Cucumber Plant Damage: Tips On Protecting Cucumber Plants In The Garden

Cucumber Plant Damage: Tips On Protecting Cucumber Plants In The Garden


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Healthy cucumber plants will provide the gardener with a bountiful harvest of the delicious, crisp fruit, sometimes too bountiful. Unfortunately, there are plenty of insect pests that might get to the cucumbers before you do or transmit diseases, rendering plants unable to produce. It isn’t just insects that cause cucumber plant damage, however. Read on to find out how to protect cucumber plants and about keeping cucumbers protected from predatory insects.

Protecting Cucumbers from Cold

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are tender annuals that thrive in warm temperatures of between 65-75 degrees F. (18-23 C.). Even prolonged exposure to temperatures below 55 degrees F. (13 C.) can cause decay, pitting and water soaked areas on fruit. Sudden cold snaps can cause cucumber plant damage on leaves, stems, and fruit or even kill the plants. Frost damage is seen as shriveled, dark brown to black foliage.

While global warming has been increasing temperatures around the world, it also makes for unpredictable weather such as sudden cold snaps. So, it’s important to have a plan and take steps to protect cucumber plants and other warm season annuals at the risk of sudden frost, thereby avoiding damage to cucumbers.

First off, grow cucumbers in sheltered areas of the garden. Avoid open, exposed sites or low spots in the garden where cold air will collect. Grow the fruit along fences, boulders, or shrubs to provide them with some protection from the cold. If a sudden cold snap is forecast, cover the cucumbers.

The plants can be covered with whatever you have on hand, old bed sheets, plastic, newspaper, or other light material. Push some sturdy sticks into the ground around the plants to support the covering and weigh down the corners with stones. You can also use wire (extra wire coat hangers will work) to form a curved arch upon which to lay the covering. Tie the ends of the covering to sticks pushed into the ground. Remember to open the row cover daily to allow condensation to evaporate. Close them again by mid-afternoon to trap heat overnight.

Temperatures inside a row cover will be from 6-20 degrees warmer than outside and soil temps 4-8 degrees warmer down to 3 inches (7.5 cm.) deep.

In lieu of covering the cucumbers with row covers, there are other methods for keeping cucumbers protected from cold. Use a shingle or other broad board stuck into the ground on the windward side of each plant to protect them from cold winds. Place a plastic milk container, bottom cut out, over each plant; large aluminum cans will also work.

How to Protect Cucumber Plants from Pests

There are many insect pests that are more than happy to sample your cucumbers. Some of them even introduce disease into the cucumber patch. Cucumber beetles are guilty of introducing bacterial wilt. They carry the disease in their bodies and it overwinters with them as they hibernate in vegetation left in the garden.

Avoiding damage to cucumbers due to cucumber beetles and the resulting bacterial wilt requires a two part approach. Be sure to clean up detritus, including weeds, in the garden at the end of the growing season to avoid leaving any hidey holes for the beetles to hibernate and overwinter in. Then in the spring after planting, cover the cukes with a light weight floating row cover. Remember to remove the cover after the plants begin to flower so they can be pollinated.

Aphids will also get at cucumbers, actually aphids seem to get at everything. They reproduce rapidly and colonies of them are difficult to control. At the first sign of aphids, treat the plant with an insecticidal soap. Other ideas to combat aphids are planting in an aluminum foil covered bed, and filling yellow pans with water, which will entice the aphids and drown them. Encourage beneficial insects that prey on aphids by planting flowers nearby that attract them. Aphids and leafhoppers also introduce mosaic virus into the garden.

Leafhoppers suck the juice form the leaves and stems of cucumbers. Here again is a situation where the use of row covers can mitigate infestation. Also, spray with insecticidal soap.

Leaf miner larvae tunnel through leaves. Use floating row covers and destroy any infected leaves. Cutworms are another hazard to cucumbers. They chew on stems, roots and leaves. Cutworms live under the surface of the soil so protect the plants by placing a 3-inch (7.5 cm.) paper collar around the stem of the plant or use saved canned food containers with the top and bottom cut out. Also, keep the garden free from weeds and sprinkle wood ash around the base of the plants.

Spider mites also love cucumbers. Spray them with water or insecticidal soap or rotenone. Encourage beneficial predators, such as ladybugs and lacewings. Whiteflies can also be found congregating on the underside of the cucumber leaves. Again, beneficial insects should be encouraged. Also, remove infested leaves.

Other types of insects enjoy munching on cucumbers. Where they can be seen, hand pick them and dump them in a bucket of soapy water. Snails and slugs will snack on cucumbers, especially young plants. Hand pick them as above or if that’s too disgusting for you, bait some traps. Pour some beer into a low bowl and place a few around the plants. The slugs will be enticed by the beer and crawl in and drown. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the plants will thwart these pests as well.


Caring for Cukes: All about Cucumber Worms

Simply put, once worms find your cucumber patch, your crop can go from bumper to bust in nearly no time. Your best chance of defeating these cuke-devouring caterpillars comes with smart preventive measures.

  • Intro
  • Pickleworms and Melonworms
  • Feeding Damage
  • Pickleworm Caterpillars
  • Melonworms
  • Completing the Cycle
  • Cucumber Worm Control
  • Early Planting
  • Cleanliness in the Cuke Patch
  • Protecting Your Cukes with Row Covers
  • Handpicking
  • Pickleworms and Melonworms

    At barely 1 inch across, pickleworm and melonworm moths would be hard to spot in broad daylight. But the heat-loving insects visit at night to deposit microscopic yellow eggs on on your cuke plants. In about four days, spotted white picklemoth or colorless melonmoth caterpillars emerge. As the pests feed and mature, their color deepens to yellowish-green.

    Feeding Damage

    Pickleworm Caterpillars

    Pickleworms start feeding on your cucumbers by tunneling into the flowers, often eating enough to seriously decrease your harvest. They bore into the fruit next, hollowing out the core and leaving mounds of soft, cloudy-white white excrement in their wake. Pickleworms typically target fruit before the rind has hardened.

    Melonworms

    Melonworms favor cucumber leaves over fruit and devour them down to the veins. They attack fruit only when their leaf supply is exhausted. The caterpillars usually feed on cucumber rinds and only rarely bore into the flesh. Even so, the defoliation they cause can severely reduce your harvest.

    Completing the Cycle

    After feeding, the caterpillars pupate inside leaf folds. Pickleworms cover themselves with leaf debris while melonworms spin white cocoons. They emerge to lay eggs as iridescent, brown and yellow pickleworm or black and white melonworm moths. The cycle repeats up to four times a year, but only caterpillars in subtropical climates make it through the winter.

    Cucumber Worm Control

    Cucumber worm control is a season-long effort, beginning before the first moths arrive in spring. The good news is that, with the right control techniques, you’ll also discourage several other cucumber pests without harmful chemicals. They include:

    • Planting as early as possible
    • Keeping a clean cucumber patch
    • Protecting your cukes with row covers
    • Handpicking

    Early Planting

    The earliest time to plant cucumbers safely is when the soil temperature reaches 65°F (18.3°C). Unless you live in an area where the caterpillars survive the winter, get your cukes into the ground as soon as that happens. Early ripening crops seldom have serious worm damage.

    Expert gardener’s tips:

    • For an extra edge in the worm battle, choose early ripening varieties such as ‘Cool Breeze” or ‘Diamant.’ Both are ready to pick in about six weeks.
    • Rely on a soil thermometer to gauge your soil temp. Look for one at your garden supply store and insert it into the soil twice a day for several days. When the two daily readings average above 65°F (18.3°C) for several days in a row, the soil is ready for planting.

    Cleanliness in the Cuke Patch

    If you’re in a warm-winter climate, late-season caterpillars infesting your cukes might survive the winter. To protect your next season’s crop, remove and destroy the current one after harvesting what you can. Also, remove any nearby weeds that might be harboring the pests.

    Protecting Your Cukes with Row Covers

    To keep pickleworms and melonworms moths off your crop, drape your cucumber bed with a fabric row cover immediately after planting. The seedlings lift the nearly weightless cover as they grow and the porous fabric allows sun, air and rain in while keeping pests out. Anchor the cover in place with rocks or soil so crawling pests cant sneak under it.

    Expert gardener’s tip: Once the plants begin to flower, lift the cover during the day so bees can pollinate the plants. Replace it before sunset, when the moths become active.

    Handpicking

    A pair of tweezers and a bowl of soapy water make quick work of any stray worms you find on your cuke flowers, vines and leaves.


    Main diseases

    The cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) has a large spread, being known for affecting zucchini, pumpkin, tomato, eggplant, and other spontaneous plant species. It manifests on the leaves of the plant through the appearance of symptoms of a weak mosaic, which evolves in parallel burns on tissues, and subsequently leads to their wilting. Attacked plants produce small, deformed fruits, showing mosaic stains themselves. The virus is transmitted from plant to plant through the species of Cuscuta (a parasitic plant), infected seeds and aphids.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • crop hygiene
    • destruction of weeds in the crop
    • applying insecticides to control the aphids’ population
    • the use of healthy seed
    • the use of resistant varieties.

    Bacteriosis:

    Angular leaf spot of cucumber is produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. lachrymans . The attack is manifested on all aerial organs of plants (cotyledons, leaves, flowers and fruits). Small, damp, brown spots and irregular circular shapes appear from the beginning of the vegetation. Subsequently, these spots are browning, and the tissues die and fall apart. On the fruit, the attack produces small, circular spots, deep in the tissue, with a wet look and with a whitish central area. Instead of these spots, the tissue is filled with bacterial fluid in wet weather and cracks in dry weather. The disease is favoured by high humidity (over 90%) and temperatures between 18-28°C. The disease is transmitted through infected seeds by vectors such as wind, irrigation, rain, people or agricultural tools.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • seed treatment before sowing
    • cultural hygiene
    • avoid sprinkler irrigation
    • chemical treatments with Funguran OH 50 WP, Dithane M45, Champ 77 WG, Zeama Bordeleza, Melody Compact 49 WG.

    The bacterial wilt of cucurbits is produced by Erwinia tracheiphila bacteria. In attacked plants, the leaves wither and fall down as an umbrella. Later, the stem and the plant dry as well. This wilt symptom is due to the fact that the bacterium blocks the plant’s vascular tissue. Following the separation of the roots and stems, a white-grey bacterial fluid flows out of the vascular tissue. The bacterium does not resist more than a few weeks on the plant debris, but it is transmitted by the striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittata) and the spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). The bacterium lasts for a long time in the intestines of these insect species.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • insecticide treatments for destroying insects that contribute to the spread of the disease Product examples: Decis Mega 50 EW, Calypso 480 SC, Kaiso Sorbie 5 WG, Faster 10 CE.

    Powdery mildew on cucurbits is produced by the fungus Sphaerotheca fuliginea. It is a ubiquitous disease in cultures of cucumbers, melons, courgettes and other cucurbits, and it appears in greenhouses and solariums causing significant damage to the crops. The disease is manifested through the appearance of large, white pastels on the leaves of the plants. The white pastels eventually become crisp once the formation of the fungus fructifications appear. The leaves that are completely covered by the fungus become brown, dry up and fall. The appearance of the fungus is favoured by temperatures above 24°C and dry weather.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • chemical treatments with Topas 100 EC, Kumulus DF, Ortiva 250 SC, Thiovit Jet 80 WG, Systhane Plus 24 E.

    Downy mildew on cucurbits produced by the fungus Pseudoperonospora cubensis. It is the most important disease of cucurbits, causing significant damage both in field crops and those from protected areas. The disease manifests itself through the appearance of yellow-greenish spots on the upper part of the leaves, which later become yellow and finally brown. On the underside of the leaves, near the spots, a purple-grey fluff appears, caused by fungus fructification. After the attack, the leaves dry and fall, and the fruit remains small. The occurrence of infection is favoured by the presence of drops of water on the leaves and temperatures between 10°-30°C.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • avoid sprinkler irrigation
    • cultivation of resistant varieties
    • chemical treatments with Aliette 80 WG, Verita, Ridomil Gold MZ 68 WG, Antracol 70 WP.

    Fusarium wilt of cucumber is produced by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum. It is a vascular disease, the first sign of its presence being the yellowing of the leaves and their wilting, after which the disease gradually progresses to the top of the plant. On the stem, browning of the vascular tissue can be observed, as this fungus develops. Temperatures between 28 ºC -32ºC, soil pH between 5-5.6, high humidity and low potassium levels are all factors that favour the occurrence and development of this disease. If the temperatures are below 20°C and above 34°C, the disease does not occur.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • disinfecting the seed substrate and treating seeds before sowing. For more information on methods
    • soil disinfection and seed treatment click here
    • rational fertilization
    • chemical treatments during the growing season with Topsin 500 SC or Topsin 70 WDG. Prepare a solution of 0.05 – 0.1% (5 or 10 g per 10 litres of water) and spray each plant with 0.5 l (of the solution).

    The grey mold on cucumber is produced by the Botrytis cinerea fungus. The attack occurs in greenhouses, solariums and in years with abundant rainfall in the field. The most common symptom is sudden wilting of succulent tissues (strains, fruits). On the fruit, the attack is manifested by the appearance of deep, damp, brown spots of irregular shapes and sizes. The attack is favoured by high humidity (over 95% for several days in a row), lack of ventilation, persistent nebulosity, fertilisation and excessive watering.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • rational fertilization
    • chemical treatments during vegetation with Rovral 500 SC, Folpan 80 WDG, Teldor 500 SC, Switch 62.5 WG.

    Anthracnose of the bark is produced by Colletotrichum lagenarium. The disease is manifested on all airborne organs, under high atmospheric humidity conditions and temperatures of 25°C. On the leaves and stems of the plant appear oily, brown stains appear. The affected tissues sink in. Large, circular, brown spots appear on the fruit, and over time, stains get covered by a pink mold. Other pathogens can be applied to these lesions, worsening the health of the plant.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • use of treated and disinfected seeds. For more information about seed treatment methods click here
    • harvesting and destruction of plant remains after harvesting
    • chemical treatments during the vegetation period with Dithane M45, Merpan 50 WP, Captan 80 WDG, Melody Compact 48 WG, Champ 77WG.

    The damping off and falling of seedlings, produced by Pythium debaryanum. It is a very important disease of the seedlings, as it gravely affects the plant from an early stage. It manifests from the stage of germination and rising, up to the stage of 2-3 true leaves. In the event of an attack, the strain tissues at the soil level become black, watery and decompose. The occurrence of the disease is favoured by temperatures between 18°C -30°C and humidity above 90%.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • affected plant elimination from the crop and soil disinfection in the respective region
    • substrate disinfection and seed treatment before sowing. For information on seed and soil disinfection click here
    • avoiding excessive watering
    • vegetation treatments with Previcur Energy, Merpan 50 WP, Captan 80 WDG, Folpan 80 WDG.

    Verticillium wilt produced by the Verticilium dahliae fungus. This disease causes a slow withering, accompanied by yellowing and burning of the leaves. Eventually, the entire plant is destroyed. Depending on the degree of the attack on the plant, small, brown leaves gradually dry out. The conductive vessels are blocked by the fungus mycelium. The fungus lives in the soil, and when environmental conditions allow, it grows and attacks the plants.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • correct rotation of the crops
    • disinfection of soil and seeds. For information on the methods of soil and seed disinfection click here
    • chemical treatments during the growing season with Topsin 500 SC or Topsin 70 WDG. Prepare a solution of 0.05 – 0.1% (5 or 10 g per 10 litres of water) and spray each plant with 0.5 l (of the solution)

    Scab of cucurbits produced by Cladosporium cucumerinum. The disease can be present beginning with the appearance of the cotyledons. The attack is seen as angular, green, then grey spots on the leaves. The spots are bordered by a yellow ring. The attacked tissues then become brown, dry and detach from the plant. On the fruit grey spots appear, which then sink. The occurrence of the disease is favoured by high humidity and low temperatures (18-25°C).

    Prevention and control measures:

    • cultural hygiene
    • disinfecting the seed substrate and treating seeds before sowing. For more information on soil disinfection methods and seed treatment click here.
    • rational fertilization
    • cultivation of resistant varieties
    • chemical treatments with Bravo 500 SC, Dithane M45, Topsin 500 SC.

    Alternaria leaf blight of cucurbits produced by Alternaria cucumerina. It is a disease commonly found on plants of the Cucurbitaceae family (cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, etc.). On the infected leaves, small spots of decolouring appear, which can then unite. Stains are surrounded by a yellow border, and on the surface of the spots concentric areas appear, which represent the fructification of the fungus. The fungus withstands on vegetal debris on the surface of the soil and on spontaneous cucurbits.

    Prevention and control measures:

    • correct rotation of crops
    • harvesting and destruction of plant remains after harvesting
    • weed control
    • seed treatment before sowing. For more information about seed disinfection methods click here
    • chemical treatments with: Dithane M45, Score 250 EC, Bravo 500 SC, Antracol 70 WP


    Choose The Right Cucumber Varieties

    One way to help protect your cucumber plants from cold is to choose the right varieties in the first place. Based on where you live, the USDA plant hardiness zone map will tell you what zone you are in.

    In general, the lower the zone number, the harder it will be to grow warm-weather crops such as cucumbers. If you live in a colder region, consider cold tolerant or fast-maturing cucumber varieties to help even the odds in your favor.

    Cold Tolerant Cucumber Varieties

    I did a little research to find some cold-tolerant cucumber varieties that can grow well in cooler climates. Here are a few examples:

    • Socrates – the Socrates cucumber matures in 52 days and is tolerant of cooler temperatures. The fruit is 7 to 8 inches long, with dark green skin and no seeds. This variety is Parthenocarpic, meaning it sets fruit with no pollination. It is also resistant to powdery mildew. You can find Socrates cucumbers from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
    • Corinto – the Corinto cucumber is an F1 Hybrid variety, maturing in 48 days and more cold tolerant than your average cucumber plant. The fruit comes early, is 7 to 8 inches long, and has dark green skin. It is resistant to multiple cucumber diseases, including powdery mildew. You can find Corinto cucumbers from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
    • Wisconsin – the Wisconsin cucumber is a pickling cucumber, maturing in 65 days and bred to produce in the colder northern regions. It is resistant to multiple cucumber diseases, including cucumber mosaic virus. You can find Wisconsin cucumbers from West Coast Seeds.

    Fast Maturing Cucumber Plants

    Even if you are worried about a short growing season in your region, you can still get a good cucumber harvest, provided that you grow them fast enough. There are several fast-maturing cucumber varieties to choose from – here are just a few.

    • Bushy – the Bushy cucumber is a Russian bush variety, maturing in 46 to 49 days. The vines are 3 to 5 feet long, and the fruit is good for making pickles. You can find Bushy cucumbers from Seed Savers Exchange.
    • Russian – the Russian cucumber is an heirloom from Russia, maturing in 50 days. The medium-green fruit is 6 to 8 inches long, and good for pickling. You can find Russian Cucumbers from Seed Savers Exchange.
    • Amour – the Amour cucumber is a pickling variety, maturing in 47 days. The dark green fruit is 4 to 5 inches long. This variety is Parthenocarpic, meaning it can produce fruit without pollination. It is resistant to multiple cucumber diseases, including powdery mildew. You can find Amour cucumbers from William Dam Seeds.


    Growing and Caring for Cucumbers

    Once you’ve found a good spot and know that it’s the best time for planting, you need to know how to grow and care for them. This way, you’ll have good quality varieties for snacks, salads, or to make juice and smoothies. It’s likely you’ll have some to give away to neighbors.

    Best Way to Grow Cucumbers

    The best way to grow them depends on the variety you choose.

    Vine Cucumbers

    If you have the time and inclination, it’s generally thought that the best way to grow vine cucumbers is on a trellis. Not only will building a trellis save you a lot of space, but it’ll also offer the fruit better protection from ground pests.

    Trellis Tips

    You can build a cucumber trellis by creating a rectangular wooden frame and covering it with chicken wire. Staple the chicken wire in place, or you can use U-shaped nails.

    Next, construct an A-shaped frame out of bamboo to support the cucumber trellis.

    The trellis will lay at a slight angle, which gives you a great shady spot to grow lettuce or other cooler weather crops.

    Ground Tips

    If you’re not growing with a trellis, then it’s essential to spread mulch on top of the soil. Wait until the ground has been warmed from the sun and then throw down some organic mulch, such as pine or wheat straw.

    Doing so will help to protect the fruit from slugs and cucumber beetles. The mulch will make it more difficult for them to move around and munch on all of your hard work.

    In addition, it will help keep soil temperatures at a consistent temperature.

    Bush Cucumbers

    You can grow bush cucumbers in pots, in garden beds, or in the ground, depending on your preference.

    Potting Tips

    If you’re planting your bush cucumbers in a pot, it’s best to use a terracotta pot since it helps the soil retain moisture and won’t be as hot as a plastic container. Soil moisture is important. You can add light mulch to help.

    If they will be exposed to sweltering, dry summers, keep them shaded during the afternoon sun. Growing cucumbers in small pots enables you to move them around if you need to.

    How Do You Take Care of Cucumber Plants?

    Cucumber plants grow fast, with surprisingly little care needed. When they have six or more leaves, you can start pinching out the growing points. Pinching encourages side shoots, all of which will most likely produce fruit later.

    1. Watering

    Cucumbers are made up of water. Therefore, they have particularly heavy watering needs. Be sure to give them at least one or two inches of water per week, keeping the soil slightly moist.

    Water them more if the weather is particularly hot or if there is little or no rain. If they don’t get enough water, they will most likely produce odd-looking and bitter-tasting fruit.

    When watering, try to keep the foliage dry to help prevent disease. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems are ideal for watering cucumber plants. Mulching the area around the plant base will also help the soil to retain more moisture.

    2. Feeding

    Cucumber plants have heavy feeding needs. Once the first flowers start to appear and the vines have developed runners, fertilize cucumber plants regularly.

    Side dress your plants with compost, aged manure, or fertilizer every two to four weeks. Use organic fertilizer when possible.

    3. Weeding

    Weeding the area around them will help protect them from pests. Bacterial wilt disease, which is spread by cucumber beetles, is often hosted by surrounding weeds.

    When watering, pay attention to leaf diseases, scar stems, and damage. Disease spread can quickly deteriorate the plants.

    4. Tying

    If you have climbing cucumber plants, tying them to the vertical support will help bear the weight of larger fruits. You can tie them off with anything you have handy, from string to zip ties.

    5. Adding Friendly Flowers

    Cucumbers need to be pollinated to fruit. Planting pollinator-friendly flowers around your vegetable garden will help ensure your plants fruit. Otherwise, you’ll most likely get flowers, but no fruit, or an oddly-shaped fruit.

    6. Hand Pollinate

    Pay attention if your cucumber plant isn’t producing fruit. You may need to hand pollinate. It’s easy to do with a cotton swab. It’s best to do early in the morning, when the flowers are open. Transfer the pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.

    Male flowers generally appear first but then drop off. Female flowers are the ones that produce fruit. You can recognize them by their swollen base.


    Squash Bugs

    An adult squash bug.
    Zack Snipes, ©2020, Clemson Extension

    The squash bug (Anasa tristis) is one of the most common and troublesome pests in the home vegetable garden. Squash plants frequently are killed by this sap-feeding pest. Leaves of plants attacked by the bugs may wilt rapidly and become brittle. Winter varieties of squash, such as Hubbard and Marrows, are much more severely damaged by the squash bug than other varieties. Control is required to protect squash in the home garden.

    The adult squash bug is rather large, brownish black, and flat-backed. It is about ⅝-inch (1.6 cm) long and approximately ⅓ as wide. The young, called nymphs, are whitish to greenish gray, with black legs. They vary in size from tiny, spider-like individuals when first hatched, to maturing nymphs, which are nearly as large as the winged adults.

    An adult squash bug.
    Zack Snipes, ©2020, Clemson Extension

    Squash bugs overwinter in protected places as unmated adults. They appear rather slowly in the spring. They mate and begin laying egg clusters about the time vines begin to grow and spread. Eggs are yellowish brown to brick red in color and are laid in clusters of a dozen or more on the leaves. They hatch in about 10 days into nymphs that become adults in four to six weeks. Only one generation of bugs develops each year. New adults do not mate until the following spring.

    The squash bug is secretive in its habits. Adults and nymphs may be found clustered about the crown of the plant, beneath damaged leaves, and under clods or any other protective ground cover. They scamper for cover when disturbed. The secretive nature of squash bugs can be used to your advantage in controlling these pests. Place a small, square piece of old shingle or heavy cardboard under each squash plant. As bugs congregate under it for protection, simply lift the trap and smash them with your hoe (or shoe). Other control methods include early planting and removing eggs and nymphs by hand.

    Remove and destroy vines and discarded fruit after harvest to eliminate overwintering sites. Early detection of squash bugs is very important, as they are difficult to control and can cause considerable damage. Apply insecticides when nymphs are small, as adults are difficult to kill.


    How Do I Prevent Cucumber Disease?

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    Preventing cucumber disease usually means understanding exactly what is happening to the plant and in the garden. There are three broad categories into which nearly all cucumber diseases fall, and each has a different approach for treatment and prevention. Pests and insects are a common cucumber disease that can be prevented with physical barriers, insecticides, companion plantings and beneficial insects. Bacterial infections occur when organisms enter the plant through damages leaves, vines or fruit and can be prevented with careful treatment of the cucumber vines and by keeping pests away from them. Fungal infections happen when airborne spores take root on the surface of the plant and can be prevented with attention to watering habits, pests and, eventually, fungicides.

    No matter what cucumber disease might be prevalent in the area, one of the best ways to protect a plant is to use a variety that has been bred for resistance. Seeds and seedlings are usually marked as being disease resistant, and this resistance can go a long way. Certain diseases, such as pink root, brown spot and cucumber mosaic, really have no other form of prevention or treatment beyond the innate resistance inside the plant. This can be difficult for gardeners who are trying to grow heirloom varieties, however.

    Another general way to help prevent cucumber disease from year to year is to remove all plant matter at the end of the growing season. This means removing all the leaves and vines and as much of the roots as possible. The ground should be tilled to a depth of at least 6 inches (about 15 centimeters). In addition, crops should be rotated to different locations each year so soil-borne diseases and pests, such as some beetles and nematodes, do not have a chance to infect the same variety of plants again the coming year.

    Specific ways to prevent a fungal cucumber disease is to be aware of the amount and location of water. When watering, it is best to avoid making the leaves too moist and to use targeted watering methods such as watering cones, soaker hoses or thin irrigation tubes. Avoiding handling the plant too much also can help, because many fungal diseases enter plants through a breach in the plants' surface.

    A bacterial cucumber disease can enter through the roots or be carried with insects. They can be airborne or soil-borne, and some are able to survive the winter in certain regions, making them a constant threat. Physical barriers, such as different types of garden cloth or sprays that coat the leaves, can be used. One of the best methods to prevent bacterial cucumber disease is to make sure that any signs of infection are removed from the garden as soon as possible, whether they are on the cucumbers themselves or on nearby plants.

    Insects, including cucumber beetles, cannot only initially give the appearance of a cucumber disease but also are carriers for many diseases. The three largest pests for a cucumber plant are the spotted and striped cucumber beetle, aphids and slugs. Slugs are harmful to the plant but can be easily prevented by surrounding the plant with a special mixture of minerals that can dry out the slugs sand and special traps that are filled with beer also work. Aphids are a more difficult, persistent problem that can sometimes be treated with insecticides or a gentle soap-and-water solution.

    Cucumber beetles can quickly destroy plants and multiply. The best method to prevent them is either a physical barrier such as fine netting or companion plantings. Plants such as nasturtium, broccoli and marigolds all either repel or distract beetles from the cucumber plant. Once on the plant, they are best removed by hand or, in a worst-case scenario, insecticide, although cucumber plants are very sensitive to many chemicals in insecticides.


    Final words

    Bugs that eat cucumber plants will cause serious damages to your fruit-bearing foliage. You should act fast to eliminate the infestation right away. As a cucurbit plant, cucumbers are prone to bugs and caterpillars that tunnel into the fruit. Still, there are simple solutions that you can use to get rid of the pesky bugs.

    Are you dealing with bugs on your vegetable garden? What are you doing to get rid of it? Let us know in the comment section!


    Watch the video: How To Double Your Cucumber Production?


    Comments:

    1. Peredurus

      What remarkable words

    2. Krisoijn

      What words ... super, great phrase

    3. Delmont

      He has gone to the forum and has seen this topic. Let him help you?

    4. Maki

      You realize, what have written?

    5. Carlo

      I confirm. I join all of the above. We can talk about this topic. Here, or in the afternoon.

    6. Jarell

      Hello, I went to your project from Yandex and Kaspersky began to swear at viruses = (



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