Soil is the foundation for growing cucumbers and other plants. Without healthy garden soil, your cucumbers will not be growing fast and strong, which means you would end up with small cucumbers.
Nutrients are required to promote the health of your cucumber plants and most soils are lacking in some form of those nutrients, making fertilizing cucumbers almost necessary.
Cucumber plants mainly require phosphorus, potassium, and some nitrogen for cucumbers to grow to maturity.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders and need lots of potassium and phosphorous of nitrogen in order to produce the big leaves that cucumber plants need to soak up more solar energy for cucumber plant growth.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Cucumber Fertilizers Work Best for Cucumbers?
- 2 How to Apply Cucumber Fertilizers Properly for the Best Results
- 3 What Types of Fertilizers Are There?
- 4 Q: How Often Should Cucumbers be Fertilized?
What Cucumber Fertilizers Work Best for Cucumbers?
Cucurbits, including cucumbers, need low nitrogen and high potassium and phosphorous fertilizers. Before you choose a fertilizer you do want to get a soil test done to see if your soil is deficient or has too much of a certain nutrient. This will help you better determine which fertilizer is best.
There are cucumber fertilizers that you can apply directly to the cucumber plant, but it is always better for cucumbers to have more readily available nutrients in their soil than to have immediate nutrition. Cucumbers also absorb nutrients from the water they drink, so cucumber fertilizer added to their water will be absorbed very easily
There are many cucumber fertilizers, but the cucumber fertilizers that are best all have one thing in common: they all have a high level of phosphorus and potassium.
Here are some of the best organic fertilizer options on the market.
1. Old Farmer’s Almanac Tomato & Vegetable Fertilizer
- Type: Granular
- Nutrient Ratio: 8-4-8 NPK
This OMRI-listed option has been specially formulated for tomatoes and other vegetables. Considering that tomatoes and cucumbers are both heavy feeders, this is a great option.
- Type: Granular Fertilizer
- Nutrient Ratio: 4-6-3 NPK Ratio
Dr. Earth’s organic fertilizer touts itself as the only Non-GMO fertilizer in the USA and it’s also made in the USA. It contains their specially formulated TruBiotic which has probiotic beneficial mycorrhizae and microbes.
- Type: Granular
- Nutrient Ratio: 2-7-4 Ratio
Jobe’s fertilizer is a fast acting option for getting a more robust harvest of cucumbers. Their specially formulated “Biozome” helps improve soil conditions as well.
- Type: Granular fertilizer
- Nutrient Ratio: 3-4-4 Ratio
Espoma is one of the more popular names in gardening fertilizers and plant food. Their Garden-Tone product was initially designed for professional gardeners but worked so well they began selling it to home gardeners.
How to Apply Cucumber Fertilizers Properly for the Best Results
Most cucumbers should be fertilized during cucumber germination, cucumber seeds, or when you transplant cucumber plants into your cucumber garden bed. Using cucumber fertilizer is helpful because cucumbers
Make sure to follow the instructions on whichever brand you do choose, as you can cause issues and yellowing leaves and fertilizer burn by using too much fertilizer. A little planning can make all the difference.
What Types of Fertilizers Are There?
There are a few methods of applying fertilizer to help your plants grow and get the proper nutrients.
Fertilizer spikes are great for beginner gardeners because they are hard to get wrong and overfertilize.
Granular fertilizer is like little pellets of fertilizer that you can spread around your cucumber plants.
These act the quickest because the plant and soil microbes don’t need to break them down. But they are also fast-releasing, so can be easy to overdo it with these.
These get down to the plant’s roots fast and are great for fertilizing plants.
Spikes are often considered a slow-release fertilizer because they don’t break down as quickly as a liquid fertilizer does.
Q: How Often Should Cucumbers be Fertilized?
A: Cucumbers should be fertilized around cucumber seed planting time, when cucumber seeds germinate, or around the time you transplant cucumbers into their final resting spot.
It's important to get a soil test done before choosing a fertilizer to understand what nutrients your soil is deficient in.
- pH Analysis
- Nutrient Analysis
- Custom recommendations based on your test results