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kaclev
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Location: Kingston, New York

Wilting organic cucumber plants

Hi all,

I'm Kelly - I'm new here. Looking for any possible suggestions or advice I can get.

I have years of experience with gardening/farming, and normally I can figure out pretty much anything when it comes to seeds. But I've been struggling for the past few weeks with my cucumber plants. I grew some from scratch (two different seed companies) and they seemed to catch disease early on, as soon as they went into the soil from the trays. Those two varieties died. My family bought me a few cucumber plants from a store (with hope that maybe it was my seeding!) and the day after I planted those, they also died. Lastly, I have one lemon cucumber variety planted now that I bought from a store. He's trying to hold on, but he's been wilting every day around lunch time and some of his leaves are yellowing. I've watered and chicken manured him, but I'm afraid there's something else going on.

I'm in New York. Has anyone heard of any cucumber disease problems lately? Are there any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

Signed,
A sad cucumber farmer

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Lindsaylew82
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Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

Hi! Welcome to the forum!

Could you post some pictures of you plant? Close ups of the front and back of the leaves?

Can you tell us more? Is anything else planted with them, close to them, around them?

As much info as you can give us!

Thank you!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

In addition to that.....

Cukes are real water HOGS! IME, more than any other vegetable plant in my garden! I give the lots of water, and the still look sad and wimpy mid day.

There are some insects that burrow into the stems and choke off flow to the rest of the plant.

Cutworms and slugs can take them out at the base of the plants. Tell us more about how your plants died.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

If you have problems with any plant, in any particular location. It is probably wise to either not plant that crop until the vector or disease is gone which may be a couple of years down the road or maybe more. The other thing you can try to do is to plant somewhere else in the garden and plant it in a pot. Cucumbers can grow in 15 gallon pots quite well. Keep the pots off the ground if it is a ground issue that should fix it. Pests or disease have to be taken care of first otherwise they will just find your plant and the same things will happen. So, you do need to identify the problem whether it is pests, disease or a soil issue and make sure that is taken care of first before bringing in more of the same kind of plants.

You can look for varieties of cucumber that have resistance to downy and powdery mildew. Resistance is not immunity but resistance and a good preventive spacing, sanitation and preventive fungicides will get better yields.

Aphids, pickleworms are a couple of common pests. Scouting and early treatment are your best options. Virus can be transmitted by vectors but also by handling so be careful to wash hands and disinfect tools and boots when handling different plants.

If you have not done a soil test lately, get one done. I don't like to use a lot of chicken manure because it is alkaline. Cucumbers are tolerant of pH up to 7.6. Chicken manure can tick up pH a half a point and it can burn plants if too much is applied. When plants don't do well, people generally throw more water at it, and that can drown the roots especially if you have a lot of organic matter in the soil and it is a moisture retentive soil.

https://articles.extension.org/pages/635 ... s:-high-ph

When you plant out seedlings or even a start from a store, make sure they are acclimated first. Plants need time to adjust to the environment before they are thrust into it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

AnnaIkona
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Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

You say "chicken manure"? Hmm...fresh chicken manure or composted chicken manure?

You see, chicken manure is very, very acidic. Most plants die just because you work the tiniest amount of chicken manure into the soil.

Even if the manure is composted, it's still very acidic. (And fresh chicken manure is even more acidic!)

If you are starting the seedlings in containers or starter pots, it is definitely too early to add manure to the soil.
Zone 8b, Canada

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jal_ut
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Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

Wilting usually means: "I need some water!"

Ya, certain diseases may make a plant wilt too. Too much fertilizer will wilt or just kill plants. A little is good but don't over do it. Manures are best put on the soil in the fall and tilled in and let them have the winter to decompose into something the plants can use.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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kaclev
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Location: Kingston, New York

Re: Wilting organic cucumber plants

Wow! Thank you everyone for the kind and detailed responses. I truly appreciate them :)

Lindsaylew82, thank you for the welcome!! I will upload a photo as soon as I can to show you guys. The newest cuke, the lemon variety, is all by himself in a big pot with special soil (not my own) to see if that makes a difference. He is not dying 100% yet, but his yellowing of the leaves concern me and just the wilt as a whole also concerns me. The other 4 that I have in my big garden have died. I water him twice a day. I cut into one of the leaves to see if there was any bacteria coming out (read about that online) and nothing but clear liquid oozed out of it. There are no bugs that I'm able to see on it or near it.

imafan26, thank you very much for your detailed response, too! I am thinking that maybe there's a cuke apocalypse going on right now and I shouldn't be planting them in NY. Hence why I tried planting him in his own pot with plenty of room and sunshine to see if there was a problem with my ph in my soil or anything else that could possibly be draining his energy source. I've done my research on which varieties are best for resistance, etc., also, so that I'm covering all of my bases. I've never had a problem in NY before... Considering I am growing this one in his own pot now with pre-bagged soil, my gut is leaning to a disease or some sort of pest. I am planning on doing my own ph test as well (thank you for suggestion!) to see what's going on. I have all sorts of beautiful tomato, squash, kale, and zucchini plants that are big and huge - they seem to love the soil. But alas, I know that not all plants like the same soil. I do not use a lot of chicken manure. Only a few pebbles for every plant when they are first planted into the soil.

AnnaIkona, yes I did my research on that, too - trust me! I am a pro gardener :P I only put a few pebbles of granulated, homemade chicken fertilizer with each plant that I actually plant into the ground. I don't add them to the seedlings. All of my other plants thrive on the homemade fert, but it just may be that it's burning up the cuke - which could make total sense. It's just never been an issue for me, so I feel like I'm trying to gain any information I can. Thank you for your help :)

jal_ut, absolutely about the water. It's a pretty obvious answer - BUT, I don't want to overwater. I know you can also kill plants that way. These are my babies, so I treat them as my children! I keep it very minute with the fert and anything else I may do (which is not much because I'm an organic farmer/gardener) thank you!

I may do some fish emulsion watering and see if that helps, too. Perhaps he's thirsty for some vitamins. Thank you all so much for your help!

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