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Pioneering the Future

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Greenhouses/Open field

Fertilization of cucumber in various growing methods

Either grown in open field, greenhouse or tunnel, Haifa's fertilizers supply all the required nutrients in order to improve yield and marketabilitz

 

1. Open-field

 

Plant density of 30,000 – 40,000 / ha.
Expected yield of 25 – 35 Ton / ha

I. Pre-plant Application

Nutrient demand (kg/ha)

Recommended fertilizers (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

SO3

Ammonium sulfate*

Single Superphosphate**

Potassium sulfate

150

160

300

65

225

750

800

600

 

*Other nitrogen sources can also be used, with the necessary revisions, but AS also supplies the S.
** Other phosphorus sources can also be used, with the necessary revisions, but SSP also supplies the Ca.

 

II. Side Dressing

Month after sowing

Growth stage

Nutrient demand (kg/ha/month)

Recommended fertilizers (kg/ha/month)

N

P2O5

K2O

Multi-K

Haifa MAP

AN

1st Vegetative development

30

30

20

45

50

55

2nd Flowering – fruit-set

60

30

90

195

50

85

3rd to end Fruit develop. & harvest

60

30

90

195

50

85

Total

150

90

200

435

150

225

Haifa MAP = Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (12-61-0).
AN = Ammonium nitrate (33.5-0-0).

 

II. Fertigation*

Month after sowing

Growth stage

Nutrient demand (kg/ha/day)

Recommended fertilizers (kg/ha/day)

N

P2O5

K2O

Multi-K

Haifa MAP

AN

1st Vegetative development

1.0

1.0

0.7

1.4

1.6

1.8

2nd Flowering – fruit-set

2.0

1.0

3.0

6.5

1.6

3.0

3rd to the end Fruit develop. & harvest

2.0

1.0

3.0

6.5

1.6

3.0

Total

150

90

200

435

150

225

Haifa MAP = Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (12-61-0)
AN = Ammonium nitrate (33.5-0-0)
* The fertilizers should be applied every 1 – 2 irrigation cycles.

 

2. Greenhouse or Tunnel, growth in soil

Plant density of 18,000 – 24,000 / ha.
Expected yield of 120 – 150 Ton / ha.

Total nutrient requirements (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

200 - 240

130 - 150

300 - 350

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-plant Application

Nutrient demand (kg/ha)

Recommended fertilizers (kg/ha)

N

P2O5

K2O

Ammonium sulfate*

Triple Superphosphate**

SOP

21

80 - 100

80 - 100

100

175 - 220

160 - 200

*Other nitrogen sources, such as AN or urea can also be used, with the necessary revisions.
 
** Other phosphorus sources, such as DAP or SSP can also be used, with the necessary revisions.

Fertigation or Side Dressing

Growth stage

Nutrient demand (kg/ha/day)

Recommended fertilizers (kg/ha/day)

N

P2O5

K2O

AN

Haifa MAP

Multi-K

Establishment

1.0

1.0

1.0

1.5

1.6

2.2

Vegetative -Flowering

2.0

1.0

2.0

2.2

1.6

4.5

Flowering - fruitset

2.5

1.0

3.5

4.0

1.6

8.0

Fruitset - harvest

3.5

-

4.5

6.5

1.6

10

 
Haifa MAP = Mono-Ammonium Phosphate (12-61-0)
AN = Ammonium nitrate (33.5 – 0 - 0

Secondary nutrients

 

Magnesium
Magnesium should be applied throughout the growing season, and adjusted according to the concentration in the soil and irrigation water.
Total required rate = 0.4 – 0.6 Kg/ha/day (MgO) preferably as magnesium nitrate (Magnisal).
Proportional rate = 20 – 40 (MgO) g/m3 preferably as magnesium nitrate (Magnisal).

 

Calcium
Calcium should be applied from fruit set until the end of harvest. Dosage should be adjusted according to the concentration in the soil and irrigation water.
Total required rate = 2 – 4 Kg/ha/day (CaO)
Proportional rate = 80 – 120 (CaO) g/m3

 

 
When proportional fertigation setup is available 
Nutrients should be applied at the following rates during the indicated physiological stages.

Physiological stage

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Establishment Ratio

1

0.7

1.3

1.3

0.8

Rate (mg/liter = ppm)

60 - 80

44 - 55

70 - 110

84 - 100

50 - 66

 Flowering and production Ratio

1

0.4

1.5

0.65

0.3

Rate (mg/liter = ppm)

180 - 220

75 - 95

280 - 320

110 - 140

50 - 66

 
Micronutrients should be maintained at the following levels (ppm) in the nutrition solution throughout the growth period:

Fe

Mn

Zn

Cu

B

Mo

1 - 1.5

0.5 - 0.8

0.1 - 0.3

0.05 - 0.1

0.3

0.05

 

For the fertigated solution EC should not exceed 2.2 dS/m and pH should be maintained at 5.5 – 6.5.

 

3. Greenhouse or tunnel, growth in soilless culture

Special consideration for practicing of fertigation in soilless grown cucumbers

Cucumbers can be grown in greenhouses in a number of soilless media such as perlite, rockwool, peat, etc. When growing cucumbers in soilless media special care must be taken in monitoring the nutrients that the crop receives. The following factors should be taken into account: (Avidan, 1998)

  • pH. The pH in the nutrient solution should be maintained at a level of 6.0 – 6.5. The pH can be lowered by the use of acids. Adjustment of pH levels can be accomplished by slight changes in the nitrate/ammonium ratio in the nutrient solution.
  • Electrical Conductivity (EC). The difference between the EC of the nutrient solution and the drain water should not exceed 0.4-0.5 dS/m (depending on the properties of the water supply).
  • Nitrate (NO3-).  The level of nitrate in the drain water should be 500 –600 ppm depending on the nitrate level, which changes according to the growing season.
  • Nitrate/ Ammonium ratio should not be lower than 5 : 1.
  • Nitrite (NO2-).  The level of nitrite should be zero, because its presence in the growth medium impairs roots functioning and causes browning.

In addition, it should be borne in mind that a high level of either ammonia or ammonium interferes with the ability of the roots to absorb K (Schenk and Wehrmann, 1979).

Growth stage

Nutrient requirements
(g/m3 = ppm)

Recommended fertilizers (g/m3 = ppm)

N

P2O5

K2O

CaO

MgO

Multi-K

MAP

AN

CN

Mg. * sulfate

Establishment - flowering

180 

90

180

100

40

400

150

160

380

120

Flowering Fruit-set Production

240

90

170

200

80

800

150

-

760

240

*This source of magnesium was selected to provide the sulfate to the medium.
 

Parameter

Nutrient solution

Root environment

EC (dS/m)

<2.2

<3.0

pH

5.5 - 6.5

 
Micronutrients should be maintained at the following levels (ppm) throughout the growth period:
 

Fe

Mn

Zn

Cu

B

Mo

0.9

0.55

0.32

0.05

0.25

0.05

A complete guide for the nutrition of cucumbers in greenhouses on rockwool is given in the end of this recommendation.

 

4. Foliar sprays

 

Nutritive Foliar Application
Multi-K at concentrations of 1.5%-2.0% in water were found to be the most effective nutritive solution for boosting vegetative and production response of the plants. However, the safe concentration should be determined by spraying the solution onto a small area a few days prior to the actual treatment to assess whether there may be any adverse effects.
 

Nutrition database for cucumber

 
 

concentration

 

Rockwool

Rockwool (reuse drainage)

Plant – dry matter (7-8%)

Parameter

Nutrient Solution

Root Environ.

Nutrient Solution

Root Environ.

Guiding Range

Deficient

Excessive
EC (mS/cm)

2.2

3.0

1.7

3.0

     
 

(mg/l)

(mg/l)

(%)

NH4

22.5

< 9.0

18.0

< 9.0

     
N-NH4

17.3

< 6.9

13.8

< 6.9

     
K in sap        

0.59 –0.63

< 0.18  
K

312.8

312.8

254.2

312.8

3.13 – 3.91

< 2.35  
Ca

160.4

260.7

110.3

260.7

2.41-3.21

< 1.20  
Mg

60.8

103.3

36.5

103.3

0.24-0.49

< 0.24

 
N, total        

4.20 – 5.60

   
NO3

992.0

1116.0

728.5

1116.0

1.86    
N-NO3

223.9

251.9

164.4

251.9

0.42    
S, total        

0.32

   
SO4

132.1

336.4

96.1

336.4

     
P        

0.62 – 0.93

< 0.47  
H2PO4

121.3

87.3

121.3

87.3

     
Si 21.1 16.9 21.1 16.9      
Na         0.06 – 0.07    
         

mg/Kg (ppm)

Fe

0.838

0.838

0.838

1.396

83.8 – 111.7

   
Mn

0.549

0.385

0.549

0.385

54.9-164.8

  > 549.3*
Zn

0.327

0.458

0.327

0.458

49.0 – 143.8

< 26.1

 

B

0.270

0.054

0.270

0.540

54.0 – 75.6

< 43.2 > 108.0
Cu

0.048

0.095

0.048

0.095

10.2 < 8.9**  
Mo

0.048

-

0.048

-

0.96 – 9.59 < 0.29  

 

* in old leaves
**  in young leaves; in old leaves deficient at Cu < 5.08 mg/Kg DM

Important note: The a/m database was prepared to fit Dutch conditions (low transpiration and low EC of the water). Some modifications may be required to correspond to your local conditions.

 

 

sources: N. Straver. Nutrient solutions for vegetables and flowers grown in water or substrates.  10th Ed. 1994.
C. de Kreij, Sonneveld C., Warmenhoven M.G. and Straver N.A. Guide values for nutrient element contents of vegetables and flowers under glass. 3rd Ed. 1992

Macro elements removed by 1 ton marketable product

 

N

P

K

Ca

Mg

S

---------------------------------------------------Kg / ton-----------------------------------------

4.0

1.0

6.0

1.0

1.3

1.0

 
Source: Kinoch: VOLHOUBARE LANDBOU, RSA. Processed by Frans Lourens, Haifa, RSA May, 1999.

Cucumbers – Mineral analysis values

 

 

 

In leaves

Nutrient

Average value

Critical level

 

(%)

N

2.90

 

S

0.30

 

P

0.52

 

K

2.90

 

Mg

0.54

 

Ca

2.20

 

Na

0.08

 
 

(ppm)

Fe

140

 

Al

90

 

Mn

115

 

B

45

 

Cu

16

 

Zn

35

 

Mo