How to Use Manure in Cucumber Farming
Manure is organic matter basically plant and animal wastes used to improve the soil and supply nutrients to plants. Manure is important in cucumber farming.
Manures are known to supply key nutrients to the soil which are invariably taken up by the plants.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders. Cucumber as a crop prefers fertile soil that can supply it with all the nutrients it needs. Manures can supply a lot of nutrients to your cucumber crop.
The nutrients and organic matter supplied by manures to soil feed the bacteria, fungi and other beneficial micro-organism in the soil. The improved microbial activity in the soil can positively impact plants.
Manure is one of the key ingredients used in organic farming.
Types of Manure
The following are some of the types of manures that can be used for the cultivation of cucumbers in Nigeria:
This is a type of manure gotten from animals. Horses, cows, sheep, goats, chicken, rabbits, guano, bats and turkey all produce animal manures.
Beddings used for the rearing of animals like chicken, cow and horses are often mixed with urine and dung to make animal manure.
Chicken manure is widely used for the improvement of soil in the cultivation of cucumbers in Nigeria.
Chicken manure is one of the most potent animal manures in Nigeria. It is rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. It has almost all the nutrients needed for the growing of crops. Chicken manure also contains micronutrients.
The average nutrient content of chicken manure is 3% N; 2.9% P2O5 and 1.5% K2O.
Guano, another type of animal manure has been said to be the best type of animal manure for the growing of vegetables. Guano has a very high content of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Animal manure does not only improve the nutrients in the soil, it also increases the organic matter in the soil.
The organic matter improves the nutrient and water retention ability of the soil.
Compost is the material remaining after the decomposition of plant and food waste. Compost is also a type of manure that can be used for farming especially cucumber farming.
Compost improves the nutrients in the soil. It also improves the activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
Organic sold wastes, animal manure and beddings can be composted.
Green manures are basically crops for the sole purpose of plowing them into the soil in order to improve the fertility of the soil.
Leguminous crops are usually used as green manures because they fix nitrogen in the soil. Nitrogen is one of the most important macro-nutrients needed by plants.
For those rowing cucumbers, soybeans can be planted on the soil and plowed in before they produce beans. This will improve the nitrogen content of the soil and also improve the organic matter of the soil.
Other types of green manures include spent grains like brewery wastes, neem cake and seaweeds etc.
How to use manure in cucumber farming
Poultry manure for example can introduce cutworms to your soil. Cutworms can destroy your cucumber plants when they are young.
Manures should be spread in the sunlight for weeks; they may also be covered so that they will be composted.
Beneficial microbes can also be introduced in manures; the beneficial microbes will kill the harmful microbes and pests in the manure and also speed up composting.
Manures can be spread by tractors and plowed in by tractors too. For small farms, manures can be spread on the soil by hand.
If you want to get a good yield in your cucumber farm, you may want to consider the usage of manures.