We did not have great luck this year with those wonderful summer treats. We contracted Bacteria Wilt. I know I didn't know what it was either, but thanks to the ever handy google on this here computer I found out probably more than I ever wanted to know. "Bacterial wilt of cucurbits occurs throughout the United States. It affects curcurbits including cucumbers, muskmelons, squash, pumpkins, white gourds, wild gourds, wild cucurbits, and watermelon. The causal bacterium, Erwinia tracheiphila, is spread primarily by the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittata, and the spotted cucumber beetle, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi." That was the technical definition I found so I am just going to share a few basics in lay mans terms.
It is brought on by a little lovely creature in the beetle family. They are black and yellow stripped so beware my friends, beware! Your leaves first start to droop and then discolor. You will see an ooze appear on the vine. This ooze blocks the water from traveling within the plant.
The cucumbers start growing in odd shapes and very mushy. They are poor tasting too! It is a very sad sight indeed. Within 2 weeks it can wipe out your whole crop. I liken it to the story of the plague of the locusts.
The only way to cure it once it has started is to remove the plants all together. Now trust me that we tried to defy odds by just trimming back, it worked for maybe a few more cucumbers but then it was good night my sweet friends. Mr. Miller did the dirty deed the other night, he yanked them and away they went.
There is hope and I do have a plan for next year. It is a natural approach of course, I found that you can spray with Neem oil. It is OMRI listed and compliant in organic gardening. We will definitely be looking into this for next year.
I will now ask for a moment of silence for my lovely green friends...OK thats enough on to next years garden plan and to my favorite time of year, Autumn. I hope you all have a fabulous Labor Day weekend and enjoy the last weekend of summer.