Hydrogel is a new class of substances that can hold a large amount of moisture with the nutrients dissolved in it. Over 95% of the accumulated liquid is given to the seedlings. Recently, it has been actively used in agriculture for the cultivation of various plants, in particular, cucumbers in hydrogel are especially popular.
What is hydrogel for?
Cucumbers - a culture that requires constant watering. The moisture-containing mixture is ideal for the root system of the plant at all periods of cultivation. Mineral fertilizers and water accumulated in polymers will be supplied to the sprouts as needed, providing them with recharge. The use of hydrogel for cucumbers helps to reduce up to 20% of irrigation resources.
The drug does not harm the earth and the environment.
- Cucumbers grown in hydrogel are not bitter.
- The volumes of absorbed liquid by hydrogel can be 300 times the weight of the polymers themselves, which indicates its effectiveness.
- Seeds germinate much faster than in ordinary soil.
- Seeds and roots are provided with aeration.
- All useful trace elements are not washed out when watering.
- For 1 liter of soil, only 0.8-1.6 g of hydrogel is consumed.
- Prevention of drying of the topsoil, and, accordingly, its cracking. Due to this, seedlings do not require constant cultivation and hilling.
- Plants in a hydrogel are less sick and do not require frequent attention.
- In case of accidental excess of moisture (frequent watering, during heavy rains and rains), polymers absorb excess liquid, thereby preserving optimal growth conditions for seedlings.
How to use hydrogel during planting
Method number 1
Follow the recommendations
Seeds are lowered into a pre-prepared mass, resembling jelly or a thick gel in appearance. To prepare the material, the contents of the package are poured with water and fertilizers are added if necessary. The resulting mixture is rubbed through a sieve or crushed using a blender.
Next, the prepared hydrogel layer is placed in a container for planting. The thickness should not exceed 3 cm. After that, seeds are laid on top of it. It is not recommended to deepen the seeds of cucumbers: they remain without oxygen, and this negatively affects the growth time.
To provide a microclimate, boxes with planting material are covered with a film. During the day, you must open the film at least once to let in fresh air and remove condensate.
Method number 2
Soil prepared for planting seeds is mixed with hydrogel in a ratio of 3: 1 or 4: 1. The resulting composition is poured into a container for seedlings. Application of this method gives a result no worse than the previous one.
Both dry and swollen polymer material can be mixed with the ground. It should be remembered that polymers increase in size by 250-300 times, therefore, a sufficient amount of space must be left in the hole or container. After the first watering, you need to well press down and compact the soil around the plant so that the acquired volume of the hydrogel does not squeeze the sprouts or seeds out.
Method number 3
These are combined landings. Seedlings grown in a swollen hydrogel are transplanted into a soil hole so that the maximum amount of polymer remains around the roots: this will help the seedlings to take root well, reduce stress and retain the necessary moisture for a long time.
Granules cannot be reused. The material loses its properties: it darkens, wrinkles, bacteria start inside.
Hydrogel for planting cucumbers is an environmentally friendly material. It not only preserves the necessary moisture, accelerates the ascent of seeds and enhances the growth of seedlings, but also has a positive effect on the composition and quality of the soil. Having planted cucumbers with its use and providing careful care throughout the entire growing season, you will be able to harvest a good crop.