mattie g
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Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Cucumber Beetles

I hate them.

I really hate them.

I've never had trouble with these things before, but both striped and spotted beetles have made what seems to be a permanent home in my garden this year. The wife and I like to have cucumbers in our fresh salads, and I *love* to make garlic dill pickles. While I've had enough salad cukes plants to build up a decent stock, the pickle cuke plants have been crushed by bacterial wilt before I've been able to harvest many good cucumbers. I've only made two quarts of pickles so far. By comparison, I made about eight quarts last year (plus cucumbers for fresh use and giving away), and only had four plants. :x

Overall, I've lost six plants (out of seven) to bacterial wilt. Luckily I've got a couple more pickle cukes growing again, so I hope I can get enough to make enough pickles to last me until next season!tle monsters...

Unfortunately, my fairly impressive volunteer pumpkin (https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 15#p313020) looks to be quite the host to these little beasts!

n8young
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:39 pm
Location: Eliot, ME - zone 6a

Re: Cucumber Beetles

Mind sharing your pickle recipe and procedure? I am constantly on the look out for the perfect, crispy, canned dill pickle.....have yet to find one that makes me willing to can them again.... :(

My big beef with canning them is they always end up mushy......any way around that you might know?

mattie g
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: Cucumber Beetles

n8young wrote:Mind sharing your pickle recipe and procedure? I am constantly on the look out for the perfect, crispy, canned dill pickle.....have yet to find one that makes me willing to can them again.... :(

My big beef with canning them is they always end up mushy......any way around that you might know?
After getting mushy pickles from my first time canning them, I decided to just "cold can" them. I do everything the same as when hot canning, except I don't process in a water bath, and instead of putting them on a shelf, I put them in the fridge. I pour the steaming hot brine over the ingredients in the jar, then cover and let it cool down for a few hours, then pop them in the fridge.

I just finished my jar from last year. They stay fairly crispy for six months or so, then they started to soften up some. However, they never got mushy.

Apparently, some folks hot can and use alum, pickling lime, or grape leaves, but I've never done that.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Cucumber Beetles

Canning is basically cooking them, so tends to lead to that. I make refrigerator pickles, that are never cooked/ canned, just marinated and stored in the pickling brine (cold - I don't even use hot brine). They don't keep as long that way, need to be used in about a month, but they are really crisp and good.

Re the cucumber beetles, here's an article on organic controls:

https://www.highmowingseeds.com/blog/org ... r-beetles/
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

n8young
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Posts: 88
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:39 pm
Location: Eliot, ME - zone 6a

Re: Cucumber Beetles

I cold can also....just stinks the shelf life is considerably less than canned, and they take up room in the refrigerator.....oh well, it's crisp or nothing for me

mattie g
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Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

Re: Cucumber Beetles

n8young wrote:I cold can also....just stinks the shelf life is considerably less than canned, and they take up room in the refrigerator.....oh well, it's crisp or nothing for me
You could look into using pickling lime, I suppose. But, like rainbow said, the hot canning process essentially cooks them, which makes them mushy.

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