spraying the plants with water several times a day when the weather is hot.
While frequent watering and making sure you water cucumbers properly is important, avoid waterlogging, which will result in less well-developed fruit. In some cases, the amount of fruit produced may also be sparse or even fail to appear completely. In addition to overwatering, soil that is too clayey also promotes waterlogging.
Which water to use?
Have you ever had friends and acquaintances eat these vegetables from their own cultivation and noticed a bitter taste? It was not a particular variety of cucumber, but an important point in the correct watering was not observed. Namely, you should always use only warm water when you want to water cucumbers properly. After all, even the cold water can make the fruit bitter, as the plants suffer a temperature shock.
For this purpose, simply collect the water in rain barrels, for example, or in buckets and let it warm up to the ambient temperature until the next day. Tap water is also less recommended, as it is chalky and hard, which plants do not like very much.
Watering cucumbers properly – moisten plants, or not?
Some plants benefit from moistened leaves, but not the cucumber plant. Instead, water them close to the ground and try not to wet other parts of the plant. In this way, on the one hand, you will prevent burns on hot summer days. But more importantly, it prevents diseases and fungi that a lot of moisture would otherwise promote. You can keep the soil moist longer by mulching the plants . This applies only to outdoor cucumbers.
What else to irrigate with to improve harvest?
In addition to lime-free water (rainwater is optimal), stinging nettle liquid manure (or another plant liquid manure) is also wonderfully suitable for supplying the plants not only with moisture, but also with minerals, while at the same time making them more resistant to pest infestation and diseases. Twice during the season is quite enough, with the first application best done when the first fruits are forming.
Watering trick to save time
So now you know that you need to water the cucumber plants regularly and even frequently. But this can be quite time-consuming, without question. So, in our stressful daily lives, is it even worth it to opt for such thirsty vegetable plants? Of course it is! Namely, you can save yourself the daily watering if you use PET bottles that do the job for you.
Fill the bottle with (warm) water and quickly stick it near the root ball of the plant. The water will now slowly run into the soil and water the cucumber plant evenly. Other advantages are that this way you also do not wet the leaves and the water in the bottle always stays nice and warm. However, you should periodically check the water level in the plastic bottles and refill as needed. You can make this easier by cutting open the bottom of the bottle.