I have three 3x3x2 raised garden boxes with bottoms, sun cover and great soil. My veggies and watermelon were doing great until about four days ago. The wilting started in the first box (mostly tomatoes), two days later it had also affected plants in the second box and today I found the 5 ft. watermelon vine half demolished from severe wilt. If it is a soil pest, I really wanted to use beneficial nematodes to combat this, but it is so hot here they would die before doing their job. Am I left with throwing in the towel till next growing season and learn from this or use pesticides, which I really don't want to do? OR, do you have a great suggestion for me?
It would be very unusual for any kind of pest (or disease) to almost simultaneously strike a whole bunch of unrelated plants. It sounds more like something environmental. Can you think of anything that might have happened, like pesticide drift, watering from a hose that had been in the sun....etc.?
The plants are watered with a drip system. There had been a lot of flying insects on the plants (whiteflies, I think) and I did spray with neem oil hoping to deter them. I sprayed in the evening. The picture is just some of the watermelon leaves affected. It has not been raining and the boxes are two feet deep.
Could it have happened when I sprayed the neem oil? Maybe I sprayed way too much?
It does rather look like some kind of spray injury but it would be helpful to see more pictures as stone suggested. Is there any chance the spray was stronger than the labeled rate, or anything else mixed in with it? Or you suggested you might have sprayed too much, were the plants dripping with it?
whatisit said:Yes the plants were dripping with the neem oil.
That may be the problem then. It's best to test neem oil on a leaf/plant or two first and wait a few days to make sure there's no reaction before spraying all, don't apply it too heavily, don't apply to plants that have been insufficiently watered, and don't apply it in hot sun. In your pictures it looks like parts of the leaves were not damaged so the plant might well survive. We can give you a better idea of their prospects with more pictures of the whole plants.
Gilbert : Were all trying our best to help you. 👍👍😀
But ! Without the answers to our questions. Were just guessing !
Could you go back and review our questions, and answer them more accurately ?
I have a couple more ?'s
Please send a picture of each of your complete beds, and a complete view of your set-up ?
Do your beds have drainage holes in them that can let excess water drain out ?
I can answer your question about neem oil. If you sprayed after sun was down, the plants weren't to young, the neem oil was mixed properly and kept agitated while spraying. The neem oil is not to blame.
Hope to hear from you soon, my friend. 👍👍
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.