Armenian cucumber sudden death syndrome

Last spring I had several young Armenian cucumbers in a raised bed that just up and died all of a sudden. They wilted in a similar way to what they would do if they were dying of thirst, except they had received enough water and the ground wasn’t all dried out or anything.

This year I started some Armenian cucumber seeds in a small six pack pot after the seeds I planted in the ground were dug up and eaten by squirrels. These plants seem to be experiencing a similar type of sudden death.

They were fine a couple of days ago, then one wilted as if it were dry and its capillary connection in the stem was lost. The others quickly began following suit. After these ones died, their remains seem to have started decomposing rather quickly, which makes me suspicious of a fungal cause.

Does anyone have any insight into what has been going on? When I make another attempt, should I spray them with Immunox once they germinate and have a couple of leaves? Or do I need to use some other treatment if there is a fungal attack going on at the roots?

Is there any kind of post-mortem examination that should be conducted to try and establish a cause of death?

Here are some pictures. The second picture was taken a couple of hours after the first one.



My wife says “damping off disease?”. She has good instincts so I try to pay attention to her.

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Please excuse my ignorance.

What is “damping off disease?”

Here’s a really rudimentary explantion:

Don’t feel too bad- it’s very common and we’ve all experienced it! IRRC squash family plants (which includes cukes) are particularly susceptible.