Melons and cucumbers are two very different vegetables ostensibly and in flavor, but they are united by their belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family and the same spring-summer growth cycle. Their kinship also makes them susceptible to being susceptible to common diseases that we describe in this article.
Thus, we inform about fungal, bacterial and viral pathologies and physiopathies that affect these excellent summer products and we give some suggestions on how to prevent and cure them with a view to biological agriculture whose objective is, in the first place, to prevent the onset of the disease.
Precisely for this reason, before listing melon and cucumber diseases, it is useful to review a few simple measures that can ensure that the conditions causing the problem are not present. After an overview of prevention We try to describe the most frequent diseases that affect melon and cucumber, in order to recognize them and fight them effectively if they occur.
Melon and cucumber diseases
Powdery mildew or bad powdery mildew
Diseases of seedlings in the nursery
We can anticipate some common rules that apply to prevent all fungal and bacterial diseases, a properly established culture is in fact a first way to avoid problems. More information
- Rotations : they always rotate the cucurbits in the garden, alternating them with other species from different families.
- Remove all infected crop debris and parts of plants showing symptoms of garden disease for composting.
In case of cultivation in greenhouses and tunnels allow good air circulation in these environments.
- Treat plants preventively with the infusion io cold extracts of equisetum, essential oils of lemon and grapefruit or propolis, all natural products which reinforce the autonomous defenses of plants.
In this way, it will be possible to reduce treatments with copper-based products only to the most serious situations, and we remember that when carrying them out, it is always important to respect the doses and all the precautions for use indicated. on the packaging.
Melon and cucumber diseases
After these premises, we discover the names and symptoms of the most common diseases for cucumber and melon crops, in order to learn how to detect them as quickly as possible and to intervene while the plants can still be saved.
mushrooms of the genus Fusarium They affect, depending on the species, melon and cucumber, as well as watermelon, causing plants to yellow and wilt. Pathogens remain vital for years in the soil and take advantage of any root injuries enter the plant and blacken its inner pots. If the pathology also manifests itself in the fruit, it results in a very unpleasant taste followed by rotting.
The mushroom Verticillium dahliae usually appears after flowering and attacks the interior of pots of melon, cucumber and watermelon, especially those grown in greenhouses, spreading rapidly among the plants, which take on a similar appearance to that described for tracheofusarium wilt.
The pseudoperonospora cubensis mainly affects melons and cucumbers grown in greenhouses , an environment in which humidity easily stagnates accompanied by heat. It can also be found outdoors, especially after 5-6 hours of rain. The incubation time of the fungus is 4 or 5 days, so at the beginning you can notice some drying of the leaves here and there, and it is time to intervene with a copper treatment, because otherwise, in a short time, the drying out will gradually begin to affect other plants.
It is a bacterial pathology which mainly affects cucumbers, and which is favored due to high air humidity and accidental injury to plants that become entry sites for the pathogen. Recognized by translucent spots on the sheets , delimited by the veins of the leaves and visible especially on the lower page. The affected parts darken, dry out and are perforated.
Powdery mildew or white sore
Like other cucurbits, melons and cucumbers can also be infected with powdery mildew or mal blanco fungi which can be recognized by the white powdery patina of the leaves and stems. In this case, the classic product to use is sulphur, but it can be replaced by treatments based on simple sodium bicarbonate or by products based on the antagonist fungus Ampelomyces quisqualis.
common mosaic virus it affects cucumber but also pumpkin and zucchini, less melon and watermelon, but also other vegetables and ornamental species, which gives rise to a more transversal pathology. The leaf flap infected plants is malformed, bulging, and the tissues appear thicker and fleshier. The vectors of this pathology are above all aphids, and therefore the fight, which is not directly feasible with any product, must be directed precisely at these insects, to be controlled by all known means and natural products such as simple Marseille soap, Azadirachtin or natural pyrethrins . When eradicating infected plants, it is important disinfect tools used, so as not to contaminate the still healthy plants.
mushrooms like Pythium Is Didymel find the best environments to proliferate very humid and hot greenhouses such as structures used for seedbeds, and can damage almost any planted container.
That is why it is very important to circulate the air in these structures, often using their openings. In addition, the earth which sheltered the plants that have fallen ill must not be reused but must be put in the compost to decompose for a long time and it is advisable to soak the containers and pots in water and vinegar for a few hours.
Physiopathies are degenerations of a non-parasitic nature, ie they are not attributable to fungi, bacteria or viruses, but rather to nutritional or microclimatic imbalances. Among them we can cite:
- magnesium deficiency It occurs mainly in acidic and sandy soils with yellowing of leaf edges. To avoid this imbalance, special natural fertilizers such as potassium magnesium sulfate can be added to the soil, which also prevents potassium deficiency which is common in the same situations.
- neck strangulation : when the collar of the seedlings has a strong shrinkage, this is due to excessive heat and the glare of the sun’s rays on the soil. These are mostly newly transplanted seedlings that have been raised in shaded greenhouses.
- apical cucumbers : Sometimes cucumbers are seen with the tip thinned and curved in the shape of a hook, and this seems to be linked to water imbalances accompanied by sudden increases in temperature. For this reason, the irrigations must be regular, without alternating abundant rotations with long periods of drought.
- Fruit discoloration : Sometimes cucumber fruits appear yellowish on one side, usually the one in contact with the ground in crops in the ground. The problem is mainly aesthetic, but padding could help prevent it.