Many pests and diseases cause damage to cucumber plants resulting in significant yield reductions.
In this article, I will share the most common cucumber pests and diseases and give you proven solutions.
It is caused by the pathogen bacterium Erwinia tracheiphila. It affects all members of the cucumber family, including cukes, muskmelons, pumpkins, and squash. The transmission of this disease is due to the feeding activities of the striped cucumber beetle.
The first sign of infection is wilted and drying leaves, which often happens quickly. Imagine having a healthy plant one day then, wilted and dead a few days later.
If you want to know if your plant is experiencing bacterial wilt, cut a wilted stem off at the base. Press the cut surfaces together and slowly pull them apart. If a white, thin and slime form between the two plant surfaces, then your plant has bacterial wilt.
Use bacterial wilt resistant cultivars like the 'County Fair', 'Salad Bush', 'Marketmore 76' and 'Saladin'.
There is no known cure for bacterial wilt. Therefore, destroy the plant immediately to keep it from spreading to other cucumber plants.
This is one of the most common cucumber diseases farmers have to deal with - it is caused by the fungus Erysiphe cichoracearum.
Symptoms include a white powdery appearance on the leaves, stems and fruits. Infected plants prematurely wilt and die.
The fungal spores are transmitted from one plant to another by the wind. Disease infection increases under moderate temperature and shady conditions.
Grow resistant varieties/cultivars.
Spray suitable fungicide.
Control weed host.
Cucumber Mosaic Virus
This deadly cucumber plant virus makes the plant severely stunted. Symptoms appear as a distinctive yellow mosaic (like a checkerboard) with leaves curling downwards and thinner.
It leads to an inhibited growing point with spots, lines or warts on the fruit's pattern.
The virus spreads through tools, workers and the feeding activities of the sap-sucking aphids.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. Prevention is Vital.
Control the population of the aphid vector using suitable insecticides.
Plant resistant varieties
Angular Leaf Spot
This is one of the most widespread cucumber diseases. It is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae. Symptoms appear as a small water-soaked lesion on leaves and leaf veins in an angular shape.
In wet conditions, lesions ooze a milky substance that eventually dries up, leaving a hole in the leaf. Infected fruits become deformed.
The disease is seed-borne i.e its spread through infected seeds.
The pathogen also spreads through splashing water, insects, contaminated equipment, and workers.
The disease spreads faster when plants are wet.
Use pathogen-free seeds obtained from a good source.
Plant resistant varieties.
Cucumber Beetles (Acalymma vittata, Diabrotica undecimpunctata, Diabrotica balteata)
Cucumber beetle infestation is one of the most difficult cucumber-growing problems to solve. Their feeding activities leave the plant susceptible to disease, which results in stunted growth, scarring fruits.
The adult beetles make ragged holes in the leaves and flowers, while the larvae feed on plant roots.
Plant beetle-resistant varieties like 'Saladin' and 'Gemini'.
Plant alternative hosts such as Blue Hubbard Squash.
Application of appropriate insecticides may be necessary.
Aphids (Myzus persicae, Aphis gossypii)
The sap-feeding insects with tiny, long and slender mouth-parts - pierce through the stems and leaves of the cucumber plant to suck the plant fluids.
Aphids transmit the Mosaic virus which destroys your plant. Transmission of the virus does not require a large aphid population, so identifying the disease quickly and controlling aphids is key to prevention.
Use natural enemies such as ladybugs and lacewing flies.
Sturdy plants can be sprayed with a strong jet of water to knock aphids from leaves.
Insecticides are only required to treat aphids if the infestation is very high.
Practice effective weed control methods.
It may probably seem unattainable to identify and effectively manage issues affecting your plant. However, when you finally do, you will reap many years of success.
Farmsby is here to help you achieve this. Visit our website at www.farmsby.com today!