How To Grow Vegetables

Cucumber Pests And Diseases

Growing cucumbers can be seriously good for your wallet saving you a 1 or more per large one, however they can be tricky to germinate and grow, it is quite often possible to see a germination yield as low as 10-20% even with F1 hybrids.

Whilst they can be affected by pests and diseases most of all they will need care in watering them from seedlings to plants giving fruit, as overwatering can kill your cucumbers in the blink of an eye.

Aphids and Aphid Virus Aphids take the form of what look like very small eggs on the leaves and stems of the plants, however they are actually small insects that will feed on the cucumber plants drawing out its nutrients, they then leave a sticky substance called honeydew on the plants, which can in turn attract ants, and the honeydew will eventually turn into a black mould.

They can cause the plants leaves to warp, wilt and then die. Without the leaves the plants cannot get enough sunlight to live.

The aphids can be prevented by an early spraying of a mild jeyes fluid solution, or if infected by them spray and/or wipe the plants with soapy water under the leaves.

Whilst the aphids can be treated aphid virus cannot. It takes the form of the leaves going a patchy yellow colour, and once infected the plants will become less productive. Once infected you will need to remove and destroy the plants, do not place them in your compost heap.

Slugs and Snails they just love cucumber leaves and can be identified by large holes being eaten in the stems and leaves, as well as a trail of slime across the soil around the plants. If grown in pots you can place copper rings around the pots to prevent the slugs and snails crawling up the plants, the copper gives them a mild electrical shock but will not kill them. If growing in the ground then use slug pellets and traps to kill both of them, or pick them up and kill them as soon as you see them.

Red spider mites these cause the cucumbers leaves to go yellow, and if the spider mite attack is severe then the plant will die. Treatment can be to spray the leaves with a hard jet of water, and/or spray or wipe the leaves with soapy water as you would to prevent aphids.

Verticullum Wilt This is probably the worse disease that can affect your cucumbers as if they get it is not only fatal for the plant, but it contaminates the soil and no more cucumber plants can be grown there. It takes the form of the leaves at the bottom of the plant going yellow, unlike a spider mite attack it will rapidly move upwards until the whole plant wilts over and dies.

The affected plants must be removed and destroyed, do not place them in your compost bin as the spores will be carried over and remain alive long after the plant has composted down, meaning it can be spread to other areas via the compost

Or simply learn How To Grow Cucumbers

By Richard Allen -

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