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It's cucumber time!

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

well my tomatoes are still growing but of course the cukes are taking over..this is my haul today. Some are a little larger than I like to pick for this variety but still ohhh soo yummy!

Thumbnail by araness
St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

wow, that is a whole lot of cukes. Will you make pickles?

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

nope sharing with the neighbor and then making some greek dip for my chicken tonight for dinner..

Crestview, FL

Those are some fine looking cucumbers. What variety are they? I just planted 12, and mine are the pickling type.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

these are a variety called Sugar Crunch by humm either Burpee or Park's. IO1 hooked me on them and now it's the only cucumber my husband wants to plant. On the plus side they are sweet, tender and best picked small so no long wait..on the con's side they have a very very limited shelf life.

I'd be glad to send you some seeds if you'd like.

Crestview, FL

Oh bless your heart, I'd like to try a few as they look tasty.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

np, is your address in the exchange?

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

My favorite cukes are "Diva" a bush cucumber. I used to eat them while working in the garden burping all the way. LOL

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

How far do those cukes run? I have a space in my side yard I could let them go. Might need to bum a few seeds, too!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

What's the secret to growing Cukes?
I tried this year (small pickling cukes) and it grew great--and the, all of a sudden,
parts of the plants would go limp, dry up and die.

Tried a second batch---it grew quickly and well--then the same thing happened...

I tried "guiding" some of the runners to a support--and it rebelled...
Maybe they just don't .like to be touched?

Any suggestions are welcome. Gita

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

Nice harvest, Araness. Sounds like you might be making tzatzitki--yummy!

Will need to try that variety, or Diva. Thanks to both for the suggestions. I"ve grown "Marketmore" the past 2 years, and they've done pretty well for me. Not nearly as prolific as your harvst, though.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

make sure you don't get the leaves wet and ahem..other than that I don't know.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

"What's the secret to growing Cukes?
I tried this year (small pickling cukes) and it grew great--and the, all of a sudden, parts of the plants would go limp, dry up and die."

I'm about 90% sure that's bacterial wilt you're describing. If it kills FAST, it's almost certainly bacterial wilt. Spread by the common cucumber beetle (2 species covering pretty much the whole USA,) and I think by the big squash bugs too.

Once a plant from the cucumber family (cucumbers, melons, gourds, squash and pumpkins) is afflicted with bacterial wilt, it's a goner. Unless maybe you add some heavy-duty fungicide at the first sign of the wilt. Some fungicides, mostly those containing sulfur and/or copper, are accepted for organic growing, by the way.

Some tips for preventing and controlling:

-- If a cucurbit plant is obviously too far gone for fungicides to help, uproot the whole plant and send it to the landfill immediately. NOT the compost pile.

-- Keep an eye on the insects and plan to take some form of action to keep them away from your most treasured cucurbits. (Yellow squash is rumored to be a good trap crop for these bugs, but that doesn't do me so much good, because yellow squash IS my most treasured cucurbit.) Hand-picking; garlic and/or hot pepper sprays; insecticidal soap (you may be able to get away with a weak formula including basic Ivory Dish Soap; eggs lurk on the undersides of leaves, BTW) rotenone and pyrethrins; all these are usually acceptable for organic growing.

-- Strongly suggested, do NOT try growing more cucurbits in the same soil in which this disease appeared (or any soil that's going to share irrigation runoff from that soil.) Not sure what would likely do okay in that soil but it almost certainly won't be in the cucumber family. If you have a lot of herb seeds of different varieties, it might be an interesting experiment to put an herb garden in that soil and see what makes it and what doesn't... And then let the rest of us know how it turns out, 'kay?

Ocala, FL(Zone 9a)

Petronius ii - maybe you can help me out with this question. I've never grown cucumbers, but want to do so inside my S-SW facing screen house in FL (similar to a pool cage where top is open to the elements). I've had pretty good luck with tomato & pepper container plants in the past.

I understand most cucumbers need pollination, so I've chosen a parthenocarpic variety called "Sweet Success". I plan on a large container w/trellis. Ya think I have any chance of this working? Thanks for your input.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

It has been a while--so now it is "winter"...yeah??? Not here.

I have to tell you that I tried to fertilize my 3 cuke plants--and 2 days later they were dead as a doornail.
Shriveled up--dry leaves--a total gonner.....

My Pakistani neighbor said---"NO! NO! you never fertilize cucumbers.
Do any of you have any comments on this?

Out of the few veggies I grow--I would love to have a good crop of cukes--as I like to make
my own pickles.
I cannot say I ever saw any pests on them--but, not knowing, I also did not look too closely.
I had also never grown Cukes in this bed before. Just tomatoes.

I had planned to plant my cukes there again--as I have very limited space. Now you are telling me not to....
I could go with a container--but it can get so hot here--it will fry the soil.

Pic. #1--How the cukes plants looked in 2 days after I fertilized them
Pic. #2--How it looked before....good and healthy
Pic. #3--My tomatoes, in my new raised bed, also had some kind of fungus going on.
I blamed it on the crappy soil I had delivered-which nothing organic about it.
Trying hard to amend it......
Pic. #4--My Sun Golds in the same bed--this was very disheartening....

Someone at out Plant Swap in fall of last year, suggested I plant just some hybrids.
I had been trying to grow mostly heirloom tomatoes, which he said are more susceptible
to all kinds of problems. I may just have to go that way this summer.

Any suggestions of how I could deal with this problem?

Thanks, Gita

This message was edited Feb 8, 2012 5:11 PM

This message was edited Feb 8, 2012 5:13 PM

Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

You definitely fried 'em...

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Hi, Gitagal, I haven't been back to this thread for awhile so didn't answer you earlier.

I dunno about your cukes and tomatoes last year, it's very hard to tell from the photos. What usually happens with bacterial wilt in cucurbits is, every leaf on the whole plant gets wilty within about 1-3 days of the first appearance of symptoms. Towards the end of that period, the stems follow suit, and they too become wilty, withered, and ultimately black or dark brown in color. Your first photo looks like it might be the very beginning of the process; if it proceeded much as I described, that's bacterial wilt.

Synthetic fertilizers such as Miracle Gro technically don't CAUSE the problem, but then again... sort of. They tend to lack a full range of micronutrients, and most people tend to overdo them. BUT:

(1) These fertilizers tend to promote rapid, tender growth that becomes highly vulnerable to insect attack, and also tends to ATTRACT pest insects, because just like wolves or other predators in the animal kingdom, they tend to go after the weakest specimens first.

(2) This is just a hypothesis, not a proven fact that I know of, but I would imagine these fertilizers can upset the balance of nature in your garden bed in such a way that the bacterial wilt organisms themselves can thrive-- not just the insects who spread them... Ditto for whatever caused the problem on your tomatoes.

(3) ...Especially with foliar feeding? Another set of hypotheses. Foliar feeding strikes me as quite unnatural, and I wonder how it affects the little pores in the leaves that the plants use for breathing. Any time I've used any of "the blue stuff" (I prefer Peter's Professional over Miracle Gro,) I've only added it to the soil, not to the foliage, and always in less concentration than recommended in the instructions.

There's also the thing that if you spray ANYTHING on the foliage on a hot sunny day, the little droplets act like a miniature solar lens, and burn tiny little pinholes in the leaves, which can definitely weaken a plant. Hence the old time-honored injunction, water and feed the soil, not the plants. (Of course, rain can do the same thing, but it's not as if we can do anything to prevent that.)

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Better late than never--right?
Thank you for your in-depth explanation. I will print your advice out and save it.
I really do not fertilize tomatoes, other than compost and manure.
Fertilizing the cukes was an impulse thing. I wanted more cukes....:o)
Then the plants died in the next couple of days. Yes--I used the "blue water".


--Can I plant cucumbers in the same bed this year? I really do not have anywhere
else to do so. Maybe in pots?
--Does the "bacterial wilt" live on in the soil? If it does--how can it be treated? With what?

The issue with the tomatoes was a true surprise. I blamed it on the crappy
soil they delivered to me to fill my new raised bed with.
I have, since last fall, been amendig the soil in it the best i can with
composted leaves, Humus/Manure, compost,and just this week--
I got some Mushroom Soil and put a layer of it all over these
two beds and dug it in--lightly. am hoping this will make things better....

What opinion do you have about Mushroom soil? Seems good!
Has that poopy aroma and all that. My guess is they use horse manure-
but it is quite composted.

On the tomatoes...someone else suggested that I should plant regular, hybrid
tomatoes this year and stay away from the heirloom ones.
That will be hard--but I will try.....What do you think???

My garden is small. I live in a development. I do not have many other choices
for where to plant what.

Looking forward to your reply and input. Have to go now--I am still at work.

Talk to you later....gita

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

I like that idea, Io1 and I have discussed that my cucumbers don't want to trellis! Bad Bad Cukes! So far the plants are doing well and are loaded with bee's as well as blossoms
so I hope to start pickling by next week.

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