RLF Technology Explained

Cucumber is a favourite crop in China, having been introduced over 2,000 years ago.

There are two distinct types, nominated as the South China and North China types. Cucumber has positive characteristics of fast growth with abundant fruit, however on the negative side it has a weak root system with shallow distribution. Most of its roots are distributed in the 20cm topsoil layer. At the same time, the cucumber is fertiliser-loving, but not necessarily fertiliser tolerant. Only by fertilising scientifically and applying balanced nutrient technology can high yield and good quality be achieved.

Like other crops at planting, the cucumber must be supplied with sufficient base fertiliser. But what is the reason for the weak growth even though adequate base fertiliser has been applied?

The reason most often described is not paying attention to root maintenance. In autumn and winter, the greenhouse temperature is low, the root system is poor, and the ability to absorb nutrients is insufficient. Even if sufficient fertiliser is supplied, it will not be effectively utilised.

Therefore, the main way to fertilise at this time of the year is to nourish the roots. Furrow injection with RLF Dynamo High-P at 500 times dilution and Plant Milk High-K at 1500 times dilution can achieve the purpose of promoting healthy roots and the development of the fruits.

The Results of Deficiency Issues

The phenomenon of deformed fruits is often seen in cucumber production. For example, cucumber has a higher potassium requirement, but it is still easy to grow big melons with less potassium.

Some of the deficiency issues are:

insufficient nitrogen and phosphorus, poor light conditions and weak photosynthesis of leaves produce the bending melon

calcium deficiency causes camber shaped melon

boron deficiency forms honeybee melon

insufficient nitrogen and potassium can produce thicktail melon

high soil salinity makes the sharp mouth melon appear

It is due to the lack of certain nutrient elements, or the imbalance between nutrient elements that results in more malformed melons and lower quality.

Therefore, it is necessary to prescribe appropriate medicines and balanced fertilisation in order to effectively prevent the occurrence of malformed fruits.

Cucumbers need a large amount of fertiliser, and all the 16 kinds of essential nutrients are needed for normal growth
and development.

Among them, the absorption of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium is greater, with the absorption amount reaching the peak in the fruiting phase. But, the trace elements such as boron, zinc, iron, manganese, copper and molybdenum are also indispensable. After entering the fruiting stage, the root system has basically formed, flower bud and male and female flower differentiation are basically completed, and it is not easy for the seedlings to grow quickly since there are cucumbers on the vines, so topdressing irrigation should be started. But at this time, the amount of topdressing should not be too large, and the principle of ‘eat less and eat more’ should be mastered.

The Nutrient Application Method

Foliar Spray After entering the fruiting stage, foliar spray with RLF Fruits & Veggies Plus at 500 times dilution every 7-10 days, and with RLF Boron Plus at 1500-2000 times dilution every 15-20 days. For each batch of melons, foliar spray with RLF Calcium Plus at 1500 times dilution and RLF Potassium Boost at 1500 times dilution two or three times.
Furrow Injection Furrow injection with RLF Dynamo High-P at 300-500 times dilution for one or two times to promote the root system development at an interval of 7-10 days. Then furrow injection with RLF Plant Milk High-N and Plant Milk High-K at 200-300 times dilution to achieve the goal of green leaves, neat melons, reduced number of deformed fruits, prolonged harvesting and improved quality.

The range of RLF products used in the better cucumber fertilisation program