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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Building A Disease Barrier with Newspaper: Cucumber Disease


Leaf spot and other diseases seem to hang around Maryland. This year I am being more vigilant in disease control. In as little as 3 days, diseases can take hold. The last few days have been warm, wet, and muggy.


Two cucumbers have a leaf spot. I should have addressed it 5 days ago but I was still in denial. I wanted it, the spots, to be burns from my sulfur spray. It wasn't.

This is how you tend to the disease:

  • Nip the leaves off right at where the stem meets the leaf
  • Remove flowers or damaged fruit
  • Leave only disease free leaves
  • Put down newspaper
  • Spray plants and paper with sulfur spray or your choice

I remove the leaf at the leaf stem. You could remove the leaf and stem at the vine. I prefer leaving some stem to make it harder for bugs to get to the stem. This is just a preference not a fact. There is good chance the stem has spores too. SO your choice.

The two diseased cucumbers. (click photos to enlarge)

Leaf Spot on Two Cucumbers
The Spot to be Cleaned up and Disease Managed
I removed the disease leaves, stems, cucumbers,  and flowers. Take off all plant leaves that show signs. I evaluated both plants and decided one wasn't worth saving. I keep plants growing in cups and trays. Don't get attached to a plant, remove it, and replace it. You will forget about it. 

Infected Leaves are Removed
The leaves were removed. There just wasn't enough left on the plant in the right corner. I replaced it.

A Pile of Diseased Cucumber Leaves
Cleaned Up the Space, Removed the Cuke
Planted an 'Armenian' cucumber
Once the plants and garden are tended and planted, put down a layer or two of newspaper. The diseases that get our plants are mostly soil born and splash up to the plant's leaves. 

Lay Down a Layer or Two of Newspaper
You can tear a slit where the paper needs to surround the stem of the plant and just slip it in.

Spray the Plants and Newspaper with Spray
Make sure you spray the newspaper with the sulfur spray. Make sure you spray the ENTIRE cucumber plant. The upper and lower sides of leaves, stems, flowers, and vines. I will put grass on top of the newspaper when I get it. I could not wait longer. I didn't want the disease to spread to the four cucumbers I planted a few days ago.

Diseased Leaves and Plant Never Compost Them.
The Doctored Plant and the New Plant


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