Cucumbers are one of the most consumed vegetable plants all over the world; these water-filled plants have quite an amazing nutritional benefit which makes them suitable for each and every one of us.
The cucumber fruit is quite popular among gardeners and they rank after the most produced vegetables – tomatoes and peppers.
Those who love to grow cucumbers knows that they are easy to grow, the rate of production is very high, and they produce healthy and delicious fruits (botanically, cucumbers are fruits).
Cucumber plants have a very short production period and their vines grow very well and produce large awesome produces, however, just like every other plant there are problems that are associated with this plant from time to time.
There are quite a number of problems that affect cucumber plants as a whole and there is a need to understand each of these problems and fight against them in every possible way that you can.
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Problems that affect Cucumber plants: How to identify and solve them
The problems faced by cucumber plants have a series of causative agents and they could have been caused by bacteria, fungus, and viral pathogens which could have a very big impact on the production cycle and life expectancy of the plant if it does not cause its death.
Diseases that affect cucumber plants may make them not be palatable or edible to consume and there might be a need to understand each of these plants problems well and fight against them.
In this article, we will take you through some of the various problems that you can find on your cucumber plant, how to identify and give proper solutions to them.
You should read further to learn more about some of these diseases in subsequent paragraphs.
Poor planting techniques
In cucumber production, one of the most important production operations to be carried out is planting.
Cucumbers are easy to grow from their seeds sown directly in the field/garden especially in areas with enough water supplies to sustain their germination.
However, in places where there is a shortage of water that can sustain the plant’s germination when sown in the ground, transplanting carried out.
But the challenge faced in most places where transplanting is carried out is that cucumbers do not like their root to be disturbed as they can suffer from transplant shock.
When such a problem occurs, it indirectly affects the growth and development of the plant and can result in stunted growth.
In order to avoid this problem, sowing the seeds directly into the field will help fight against that and you can plant short-season varieties that growfast such as “Patio Snacker” and “Straight 8”.
However, if you still wish to carry out transplanting, make use of planting materials that can be planted in the field to grow your cucumber seed in the nursery as this will prevent the need to disturb the plants’ root and make sure the lower part of the container drains effectively.
Lack of pollination
Pollination is one of the problems that affect the fruit produced by the cucumber plant.
Pollination of plants ensures the proper growth and development of the plant produced on the cucumber vines and for a good and well-developed fruit to be seen on the vine, there is a need for a pollinator to visit the plant’s flower numerous times.
To ensure that the flowers get pollinated well, ensure that no pesticide is used on the field during the fruiting season as bees also can be affected by some organic fertilizers.
You can also increase the number of pollinators on your field by intercropping them with some flowering annuals and herbs. The more pollination your plant can receive, the better the growth and development of your fruit.
The appearance of yellow or pale color on leaves is a symptom of poor nutrition, meaning your plant needs an additional nutritional supplement.
Cucumbers require to be fed well at the appropriate time – even at all times as they are heavy feeders.
An addition of compost to your plants during spring will provide your plant with the needed nutrition which will help the development of its vines.
The appearance of yellow color on the leaves of the plant during summer is a sign of poor nutrition, add the appropriate quantity of liquid fertilizer once a month.
You can also add granular organic fertilizers to the soil before seed planting if the soil to be used is poor as this will help to sustain the plant through the planting season.
Avoid adding too much fertilizer as this can lead to excess accumulation of Nitrogen which can cause the production of vines in large quantities with little flowers.
Water is an essential component which will help to aid the growth of plants, cucumber vines require a lot of water which helps to ensure its growth.
Cucumber plants do prefer to be fed with quite an amount of water on a weekly basis, at least twice than shallow irrigation.
A deep supply of water ensures that water reaches the root system and they also help in the growth of the vines.
You can employ the mulching of the ground with a layer of shredded leaves or straw will help to stabilize the soil moisture.
If you are practicing irrigation on the field, make sure that the hose is directed towards the base of the plant to ensure ample supply of water to the plant – same goes for a plant grown in nurseries, make sure the base of the pot used allows easy drainage of moisture.
The powdery mildew is caused by fungus pathogens known as Podosphaera xanthii and Erysiphe cichoracearum which causes the surface of the leaves to be covered with talcum powder.
The presence of these powdery contaminants on the leaves in large quantities can limit the rate of photosynthesis and growth. This type of disease affects the plant and can be very serious if not well taken care of.
To get rid of this disease, there is a need to plant a variety of cucumber that is resistant to this disease and the seeds always have a disease resistance-code PM on the seed packet.
Try as much as possible to keep the cucumber leaves as dry as possible as the pathogens that cause this disease thrives well on wet leaves.
Some recommended varieties of this mildew-resistant cucumber seeds are Eureka, Jackson, and Transamerica.
Though there is no cure to it yet, the disease can be managed with the use of organic fungicides such as Bacillus subtilis or bicarbonates.
This disease of cucumber is spread by the cucumber beetle, Erwinia tracheiphila, which could be stripped and spotted serves as both a pollinator and pathogen. This beetle causes the drying out of the leaves after turning yellow.
This beetle picks up the bacteria of the plant while feeding on infected cucumbers and transfers them to healthy but susceptible plants through feeding.
When you see that the leaves are turning yellow and wilting, cut a section of the plant’s stem and place in water – the presence of milky sap is an indication of this bacterium.
Therefore, you have to get rid of the plant by burning to avoid it to spread to other plants.
This disease can cause the death of the whole plant if the necessary step is not taken at the right time.
Since there is not yet a perfect treatment for this disease, the best way to prevent this disease is by planting wilt-resistant varieties of cucumber such as Salad Bush, County Fair, Marketmore 76, and Saladin.
The disease, cucumber mosaic virus, is spread through the feeding action of sap-sucking aphids.
This viral disease can be noticed on the leaves of a plant by the pattern of spots or lines (and in some cases both) on the leaves or fruits of the plant.
They could also affect the vein of the plant making them very distinct and appearing yellowish or as dark or light green.
This disease could be transmitted through grafting of an infected plants on another plant, contact of unclean tools, boots, and gloves with healthy plants.
This disease has no effective control measure yet and it can be prevented by the removal of infected plants and materials, sanitizing gardening tools and clothes, sowing mosaic-resistant seeds, avoid grafting, hand-picking beetles, etc.
Some examples of the resistant varieties include Little leaf, Straight Eight, Salad Bush, Eureka, etc.
There might be some need to identify some of the problems that affect cucumbers and to control them seem impossible as there have been little or no solutions found as regards the diseases of this plant.
If proper prevention techniques are employed and the plants are provided with adequate water as well as being grown on healthy soils, etc.
Then you will experience more productivity when you grow your plant well. Ensure a good production process, battle your problems in the right way and you will attain much more success with your plants. Great productivity!!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !