Saturday, July 25, 2015

seems like not a good year for cucumbers

Today I harvested a very nice cucumber. a pretty Corinto cuke. But Sadly, i don't think it'll be a great year (or even a good year) for cukes. Not sure what's going on but the leaves on most of my vines are shriveling and vines are dying. I have about 20 plants, 6 or 8 varieties, and they're in the back of three different beds, growing up the fence. A virus maybe? Some leaves have a lot of beetle-like damage, but I'm not seeing any beetles. I did see some grubs and wimpy roots when I pulled up one plant. I don't know. Last year, cucumbers were my over-and-above crop. I will look up when the farmers market is open and buy my picking cukes. Some other crop will have to excel this year.


Margaret said...

How about voles?
My cukes suffered in a way similar to what you describe, until we got rid of the voles.

Anonymous said...

The last couple of years I've grown Spacemaster cukes and have had issues with powdery mildew by mid August. This year I'm growing two mildew resistant varieties: Sir Crunch A Lot and Garden Sweet. So far, no mildew and the vines have grown very well and produced a fair amount of fruit... until last week. Last week three vines just suddenly wilted. Like you, I haven't seen any beetles but there are a few holes that look like beetle damage. I pulled the affected plants and sprayed with Spinosad. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this solves the issue; I'm hoping it isn't a soil borne disease/fungus.

Potatoes also weren't happy with the hot dry spell in May followed by the incessant rain in June. I've had to resort to Copper Sulphate dust. I'm not sure if it is worth it, there might not even be a crop below ground at this point.

On the positive side, this seems to be the year of the legume. Peas did great in the spring and runner beans are actually producing beans in July. Usually the weather is too hot for bean set until late August. I've also had ripe tomatoes (Genuwine and Cuore Di Bue) since July 5 - I don't usually have those until early August. We've been eating fresh tomatoes daily, given some away and I've made two batches of spaghetti sauce and roasted some for the freezer so far. DebS.

kathy said...

Voles. That's an idea. We have tons but I never assisiated them with cukes. I'm planning to line a bed with hardware cloth to prepare it for winter planting. Last winter the voles decimated my winter bed. It just happens some of my cukes are in this bed. If I can get it lined this week, I'll see if it improves things. Thanks for the idea.

debS, I hate to be spraying with Spinosad, especially if I don't see any thing eating the leaves. I worry a lot about the bees. Spinosad is strong. Same with the potatoes. Why are you spraying with copper? Is there a risk of a fungal disease? In northern VT there is potato late blight but I haven't heard if it elsewhere. You can dig up on plant of potatoes if you are worried and see what's under there. I bet they are good. Pot press a revert reliable. I can't wait to see my russets this year! Me too, on the legumes! My mom and I love Sugar Snap this year. I thing I'll griw this as my standard pea. We love it! I'm jealous of your tomatoes for sure. Still waiting ...,

Anonymous said...

All my beds are lined with hardware cloth; voles are not my problem. I go out after dark to spray, so the bees and other beneficial insects aren't around. I also try to avoid spraying pesticides, I preferring to use companion planting and hand picking but In this case cutting a wilting vine and testing the sap didn't seem to indicate fusarium wilt, it wasn't voles and so my best guess was a beetle that I couldn't see to hand pick so I acted quickly to try to prevent losing everything. So far, no further damage.

Copper: for potato blight. I had two plants turn to mush, which I dug up and then I've been dusting the remInder and it seems to be working but the plants just don't look lush...they look very spindly. I'm growing King Edwards, a British variety that I get from a certified seed potato company in Colorado. I've grown this variety over here before without problems but I will be trying a resistant variety next year. Potatoes and tomatoes are infected by the same blight, so it could be that the potatoes got the blight but the tomatoes had some ability to fight it off because of the baking soda that I apply to the leaves. DebS

kathy said...

I think there are potato- and tomato-specific strains of late blight. The past few years in Massachusetts we've only had tomato late blight. About five years ago we got a strain that hit both. Right now there's potato late blight up
In VT that I'm hoping won't come down our way.

Good luck with your cucumbers. Glad you go out at night when the bees are inside.

Anonymous said...

So far, fingers crossed, the cucumbers are doing okay and are continuing to set fruit. Potato blight is the same blight that affects tomatoes. Here are a few fact sheets covering it:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/faq13559 and and DebS.

kathy said...

Thanks. I hope my cucumbers cheer up.