Why cucumbers are wilting: how to save the vegetable harvest

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Cucumber rot can be very dangerous

Cucumbers from your own garden are always juicier and crispier than store-bought ones. In addition, you can be sure that they have not been treated with chemicals. However, you will have to work hard for a great harvest. In particular, you have to keep fruits and stems from wilting, which can occur for various reasons.

OBOZREVATEL tells why cucumbers can wilt and how to combat this problem in your own vegetable garden.

Lack of nutrition

The simplest reason for a plant to feel bad is a lack of nutrition, including insufficient watering. The leaves wilt when there is not enough water or when the plant does not like the microclimate. In a greenhouse, for example, it can quickly become too hot.

So, before you start looking for disease on the plant, make sure that:

  • The cucumbers are getting enough water;
  • Watering is not excessive and is not cold;
  • The soil is loosened, ideally covered with mulch;
  • The plant gets enough fertilizer;
  • Side shoots are grafted, and excessive ovary is removed so as not to deplete the plant;
  • If you grow cucumbers in a greenhouse, make sure it is regularly ventilated and there are no drafts.

Symptoms of wilting

It should be a cause for concern if a cucumber drops its leaves during the day, but its condition improves during a cool night. Over time, this can cause the leaves to die off.

Also pay attention if there is a plaque on the stem and leaves, which is a sign of fungus. Depending on the type of pest, the plaque will have different colors.

It is also a bad sign that flowers will fall off, and young cucumbers remain small and wither right on the stem, falling off later. And it is quite bad if the shoots themselves begin to rot and dry.

The causes of problems with cucumbers

Various fungi that occur in the soil and infect plants are responsible for wilting. In order to find out what kind of fungus it is, the plant should be examined more closely. You can also cut along the stem to examine the inside.

Here are the symptoms of some cucumber diseases:

  • A white to pink coating on the stem -  Ascomycete Fungus (the causative agent of Fusarium oxysporum);
  • Die-off and rotting of stems, white to white-green coating - Stem root rot (Fusarium solani);
  • White, cotton-wool-like plaque - Sclerotinia (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum);
  • Yellow leaves, black roots - Black root rot (Phomopsis sclerotioides);
  • Stems discolored from brown to black inside - Verticillosis (Verticillium fungi).

The fungus affects the roots and main stem, and spreads throughout the plant, killing the crop as a result. Fungal spores spread quickly, so the problem must be dealt with as soon as possible.

What to do with a diseased plant

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for cucumber fungal infections to save the crop from. Therefore, infected plants will have to be removed.

Moreover, they should not be used for compost. They also should be taken out of the garden carefully, so that the spores of the fungus-causing organism do not spread to other plants or do not get into the soil. Wear gloves, wrap the removed plant in a bag and dispose of with household waste. If tools have been used on the infected cucumber, they should be disinfected.

Preventing Infestation

For cucumbers to have a good immunity and not suffer from fungus infection, they need to be well cared for. In addition to sufficient watering and regular feeding, it is also important to choose the right place for the bed. It should be spacious, with plenty of sunshine and protected from the wind.

If the bed is still infected by some plants in the next year, plant cucumbers on it is not desirable. The soil from such a bed should be additionally treated from the spores of the pathogen that are probably in it. To do this, freeze or incinerate it in an oven. Also you can get rid of such soil, throwing it away with household waste and replacing it with healthy one.

Earlier OBOZREVATEL told you how to prevent the development of rot on tomatoes.

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