Cucumbers are a thirsty plant, especially when they start getting large. They are so thirsty in fact that you may believe that it is impossible to overwater them, but is this true?
Can you overwater cucumbers?
Yes, you can. When growing them in a greenhouse it will be hard to overwater cucumbers, but this does not mean it is impossible.
If the roots of a cucumber plant are constantly sat in standing water they will get damaged. This will, in turn, damage the plant itself.
Yellowing of the leaves is one early sign of overwatering in cucumbers.
How Much Water Do Cucumbers Need?
A lot! Especially when they get large cucumbers are really thirsty plants.
As we do here in the UK, it will be hard to overwater cucumbers when grown in a greenhouse.
This is because of the combination of using pots or grow bags and that soil in a greenhouse can dry out very quickly.
However, this doesn’t mean you can water them constantly. If you ever see standing water then you want to stop watering immediately and don’t water again for at least a couple of days.
The best way to check is to press your finger into the soil, if it is sill damp under the surface then they do not need watering yet.
Always water either in the morning or in the afternoon. Get the soil nice and wet but don’t water them so much that there is any standing water there.
The first telltale sign of overwatered cucumbers is damage to the leaves.
If the leaves of your plant are yellowing or going brown then this could be a sign of overwatering.
The problem with this is that yellowing leaves can be a sign of many things not just overwatering.
The easiest thing to do is to check that there is not any standing water when you water the plants. If you follow this rule and also don’t water the plants when the soil is already wet then you will be just fine.
Bitter fruit can also be a sign of overwatering. When stressed cucumbers can produce bitter-tasting fruit.
This can be from a range of things such as overwatering, underwatering, pests and diseases.
You can find out more about why your cucumbers taste bitter here.
How Do You Save An Overwatered Cucumber?
Cucumbers are resilient plants so you can save them even if they have been overwatered for a while.
Simply allow the soil to dry out and then water them much less going forward. Ensure there is never any standing water when you water the plants and also never water them when the soil is already wet.
If you are growing the cucumbers outside then this is obviously trickier.
You can add compost around the base of the plant to work as a mulch and help drainage. If you are having an overwatering problem with outdoor cucumbers then what you really have is a drainage problem.
This cant be fixed until the next growing season. To fix poor drainage in the soil you can add compost to clumpy, clay soils to improve drainage.
For really bad soils you can also add sand to the soil to really help the water drain away.