What is the cause of this: My plants grow fine, but after the 1st picking of a few cucumbers, the plants start to die from bottom up. The stem turns yellow, and leaves start getting crispy and dry and yellow to brown in color. I have read about "cucumber borers." If that's what it is, how do you get rid of it? I do like me some cucumbers.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
A vine borer is a possibility. If so, you will see holes in the lower stem where the borer entered. The best way to diagnose it is to cut open the stem of one of the affected plants- you will see the borer inside.
It could also be cucumber bacterial wilt or several other diseases:
Many of the causes are either insects or diseases spread by insects, so look carefully for any bugs on or around the plants. Cucumber beetles and squash bugs are some of the suspects.
It could also be a weather issue: some varieties of cucumbers do better in certain regions than others, so if you have one that isn't suited to your conditions, it might wilt and slowly die.