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Top dressing of cucumbers with nettles can be carried out both at the time of growth of the vegetative mass, and at the time of the appearance of ovaries, and when the harvest is ripe. This natural fertilizer can be found everywhere - not only in the garden area, but also along the forests - on the edges, in ravines, along natural reservoirs, along the roadsides.
Cucumbers, under which fertilizers are not applied, do not bear fruit as well as we would like. Therefore, summer residents purchase chemical fertilizers in specialized stores, which are already ready for use. But after all, a large amount of natural fertilizers grows near any site, which will not harm the human body and will serve as a good fertilizer for garden plants.
Nettle is a natural food for cucumbers
It should be recalled that not all weeds can be used as organic fertilizers. Some weeds are poisonous by themselves or can release harmful substances by decomposing. And some cereals release alcohol during decomposition. All this is harmful to vegetable plants, harmful substances can accumulate in ripening fruits and harm the human body.
But nettle, which is a medicinal plant, can benefit not only humans, but also growing vegetable crops. Zealous gardeners consider this plant a harmful weed and mercilessly deal with it in the garden and in the garden. But the following active substances were found in the composition of this plant:
- macro and microelements Ca, K, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mg, N;
- vitamins A and C.
True, some livestock and poultry owners use this weed as a vitamin supplement for their animals. But mostly, summer residents simply get rid of nettles on their site. But cucumbers in the process of growth need N and K.
The lack of these minerals leads to a deterioration in the growth of shoots and roots, ovaries are poorly formed in this vegetable crop, and the fruits do not ripen to the required size. And at the same time, the source of such minerals is mercilessly destroyed at the same time.
Top dressing of vegetable crops with nettle infusion saturates the roots and the whole plant with all the necessary nutrients. Nettle infusion will enrich the soil and plants with a large amount of vitamins and minerals, as well as prevent the contamination of vegetables with various diseases, provide protection from "harmful" bugs.
Those from summer residents who tried to use nettle dressing for vegetable crops in their garden began to treat this weed more respectfully. This stinging weed is collected by them wherever possible, dried and used to feed the plants as needed. After all, this medicinal herb retains its valuable properties, both fresh and dried. But a number of gardeners prefer to prepare an infusion of nettle for watering plants, which they use all season.
Nettle infusion for cucumbers
The pungency of the stems of this plant is well known to everyone, so many do not like nettles and prefer to get rid of them whenever possible. However, experienced gardeners use this "disadvantage" of plants for the benefit of their garden.
You can plant cucumbers in rows, and lay a layer of nettles between them. Caterpillars and other harmful insects will not crawl through such a burning barrier. And if you lay the plucked nettle grass directly along the roots of this vegetable crop, then the layer of this mulch will prevent weeds from growing, while protecting the plants from pests. And from the outside it may seem that cucumbers are planted on nettles.
A number of summer residents prepare fertilizer from nettle, crushing it and adding mulch to the layer. This additive enriches the topsoil and prevents the development of erosion.
So, with the question: "Is it possible to fertilize cucumbers with nettles?" all clear. It remains to understand how to prepare nettle fertilizer, and how to feed the cucumbers with this top dressing.
Nettle fertilizer is very simple to prepare. The weed is collected and crushed. For the preparation of the infusion, you can use fresh, dried or dry weeds. The shredded plants are placed in large containers.
The main requirement is that nettle fertilizer is not recommended to be infused in a metal container.
Usually, any plastic containers are used to prepare the infusion, where the crushed raw materials are placed and poured with water. The water should be preliminarily defended within 24 hours.
Then this infusion should be infused in the shade for two weeks. The smell that this natural fertilizer gives off is quite unpleasant, because fermentation takes place in containers. Therefore, such an infusion is usually kept away from the country houses where people live.
From above, the barrels with the preparation being prepared are covered with polyethylene or lids to limit the flow of oxygen inside. When the fermentation process is over, the fertilizer will smell like ordinary manure.
At the end of fermentation, nettle fertilizer can be used for watering cucumbers at the root (or for foliar feeding).
The nettle solution should be diluted with water. The proportions in which the infusion is diluted:
- for application under the roots - in a ratio of 1: 2;
- for cucumbers (their aboveground part) - a ratio of 1: 5.
Peas, beans, soybeans, onions and garlic are not fed with such a fermented solution - these vegetable plants do not like nettle infusion.
With infusion of nettle, feeding of cucumbers is carried out regularly, which leads to an acceleration of the growth of their stems, an increase in the number of ovaries, and a rapid ripening of the crop. Moreover, such fertilizer is valuable even for indoor flowers, which literally two or three days after the introduction of the nettle wash come to life, the foliage becomes more shiny, and the number of buds increases.
You can use nettle ash as a top dressing. In this case, all the mowed nettles are dried and burned. The resulting ash is dissolved in water and the cucumbers are watered. Nettle ash saturates plants with potassium and nitrogen, which is especially valuable for plants in spring and early summer, when they are actively building up their vegetative mass.
Preparing the beds with nettles
This method of preparing beds for cucumbers is especially common in Siberia and the Urals, where the warm season is short, and cucumbers and other vegetable crops need so much warmth (especially in warm beds).
The preparation of the beds on which it will be possible to grow cucumbers in the open field (or in greenhouses) is as follows. First, we prepare the beds themselves - trenches for one and a half bayonets of a shovel are dug along their length and width. To a height of half a bayonet, the trench is filled with nettles, and soil mixed with humus, compost or rotted manure is poured onto the nettle. In the beds prepared in this way we plant cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage - almost any vegetables and greens can be grown on such "warm" beds.