Cucumber Plants
Q.

Bacteria Wilt on cucumbers

Zone Plymouth Mtg, PA 19462 (zone 6,pretty sure) | Anonymous added on August 11, 2017 | Answered

Last year I lost all my cucumbers so fast....when they were dead,I figured out it was Bacteria Wilt! I was heartbroken since they are my favorite veggie to eat,never really had any problems with them before.So this year I was on the lookout. They came. I used Neem oil.Helped for about 2 days and they were back.Neem Oiled again,only 2-3 days later.They were still around.The neem seemed to really dry out the leaves....or that could be part of the BW.(I don't know) Someone said to use Sevin,that it was the only thing that will kill the beetles,and to just wash the veggies very well before eating.Knowing Sevin is Poison,but the beetles had been around for awhile at this point and my Cukes still looked ok,but I knew it only takes a few days to loose them all,I tried the Sevin...didn't want to but felt like I had no choice(I had read about other possible options,but none successful). So,I used the Sevin.No critters anywhere for a short time.It's been between 2-3 weeks now and the beetles haven't come back,but I started to see sections wilting.This is where I get stuck....At this point what do I Do? Do I cut off the dead,or wilting parts?or leave them be? I started to cut some closer to the bottom cause they were dying anyway.They looked better for a couple days but more kept wilting but some are still OK. This is what they looked like before the poison,Id have to add a pic of them now,but it's dark and would have to send after it gets light again.They basically look dead for the most part but again,certain branches still producing...but other parts looking worse each day. I don't know if I made them worse by cutting the dead leaves,or if that was gonna happen anyway....and still not sure what to do now.I have picked and eaten them since the poison and they were good.Not deformed,or slimey,crunchy,good color.Do you know if they are done for no matter what I do at this point? or can some survive and still produce even after some have definitely been lost to this Wilt and the little beetles that have taken my Cukes now almost 2 years in a row (and I now know they can stick around from season to season)!!! (My next door neighbor just removed all of hers from her raised Garden bed.They were hit harder and earlier than mine...but I didn't know) Just a note that I grow in containers because the soil is like clay and rocky where I am.

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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 11, 2017

It sounds like you have cucumber beetles in addition to the bacterial wilt. Yes, bacterial wilt can cause leaves to dry out and droop. Unfortunately, once a plant is infected with bacterial wilt it cannot be cured, but you can attempt to keep it from spreading to new plants (it is spread by the cucumber beetles). You can still eat the cucumbers that are currently growing unless they themselves look damaged.

For next year, you could try planting a resistant variety of cucumber, covering the plants with anti-insect row covers from the beginning of the season, or using a biological control. Since your neighbor's garden also gets the disease, crop rotation is unlikely to work for you.

See these articles for advice:

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/bacterial-spots/bacterial-wilt-of-cucumber.aspx
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/cucumber/bacterial-wilt-cucumbers.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/cucumber/cucumber-beetle-control.htm

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