What's happening to my cucumbers?

Campbellsville, KY

Hello all, this is my first year attempting a garden. I have two 4x4 square foot garden boxes, and a post with two Topsy Turvy strawberry planters hanging on it. I also have canteloupe and watermelon plants planted up against the house just in the regular dirt. All of my plants (besides the watermelons and canteloupes) are planted in a mixture of ProMix, Vermiculite and compost. I read a book on square foot gardening, and this was supposed to be a great combination, or so it said. Anyhow...my plants are infested with all kinds of different bugs. Not sure what exactly but I'm always flipping bugs off of the plant leaves. Onto my cucumbers....I have them planted in a hanging Topsy Turvy planter. This holds 15 plants and is about 2-1/2 foot tall, maybe 10 inches around or so. At first, they were growing great, vining out everywhere. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed the smaller leaves on the plants turning yellow. I didn't think much about it, because they all were doing it. I just pinched the leaf off, and went on. Lately though, it seems that even more leaves are doing this. They turn yellow, then brown, then dry out. I don't really see any white spots...I've researched powdery mildew and I don't think that's whats going on, but this is my first go around so I could definitely be wrong. Also, the one bigger cucumber that's on there is curving, and the part closest to the stem doesn't seem to be growing, but the bottom of it is filling out. It's strange.....Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

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Homeworth, OH(Zone 5b)

Can you send photos of the bugs? Also, how much are you watering?

Rolesville, NC(Zone 7b)

That doesn't look too worrisome. Just older leaves dying off. What kind of fertilizer are you using? With so many plants in such a restricted growing space I would be worried about root competition. Inconsistant watering can also do strange things to a plant...

Campbellsville, KY

I will try to get photos of the bugs...but from research I've done looks like I have spotted beetle, aphids and squash bugs. I try to water every 2-3 days. I'm not really impressed with the Topsy Turvy, so I'm not sure I'll be using it next year. It's really hard to water the plants. The lid comes up only a little bit, not all the way off, and the top plants get soaked. I've also tried to directly water each plant at the hole it comes out of but that may be making these worse. Someone recommended for me to use the Bayer Veggie and Garden Insect spray. Does it sound like I'm not watering enough/too much?

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

All Mellons and Cantilopes require lots of organic matter added to the soil, when I was a kid, we grew them in the actual compost heap, they are very greedy plants regards to water and feed, so I would think you need to start a water regime and feed with maybe a tomato feed every few days but read how much feed to add to the correct amount of water and keep a note of when you feed so you dont over do it.
As regards the bugs, we all get bugs on our plants especially summer, so every day we have to go out and check /kill all we can.
The plants you have growing by the wall will be over-heating from the heat the wall holds and the soil dries out too fast for the type of plants you have placed there, thay require a good air flow to help reduce de-hydration and diseases, mold forms on the foliage IF the plants dont get enough air around them.
Hope this helps you out a little bit.
Good Luck, WeeNel.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

You said the topsy turvy planter holds 15 plants in a 2 1/2'X10" round????

Do you have 15 cucumber plants currently in 1 planter?
If you do there's your problem, WAY too many cucs in there, they are starting to become too crowded

Campbellsville, KY

How often do you think I need to be watering the cucumbers in this planter? And also the plants in my 4x4 raised garden bed. I'm really not sure how much or how often to water them. I got a few pics of the bugs that are around and will upload them below. I think you may be right about them not having enough room for their roots, flowAjen. Do you think at this point I would be able to remove some and transfer them to another spot? I also have a similar problem with crookneck squash plants, they are too close together, but I'm not sure if I would be able to remove and transplant them. Any advice there?

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Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

crafty, first off, welcome to DG (neighbor)!! I would highly recommend joining DG as a subscriber. There are a LOT of forums that you don't have access to as a non-subscriber. These include vegetables, pest and insects etc. As a first time gardener there is a ton of information and GREAT people on the site to help you become a better gardener. I'm in no way associated with the management of the site, just a very satisfied member who has learned more that I can ever imagine from all the wonderful people on here (including the ones who are trying to answer your questions!!)


central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I see a lady bug, a wasp and a lightening bug, those are fine and will not damage your plants, in fact they all eat other bugs, the one in the 4th pic almost looks like one of the lady bug stages, but would need to see a side shot
That one beetle with the horizontal stripe I am still trying to identify

You can very carefully transplant them, you will have to gently untangle the roots though

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

It's a 2 lined spittle bug, spray him with soapy water with a little oil in there(1 part to 10) or an organic insecticide soap

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