The Infamous Cucumber Beetle

cucumber beetle

The Striped Cucumber Beeetle has made it’s way to the Farm. It has been feeding on cucumbers, squash, zucchini and pumpkins. The beetle chews on the leaves and stems of these plants and injects a bacteria that wilts the plant, often times the plant will die. The beetles have laid their eggs, one or two generations of beetles can pass in a season. In August we may see these pests again, but this time we can be more prepared!

For ridding these creatures I have drowned many in soapy water, this can be very tasking. I would recommend a row cover to keep the beetles from causing significant damage to the plant.

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      Re cucumber beetles: since I began gardening (1961) I have twice forgotten or neglected to plant a ring of radishes where I intend to plant squashes when the weather has warmed up. Twice I have had those striped invaders come decimate my cucurbits! Plant a ring about the diameter of a bushel basket top, or maybe a basketball hoop (these were first made with bottomless bushel baskets). Plant your curcurbits a few weeks later, after they radishes have a good set of big leaves.

      Hot pepper-garlic spray helps a bit after they have arrived. Fill a wat3ring can half full of hot water. Put some soap (not detergent) into it as a wetting agent to make the solution stick to the leaves. Add about a quarter cup of powdered hot pepper and about the same amount of garlic powder. Let steep 5 – 10 minutes. Top up with cold water so you don’t scald the plants and water all leaves, especially on the undersides. To turn over the leaves, use a stick to push them aside so their bottoms are waterable.


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About

The Acadia Community Farm began in the spring of 2008 with the vision of providing local, organic produce to the dining hall at Acadia University, while also serving as a community garden. The Farm has grown to become an educational community centre for the exchange of knowledge surrounding gardening, food, and sustainable agriculture. Explore the site to find out more or stop by the Farm for a visit!

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