Don't see anything that's attacking from the root or base of
the cucumbers. I know there's some type of beetles in the
ground but they don't seem to be too much of a problem. I've
got some centipedes, lizards, I've seen some really neat looking
sand critters (reminded me of scorpions but they looked more
like lightly colored miniature lobster looking bugs about 3/4"
long, 1/8th" to 1/4" wide/high). I find an occasional small tree
frog buried in some of the potted plants every so often. It's
really amazing how much stuff there is to see when one opens
their eyes to it all.
The leaves that turned pale (silvery) were attacked by whiteflies.
I did some research on those over the summer and I found that
spraying the undersides of the leaves with water to wash off
tiny flies helped the cucumber vines. But those vines never fruited
for some reason. Maybe the direct sun caused the no fruit problem.
The white flies though, killed some squash I had growing. And I
haven't ruled out that they could have prevented the cucumber vines
One thing I'm very interested in is knowing if anyone else has
thrown coffee grounds on top of the base of a cucumber vine
and what the results were. I got away with it once but on the
second attempt (a couple weeks later or maybe a month later)
the vine started dying.
Banana peels work very well for cucumber vines, lemon balm,
and roses. One rose stem shot up to ten feet when I put the
whole banana peel around the base of the stem.
As far as fertilizer goes, I've got some ExpertGardner stuff
which is 15-30-15 and is green in color, contains some trace
iron, zinc, molybdenum and maybe two or three other trace
minerals. 1 tablespoon every two to four weeks seems to help
the cucumbers. It helped the grass out front as well with only
one application, although it looks like it's time for another
I have some wasps and bees flying around outside. Saw one
of each earlier. Maybe two or three wasps as I wasn't really
Post replies to newsgroup.
On 11/27/04 1:21 PM, in article 9d6qd.43953$ firstname.lastname@example.org,
I used to use chemical fertilizers until I found out more about their
use. They call chemical fertilizers plant food and rightly so. The problem
is that it does not 'nourish' the soil. The plants will grow but the soil is
sterile until you add some more chemical fertilizer. In other words the soil
is not sustainable on it's own. To be sustainable the soil needs worms...
There are studies that indicate that the addition of chemical
fertilizers actually kills worms. The reason being it changes the chemical
makeup of the soil so fast that the worms are traumatized and ultimately
die. Plus, and more importantly, the chemical fertilizers don't feed the
worms even if it didn't kill them. Worms eat vegetation: decomposing
vegetation: the stinkier the better! You see what is 'stinky' to us is
gourmet lunch for the worms! :)
I feed my worms and they love me! (You haven't been loved until you have
been loved by a worm! <vbg> )
I haven't tried this, but a local (Australian) TV gardening program used
a molasses solution watered into the ground as an organic treatment for
Did it affect the oldest/largest leaves first, while the young tip
leaves seemed to stay healthy? Any sort of bug would spread the fungal
spores from one plant to another. A whitefly problem can be addressed by
either a brilliant yellow board coated with something sticky (such as
petroleum jelly) or disturb the leaves and wave around your vacuum cleaner
hose to suck them up (improvise some fine-netting attachment so you don't
suck up the leaves).
The problem with wetting the leaves of cucumbers, zucchinis, etc. is
that this promotes the leaf mildew to which they all seem vulnerable,
causing the older leaves to turn whitish and then die.
Ideally, if you could arrange that the leaves are never watered nor
splashed with soil the plant should stay healthy right through until it
ceases bearing. An organic remedy for this mildew problem is to spray
the leaves with a mix of 1 part whole milk to 9 parts water. (I'd do
this well before mid-afternoon, to make sure the leaves are dry before
nightfall.) Repeat every week.
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)
All those cucumbers are dead now. <g> I have another one
growing in a different area at the moment. One I planted a
month ago is dying.
As far as the leaves go, over the summer I was pretty sure
of the silverleaf whiteflies attacking squash and cucumbers.
Those whiteflies hung out on the bottom of the leaves, and
tapping the leaves, you'd see little spots jumping. They
were quite small. That was over the summer (June/July/Aug)
and those particular cucumbers and squash never fruited.
The squash died pretty quickly, the cucumbers were yamato
variety and hung around until September/October before I
finally just let them go and gave up on them.
There were quite a few caterpillars evolving on those
cucumber leaves as well. I picked off alot of those green
caterpillars. And I was messing with ways to get rid of the
The silverleaf whiteflies cause damage by secreting some
bad stuff into the leaves which makes veins in the leaf turn
silvery, then the whole leaf eventually pales and gets a silver
glowish look to it, but the plant continues to live and grow.
I'm only guessing that it makes the whole plant weaker.
The latest cucumbers that did fruit... I eventually let all the
bugs develop on those leaves, as I thought they were all
Asian lady bugs, and it was later that I learned that cuke
beetles can appear to be ladybug looking.
I can't really comment at the moment because I didn't
discriminate between which leaves were attacked and
which weren't. I'm thinking that the oldest leaves though
do seem to get attacked first before the younger leaves.
The new yamato cucumbers I have growing have some
really big leaves growing, and I am seeing holes in the big
leaves but there are no flies or visible bugs at the moment
that I am seeing. Yes the older leaves are getting holes,
and there are some beautiful new leaves growing every
I did try a yellow plastic coffee can lid and I put some
vegetable oil in it over the summer. The cuke vines grew
4 feet up a fence and then started growing horizontally
along the top of the fence.
I've already started watering the leaves on the newest
cuke. Just the underside for the most part, even though
I don't see any bugs. And I appreciate and understand
your comment and concerns about not spraying the plants
with water. It's kind of chilly (50 degree Fahrenheit) at
night and 70ish during the day here now. <eg> The
people in New York will laugh.
I'll give that a try. Thanks!
Just one more question about cucumbers. I noticed you
mentioned that cucumbers will stop fruiting. So how long
are cucumbers expected to live? I keep hoping they can
live more than 2 or 3 months but perhaps I'm dreaming.
Post replies to newsgroup.
You know, some of the curcubits have the silver veins in their leaves,
zuchinnis do, so perhaps your variety of cucumbers does too. I tend to
the view that your cucumbers are dying from mildew, more so in light of
your admission that you regularly water the leaves.
You say you are a beginning vege gardener. Do you know of the bacteria
spray (BT) that you can use to destroy caterpillers (of species that will
turn into moths)?
You need to hang a large yellow object up, shake the plants to get
the flies airborne, and they then land on the attractive yellow and
My Mum grew cucumbers. Like most curcubits here, their life here ends
prematurely when they succumb to leaf mildew. But 2 months sounds a
good duration for cucumbers to be bearing. I used to hand pollinate them.
The flowers are so small that bees would overlook them in favour of the
bigger zucchini blooms. There is nothing worse then watching your
cucumbers flowering madly, and none of them setting. Pick a male flower,
strip it of the petals, and rub its pollen into the female flowers.
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)
On 12/6/04 4:12 PM, in article
041207000110911.07Dec04$ email@example.com, "John Savage"
Jim, I think you are right about the mildew...I have seen the same thing
even in the heat of summer. (Sorry, I sniped that part)...the leaves turn a
whitish colour. My cucs still produced though. I like that part! :) But
there were three or four plants growing in the same area. When I dug them up
it appeared there was only one plant that had actually carried on. Obviously
I will have to watch more carefully if I am to know what is going on.
Big bees are attracted to big flowers but there are also little bees
and/or wasps (at least in my part of the country). These little bees or
wasps can be attracted if you have some small flowered plants (besides the
cucumbers). Many certified organic farmers will grow a multitude of
flowers-some big, some small, to attract both.
The first time I visited an organic vegetable farm I saw this one row
with flowers in it..."doesn't look like a vegetable to me", I thought.
"What is that row?" I asked.
"Those are flowers to attract bees", was the response.
"Yes right", I thought. I have learned much since that first visit.
To attract smaller bees/wasps even weeds with small flowers will be a
help. Weeds are native they will therefore probably attract the native
bee/wasp...one would think anyway.
PS: I have some weeds with small flowers growing in my cedar hedge-I used to
pull them out... :) I often wonder just what else I have 'missed'. I hope
you are also. There is much to be learned about gardening...pests and other
Flowering lemon basil seems to be an attraction for at least
one bee. He's been coming back everyday for the last few
days and I normally don't see that feller until I've messed
with one particular lemon basil plant (which happens to be
flowering). The wasps seems to stick to the cucumber
flowers or some PigWeed (amaranthus) and other flowers.
Right now I'm keeping an eye on a Japanese yamato
cucumber plant. It's defined as "burpless". It doesn't look
much like the MarketMore or Pointsett 76 cucumbers. I'm
hoping the fruit will continue to grow. These yamato cukes
are growing long and skinny. I'm hoping they'll get some
more girth but if not I'll be happy just to get one fruit. The
first two I messed with never fruited. I had them in the
direct sun and I don't think cukes like the direct sun. They
seem to do better under some shade.
RedRoot PigWeed starting to grow with a hungarian wax
pepper. I starting to see that redroot pigweed can be very
obnoxious. So I chopped the pigweed up that was in the
pot with the pepper. I tried to pull the pigweed out of the
pot but it seems to be rooted very well. So rather than really
mess things up I left it in. This is only one pepper plant in the
pot though and it has 7 peppers and is growing more as well.
Somewhere last year I read that redroot pigweed brings
nutrients up to the surface, and I'm wondering if this actually
helped the pepper plant.
I'm seeing where this can be an obnoxious plant though. I
don't recommend letting this things come to full bloom. :-/
I'm trying the 1 tablespoon of milk in a spray bottle with
maybe a quart of water sprayed on the underside of the
There anything that I can add that might help the cuke
grow fruits? This cuke didn't get the slow fertilizer, but
I have given it a dose of 15/30/15 stuff, which appears
to be really quick acting.
Post replies to newsgroup.
On 11/23/04 2:45 PM, in article H4Pod.25602$ firstname.lastname@example.org,
Norm says he..."composted everything? In the neighborhood....?"
This is what I do:
Right now I have about 25 bags of leaves in the back yard collected from
neighbours. I have already chewed up another 10 or so (with my lawnmower)
that are composting...I gather grass cuttings from neighbours: I collect
coffee grounds and vegetable scraps from several restaurants; produce from a
produce store etc, etc. That is what I envision when someone says they
On 11/23/04 6:41 PM, in article BDC934D9.1319C% email@example.com, "Bill"
Correction: I now have 34 bags of leaves...there are still lots out there.
Damn...do I have to go out again? It's rainin'...some of the leaves are
walnut...the worms love 'em, as far as I know. :)
Walnuts? What kind of walnuts? Black walnuts?
You seem like the kind of guy who would already know about walnut trees
inhibiting the growth of other plants. Grass seems to grow under a
walnut tree but many other plants are doomed if grown too near to a
Speaking of worms, I remember when I was a teenager and I gathered a
bucket full of black walnuts from a tree near our property line. I
dumped them on the lawn and stepped on them to break open the outer
husks. Then I tried to clean them up with the garden hose. The water
mixing with the husks produced an inky dark solution like very black
coffee. The earth worms just about flew out of the ground! They weren't
going to stay under ground if that chemical concoction was down there.
OK, I don't have any great wisdom to share. I'm not sure how much of the
plant inhibiting substance actually comes from the leaves. (Well, I'm
not that clueless, the toxin juglone is what causes the trouble.) I
think I would be careful about composting black walnut leaves for use
where I plan to grow tomatoes or their relatives since they are quite
susceptible. I'm also not sure if earth worms would be repelled by the
leaves as they are by the walnut husks.
You didn't even specify black walnut so maybe I'm discussing this for
nothing. I guess I'm just having a burst of chattiness today.
Steve in the Adirondacks where there isn't a walnut tree anywhere near
here. (I grew up in Ohio)
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