After tomatoes, cucumbers are perhaps the second most popular vegetable, not only enjoyed by many, but also grown by more and more people. Cucumbers, which belong to the gourd family, are easy to grow and can be used in a variety of ways, which is why many people start growing them. Crunchy, slightly sweet and juicy cucumbers are a real refreshment on hot summer days, eaten alone or in salads and dips.
However, in many cases, the abundant harvest may not happen, and the leaves of the plant turn yellow prematurely and even fall off. These signs indicate a lack of nutrients, which can prevent us from having a healthy plant that produces lots of fruit.
The problem can be easily remedied with Epsom salt – just this one ingredient will help save your plants and also contribute to rewarding you with a rich harvest.
First of all, it is important to clarify in which cases it is recommended to use Epsom salt in growing cucumbers
1. If the leaves of the plant turn yellow
In the summer, excessive heat and scorching sun can also cause such symptoms, but yellowing in the middle of the growing season and the accompanying decrease in yield indicate that it is time to intervene. These are warning signs of magnesium-deficient soil, which you can easily remedy with Epsom salt.
2. If the growth of fruits is too slow
Epsom salt consists of a compound called magnesium sulfate, which cucumbers need in abundance in order to develop properly. If the plant gets less than necessary magnesium and sulfur, the stem will be weak and stunted, and the fruit will be poor both in quality and quantity.
3. If you want to boost the soil
Where there are frequent rains, which soak the soil and plants, there is a risk of nutrient deficiency. Magnesium is an essential element in photosynthesis, which gives the leaves of plants a brilliant green color. Without magnesium, chlorophyll cannot capture enough solar energy for the photosynthesis process. If there is little magnesium in the soil, this process stalls and then stops.
Sulfur is at least as important, as it also helps the formation of chlorophyll and participates in the provision of additional functions of the plant. Both compounds can be successfully replaced with Epsom salt, which can be used to prevent diseases in the garden.
As beneficial as this compound is to the soil and plants, moderation is key in this case, too. If we dose it correctly, we will have beautiful seedlings and an abundant harvest, but if we overdo it, we can even cause the destruction of our vegetable garden. In large amounts, Epsom salt can increase soil toxicity, which is dangerous for plants. As a result, the leaves can begin to wither from the damage caused by the salt, and even our plants can even die completely.
If you don’t want to risk harming your plants, you should first try using compost to support your seedlings. However, in the event that you cannot afford to buy compost or you haven’t managed to generate enough, then Epsom salt can come in handy. But it’s important to remember: this is just an alternative to help your plants. Under no circumstances should it be used as a regular treatment!
Watch your seedlings and act only if you notice clear signs of nutrient deficiency. If all the leaves of the cucumber plants start to turn yellow, this indicates a lack of sulfur. If the leaves at the base of the plant begin to turn yellow between the veins (the veins remain green), this is a sign of magnesium deficiency, which Epsom salt is an excellent remedy for.
There are several methods and techniques for using Epsom salt on cucumber plants:
1. Irrigation with Epsom salt solution
The most popular way to use Epsom salt is to mix it with water and use it once every 3-4 weeks when watering. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to 4 liters of water and stir until the crystals are completely dissolved. If the problem persists, you should have a soil test performed to assess the exact cause of the problem.
2. Epsom salt foliar spray
Another way to feed cucumbers is to introduce organic matter into the plant through its leaves. This method is useful for boosting plant growth, but it cannot replace regular daily watering. This solution only helps in the case of magnesium or sulfur deficiency, otherwise it can harm the plants! For this type of solution, mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 4 liters of water and pour into a spray bottle. Shake and stir the liquid until all the salt is dissolved and ready to use.
3. Epsom salt added directly on the base of the cucumbers
This method is less common than the first two, but it is much simpler. All you have to do is sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt around the base of your plants in the middle of the growing season to give them an extra boost to produce. It is important to use it only once per season, otherwise you can harm your plants.
4. When planting in holes
Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom salt into the planting holes, then mix with the soil before placing the seedlings in the hole.
It is important to use the compound only when you are sure that your soil is not full of organic substances and nutrients that your plants need! If you know that you have healthy soil that you have enriched with compost or animal manure, do not apply Epsom salt until the cucumbers show signs of deficiency.
Telltale signs of salt damage:
If the leaves of the plant begin to wither or turn yellow and white spots appear on them, Epsom salt was overdosed when watering. In this case, you must act immediately. Wash the leaves thoroughly with clean water and remove the lower leaves so that they do not come into contact with the soil. After that, keep an eye on your plants and avoid using Epsom salt.
Remember: don’t reach for Epsom in order to have a record cucumber harvest. Always use only as much as to give your plants the amount of nutrients they need for normal development.