Vegetables and Fruit forum: Lemon Cucumber flies and dying

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maulydaft
Jul 22, 2013 8:30 AM CST
Hello!
You guys have been such great help with my houseplants. Here's a veggie question!
I'm growing a (yes just one!) lemon cucumber. My first time this year. I had two growing and they both died. Then the third one died. I'm on my fourth.
The same thing seems to happen - gets woody/rotten on the stem and dies off. Seems to be in conjunction with cooler air.
I'm trying not to over water, but get this: I went away for 10 days and my boyfriend who's always over watering definitely over watered everything just before I got back - my tomatoes were sitting in water etc. BUT the cucumber was still alive! I was very happy. So I let it dry out for a few days. Watered it a bit one day and then literally the next day it started to die! This was in conjunction with some cool air that moved in, but it wasn't THAT cool. The days had been very hot and humid while I was gone (in the high 80's). That night after I watered was maybe 70 or just below.
So, anyway, I've started the cucumber again. I've got three little guys growing and I will pluck out two of them once I get the second true leaf. It's a little late to start I know (I live in Toronto), but I'm trying it out anyway.
THEN I noticed the little fly bugs on the soil. They are very tiny, have wings and flit around but don't actually fly anywhere. I sprayed the soil with some soapy water but that didn't seem to do anything. I wasn't sure how much to put on, didn't want to harm the plant.
Any suggestions??
Thumb of 2013-07-22/maulydaft/b31db4
Thumb of 2013-07-22/maulydaft/a61d39
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
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chelle
Jul 25, 2013 1:26 PM CST
Hi, maulydaft.

Is this the entire plant, or have the roots been broken off? It looks to me like there isn't enough root there to support the needs of the top growth. If you haven't done so, you might try digging your plot deeply and adding some compost to it. Mix it in and dampen it just a tiny bit and then plant your seedling. Put enough water on the area to settle it in at planting time and then apply supplemental water only if it starts to look distressed. Those roots really need to go down to find moisture, otherwise the plant can't draw enough as it continues to grow. Mulching a large area outside the root zone at planting time will help minimize stress so that you don't have to water as often. Do water deeply and frequently once fruit starts to set.

Good luck, and happy growing!

Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens



maulydaft
Aug 2, 2013 6:50 PM CST
I should have mentioned that this is all container gardening. You can sort of see the roots on the second picture. Don't know if that changes anything?
Thanks for the above chelle :)
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Aug 3, 2013 6:28 AM CST
I haven't grown cucumbers in a container, but I'd think the same basic ideas would apply. When I first started veggie gardening I watered too much in the days following planting out. When pulled, my plants' roots looked like yours; not much there to support further health and growth. Now I use the method of: add plant, fill the planting area with water, then watch and do nothing else unless there are signs of droopy leaves in the evening -then a deep watering is applied. At that time, bottom watering of a container might be the most beneficial. Those roots need to travel downward toward the water. Once it has soaked for a time, scratch the soil surface to be sure all the soil is moist, then remove the container from the water pan.

Once you have fruit set you then will need to water more often -to fill the fruit quickly- (this helps prevent bitter fruit). But until that time you just want the plant to focus on growing great roots.

How large of a container are you using, and what's its depth? How's the drainage of the container: fast, slow or does it seem clogged?
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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