Cucumbers and Melons are ready to plant

I started these seeds about 7 days ago and they are taking off. Time to plant and hope for a good harvest.



do you have problems with cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt that they spread? I do. I can get a lot of cucumbers before these beetles arrive, but with melons it is another story. They begin to wilt just before they get ripe and this is very frustrating. If you have any effective treatment agains them, please share.

Which melons do you have trouble with - cantaloupes or watermelons? Or both? Just curious since I’m planting both this year and the cucumber beetles are horrible here. Even when I grow Diva, supposedly resistant, I only get a few cukes before the vines start wilting one after another.

Tony, those look like they are ready to take off. How many will you plant per hill and what type are they? Also, do you have transplant issues with the roots exposed like that? Good luck with them.

I make succession planting of cukes in hope the new vines produce before falling victim to wilt. Can’t do that with melons here, season too short

Can’t spray the CBs, it would get the bees


I had problems with cukes and melons. I’ve read that Little leaf cucumber is more resistant to bacterial wilt, but I had not try it yet. I grew different melons for several years and all of them have died. Some times I can manage to get the first one ripe but all others succumb. I tried to put an insect protective net but it is a pain to hand polinate them and eventually the beetles will find their way through it. I think the insect net will work better with parthenocarpic cucumbers. I’ve read that spraying leaves with Surround might help but I have no Surround to try. May be diamacereous dust? You see I am still trying to figure it out, I like melons so much and our climate should be very good for melons.
Watermelons also can wilt, but they usually do not die. I am sure the wilting is not very good for the quality of fruits though. eventually they’ll recover.
Pumpkins and squash do not bother with BW, but they hit with squash borers. These cucumber beetles live everywhere in the garden they feed on numerous plants, not only cukes, so it is hard to kill them all.

I have the same exact problem and I quite growing melons. I can only get some harvest of cucumbers before August.

The seeds we’re Chinese and Japanese cucumber (2 feet long fruits), Honeydew, and Korean mini crunchy honeydew.

I used Sevin granules mixed in the soil and Sevin dust sprinkled on top of the soil and water well every 2 weeks. The last 3 years with good results.


Tony -
Does this work for the cucumber beetle/bacterial wilt problem? What do the Sevin granules mixed into the soil do?

When I was complaining to a local guy about the plight of my melons which I believe had bacterial wilt, he said he used Neem oil and didn’t have any problems. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Is he on to something or did he just get lucky and not really need the Neem oil?

Good idea Tony. I wonder if Sevin kills worms too. If I will do it i need to apply Sevin under all cucubits, eggplants, beans and whatever else they feed on. Thinking in that direction maybe covering soil with landscaping fabric and such help to prevent the emrgence from the soil.
I use Neem oil through the summer on tomatoes and eggplants and I do not think that in helps effectively to reduce population of cucumber beetles.


I used the Sevin granules in the soil around the plant in hope that it will kill any bugs near the root system and sprinkle Sevin on the soil and the whole vines to kill the beetle on contact so if the beetles died they can not spread the bacterial wilt.

"Cucumber bacterial wilt is caused by the bacterium, Erwinia tracheiphila, and is characterized initially by wilting and drying of individual leaves, especially those exhibiting cucumber beetle injury. Cucumbers and muskmelons are more susceptible than pumpkins or squash; the disease is rarely a problem on watermelons.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Infected plants initially show wilting and drying of individual leaves. As the leaves wilt and shrivel, stems may dry out suddenly. Later, wilting spreads to entire branches and vines. Wilting will occur during the middle of the day during periods with high water stress. The vine may recover at night. Eventually, however, the entire vine will wither, collapse, and die. In partially resistant plants, symptoms appear as dwarfing, excessive blooms, and branching. A good diagnostic test for this wilt is to cut a wilted stem near the base. Touch a knife blade to the cut and draw away from the cut. White to clear strings of the bacterial ooze will be strung out from the cut made on the infected plant to the knife blade. This diagnostic test is not 100% reliable. Further investigation may be necessary.

Life Cycle

The bacteria overwinter in the digestive system of the cucumber beetle. In the spring, bacterial wilt is spread from plant to plant through both the striped and spotted cucumber beetles that feed on cucumbers and other relatives of this family. The bacteria are released through the insect excrement and move into host plants through the stomates and wounds, most likely the ones made when the insects feed. Insects ingest more bacteria as they feed on infected plants, and the cycle is repeated.

Integrated Pest Management Strategies

  1. Protect plants with netting. Prevent cucumber beetles from feeding and infecting plants by covering them with netting or porous fabric.

  2. Remove and destroy plant material when symptoms of wilting are first noticed. There are no cures for the disease. Beetles spread the bacterium from infected plants to healthy plants.

  3. Grow susceptible crops on rotation every third year. Since beetles overwinter in the soil and carry the bacterium, the cycle can be disrupted by only planting the host in an area every third year.

  4. Avoid planting cucurbits next to corn. Spotted cucumber larvae also feed on corn; avoiding close plantings of these two crops may help control the beetles on cucurbits.

  5. Grow varieties that tolerate bacterial wilt like butternut or acorn squash and Saladin or County Fair 83 cucumbers. No muskmelon varieties are known to be tolerant to bacterial wilt.

  6. Dust plants with insecticide in the spring before the cucumber beetles have a chance to lay eggs (April-June). Apply pyrethrin or carbaryl (Sevin). Try an insecticide-bait combination such as Adios that has cucurbitacin, the beetle attractant, and a small amount of carbaryl (Sevin)."