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Cerwin
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Location: Ontario canada

cucumbers were a big flop this year ... what about yours ?

Hello all


I planted a ton of cucumbers this year as I normaly do but unlike noramly hardly got a cuke !!

I hear that thier was an air born virus traviling in southern Ontario canada this year that

caused this ?


My cucumbers started off fine but the vines quickly yellowed and sriveled way befor they should

have and the cukes that they did produce were small twisted mutalated and not much good at all.


I am wondering if any one eles here had simmilar problems or if they could give me more

infromation on this virus ?

This also affected my pumkin and squash crops as well.

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Franco
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Location: New Jersey

I didn't grow any this year but i was walking to my friend's house a while ago and i pass this guy's fence and he has HUGE cucumbers growing a long the fence it was incredible. My friend wanted to steal it but that would be so wrong I would hate it if someone took one of my fruits, basically because I would give it to them anyway if they asked.

opabinia51
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My cukes actually did fine. So did my Aunts.

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Cerwin
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Location: Ontario canada

Interesting .... will be interested to see what other members have to say as well this is all great stuff thanks

opabinia51
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What was you weather like this year?

peachguy
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Location: Ontario

Well i live in southern Ontario and just around the peak harvest time of cucumber here we had vary bad weather. Lots of rain and it was very difficult to find local sellers because they lost a lot of the crop and they were expensive especially in the Toronto area.

opabinia51
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Hmmm, I wonder if Newt knows of a handy link to a site that has information on growing cukes. I've not heard of rain being a huge problem but, obviously it is.

I do know that with increased moisture, the probability of fungal spores coming into contact with plant material increases and with the farming practices that are used, we actually select for pathogens so, this could be the culprit.

peachguy
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Location: Ontario

I think the rain harbored the fungal spores like you said Opa. its really the only explenation to me.

opabinia51
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Well, the fungal spores contained within rain droplets, or fungi from splashed soil would only be part of the problem, our reliance on herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, monocropping and the like would be the largest problem. Ideally, a plant would already have a healthy population of Fungi, Protozoa, Nematodes and bacteria living on it and if some unfamiliar Fungal, Protozoan, or Bacterial hitch hiker be added, these organisms would keep the new arrival in check.

Though, I was really thinking that the over dampness of the plants in general provided a medium for fungal hyphae to grow unabated, resulting in extra growth and with none of the above listed inhabitants (or at least a greatly diminished population) the damp environment is a perfect place for these pathogens to grow and prosper. Most likely (in this case at least) the pathogenic spores would already be on the plants.

Come to think of it, it was probably a combination of the two.

Anyway, if the weather is similar in anyones neighbourhood next year; spray your plants with a weekly dose of aerated compost tea to provide them with a healthy Faunal population. Also, cease and desist all use of anything with the suffix "cide." They do do more harm than so called good.

Also, if Newt (or anyone else for that matter) knows of a good link to a site about growing cucumbers, this would be a great place to post it.

fritz
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Location: NJ

I had nice cucs early in the summer,but later they were white and not very good .I think to much rain,and after rain hot sun.They were not green. Other years I had great cucs. Fritz[/b]

Biscombe
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Location: Spain

Got lots of cukes but for a short time before the dreaded mildew took hold!! tried spraying with milk and copper sulphate but will try neem next year!! what varieties are you all going to try next year?

opabinia51
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Yes, I will recommend against using copper sulphate. Copper sulphate is another chemical that kills the local microscopic flora and fauna that make a garden (and the soil) healthy.

And a word on Neem Oil, use it sparingly. It is still a pesticide and the investigations on it's effect on micro-organisms have not been completed. If you read up on Neem Oil in the General Forum you will learn that it does have negative effects on the reproduction of flying insects and North America's Bee population has enough troubles as it is.

Yes, just read your complete post.... Neem Oil is for insects; not mildew. Keep using the milk, that seems to be the tried, tested and true method for ridding mildew.

Durgan
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Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada Zone 5

My bitter experience with Downy Mildew

http://xrl.us/o3uy
13 July 2006
The plants are contained by a reinforcing concrete wire trellis, depending upon how much effort is taken to train the vines. The last five days I picked about 8 per day of the size shown. They are almost perfect in shape anad size for the table. Even the odd large one, that I miss on some days, is very good eating. All are firm and crisp.

http://xrl.us/psbn
28 July 2006
My cuccumbers deteriorated almost completely in less than ten days. Then I noticed my muskmellons were taking the same trip. Upon close inspection, I found this half centimeter bug on each leaf. This bug has been noticed before, but there were so few, that I tended to ignore them.

The pictures are annotated in the bottom left corner of the enlarged image for more detailed information.

The bug pictures were taken by putting the bug on water in a container.

I am now treating my late crop of cuccumbers with insecticide. I also noticed that the bug did not attack the watermellon, which is alongside the muskmellon.

I am in the process of getting a name for this creature. This is my first experience with this bug. The bug is the Striped Cuccumber Beetle.
http://xrl.us/pshb

As an aside, I picked three Colorado Potato Beetles off the potatoes this morning.

http://xrl.us/qk36
2 August 2006

An article in the Brantford Expositor. This Downy Mildew is what destroyed by cuccumbers and muskmellon plants.

My late crop was also a disaster, sulfur spray did not help. The fall was very wet. Next year 2007 I am going to try flamming the garden area before planting with this device, which I recently purchased. http://xrl.us/u6ku

Durgan.

Newt
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Location: Maryland zone 7

The bug is the Striped Cuccumber Beetle. As an aside, I picked three Colorado Potato Beetles off the potatoes this morning.
Will you also be using row covers to exclude the beetles this year?



As to your link to the article about Tanos, a fungicide for downy mildew,
[url]http://www.durgan.org/11%20August%202006%20Downy%20Mildew/HTML/cuccumber%20mildew.htm[/url]

I found this information. I always find it disturbing to read about animal testing, especially when it's put in their eyes and they are made to eat it. I'm glad you will be using the torch this year.
[url]http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/collections/VirtualTours/BonsaiVirtualTour.html[/url]

I also found this with lots of helpful info. It will also explain why the copper didn't work for you:
http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/downymildew.html
Resistant Varieties

One of the principal means of managing downy mildew in cantaloupe and cucumber is the use of genetically resistant cultivars. Resistance has not been developed in other cucurbits, though some squash varieties like Super Select and Zucchini Select are considered to be tolerant (5), as are cucumber varieties like Poinsett and Galaxie. (6) The Virginia Extension publication Downy Mildew of Cucurbits (3) identifies other resistant cucumber cultivars. Growers are advised to contact Cooperative Extension and local seed suppliers for assistance in selecting resistant varieties that also perform well in their location.

Alternative Pesticides

Along with resistant varieties, fungicides are considered the principal means of downy mildew control in cucurbits. There are several alternatives to synthetic fungicides.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a botanical pesticide derived from the tree species Azadirachta indica. It is a multi-purpose insecticide, miticide, and fungicide labeled for control of both downy and powdery mildews on cucurbits. (8)

Neem products, once considered largely benign to beneficial insects, have demonstrated some negative impacts. Washington State research has found neem to be toxic to ladybeetles, especially in their early larval stages. (9) Being an oil formulation, neem can also harm bees and should be applied when they are not active in the field. (10) Therefore, while neem oil is suitable for organic production, it should not be used without clear need and plenty of caution.
Biofungicides

Serenadeâ„¢, a relatively new fungicide based on the biocontrol agent Bacillus subtilis, is available in a wettable powder formulation that can be used for downy mildew control on vegetables. (12) According to its manufacturer, Serenade turns on the plant's natural immune system. It is also said to:

"…stop plant pathogen spores from germinating, disrupt the germ tubes and mycelial growth and inhibit attachment of the plant pathogen to the leaf by producing a zone of inhibition restricting the growth of…disease causing pathogens." (13)

For sources of the product, contact the manufacturer, AgraQuest Inc. (14)
Peroxides

Organic growers and others in alternative agriculture have often mentioned hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a disease preventive for crops. (15) While documentation on the use of food- and/or pharmacy-grade peroxide in managing plant diseases is sketchy, BioSafe Systems has recently released a peroxigen formulation under the name of OxiDateâ„¢, which is labeled as a broad-spectrum bactericide and fungicide. Downy and powdery mildews of cucurbits are among the diseases it is said to control. Among the listed benefits are biodegradability, little to no phytotoxicity, and the ability to kill fungal spores on contact. (16)

Although the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) had previously approved OxiDate for organic production, it removed the product from its listing in spring 2002 because of non-compliance with federal regulations. If reformulated, it may be approved again in the future. Contact BioSafe Systems (17) for additional details.
Bicarbonates

In 1998, Church & Dwight Co. (18)—the manufacturer of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda™—received EPA registration for Armicarb 100™, a potassium bicarbonate formulation, for use against downy and powdery mildews, botrytis, and alternaria leaf-spot. (19) This product is the direct result of research done at Cornell and funded by Church & Dwight. Armicarb 100 is now available from Helena Chemical Company (20) and Agri-Turf Supplies. (21) Similar products are FirstStep™ by the Cleary Chemical Corp. (22), Kaligreen™ by Monterey Chemical (23), and Remedy™ by Bonide Products Inc. (24) For additional information on the use of bicarbonates in plant disease management, see ATTRA's Use of Baking Soda as a Fungicide.
Compost Tea

Though still somewhat experimental, compost teas have proved successful in managing a number of plant diseases. For details, please see the ATTRA publication Notes on Compost Teas.
There are links for references there as well.
Newt

Durgan
Cool Member
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Brantford, Ontario, Canada Zone 5

Downy Mildew

Newt:
Your links were most interesting. Row covers are a pain in any form to my way of thinking. I will utilize good cultivation, burning for the first time, soapy solutions, and maybe netting for the white cabbage moth.

2006 was the first year in which I encountered the downy mildew. I always considered growing cuccumbers as almost effortless. But every year some new beast or fungus is encountered. Usually I live with or around them, unless they start winning the war.

Actually I get a bit of pleasure in finding my plant enemies, and deciding on the appropiate defensive attack. Almost all of the "ides" have been removed form the consumer shelves in Canada. Most of the nasty chemicals have been licensed for major growers use only.

I suspect the stripped cuccumber beetle was possibly responsible for transmitting the downy fungus to some degree. At first I sssumed this insect was the cause by eating the plants, but I soon dismissed this, due to the relatively small number present. I didn't know about the downy mildew until the article appeared in the local paper.

I might add that I tried a solution of bicarbonate of soda on my later crop of cuccumbers as they were growing. It did absolutely nothing positive. I got about three cukes from about 10 plants. The plants had the appearance of skeltons at the end of the season from my removing the infected leaves.



Durgan.

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