Cucumber crop dangers at the end of summer. From late picking, to wrong fertilizing, to cucumber diseases and pests in August, growers need to be aware of a number of dangers that can destroy vegetables in late summer.
Usually farmers have rich harvests of cucumbers in July, but as of August, most of them suddenly lose their harvest, although, in theory, cucumbers can bear fruit even until frost.
Cucumber crop risks in late summer:
- Incorrect harvesting of cucumbers at the end of summer
- Very cold nights, danger to cucumbers
- Wrong fertilization of cucumber
- Fungal diseases of cucumbers in late summer
- Pests breed in cucumbers in August
In most cases, cucumber plants begin to turn yellow and die due to common mistakes that growers make. They do not take into account certain aspects, and the plants begin to die at the end of summer.
The dangers of the cucumber crop at the end of the summer
A number of dangers can destroy the cucumber crop at the end of summer, in August. Farmers should carefully monitor garden crops to harvest on time and intervene with a series of measures to protect cucumber plants during this period when humidity increases and temperatures begin to drop, especially at night.
Incorrect harvesting of cucumbers at the end of summer
Incorrect harvesting of cucumbers is dangerous for the crop. Picking cucumbers too early can cause the plant to die or suddenly stop fruiting in late summer. It is easy to see why this problem occurs. The nature of the cucumber plant, like other plants, is reproductive.
If you do not pick it in time, the seeds begin to ripen inside the cucumber, and the plant considers its task accomplished and stops producing new cucumbers.
If cucumbers are picked just after they begin to ripen, preventing seed formation, the plant continues to produce flowers in an effort to meet its breeding schedule. Thus, fruiting extends for several more months.
Very cold nights, danger to cucumbers
Cold nights affect the cucumber crop. From August, there may be nights when temperatures drop, which negatively affects the vegetables in the garden.
Cucumber is a thermophilic plant: for normal development, the temperature at night should be in the range of 16-18 ° C. If at night the thermometer begins to drop below 12-14 ° C, then cucumbers should be covered.
To protect the cucumber crop, mineral springs are planted on the tracts. At night, cover the cucumbers with plastic film or agrotextile – agril. With the onset of the day, the protection is removed so that the cucumbers do not suffer from overheating (at temperatures above 30 ° C, the plants stop growing and stop bearing fruit). Removing the plant during the day is also essential for the normal pollination of plants.
In addition to covering cucumber plants during cold nights, mulching the soil is also a solution to protect the crop.
At the end of summer, the root zone can be covered with peat, humus, sawdust or straw. A layer of mulch will protect the roots from hypothermia, which is located more on the surface of the soil, thus extending the life of the crop.
Wrong fertilization of cucumber
At the end of summer, one of the reasons why cucumbers stop fruiting is fertilization. This crop needs a lot of nutrition throughout its vegetative growth period.
In order for a cucumber plant to grow and sometimes reach 3-4 meters, but also to form a large number of fruits, a lot of energy is needed. Fertilizers that were put into the soil before and during planting are not enough for the plant to grow. Therefore, regular fertilizing during the growing season is a prerequisite for rich and long-term fruiting.
At certain periods of development, the nutritional needs of cucumbers differ: not only the composition is different, but also the method of fertilizer application.
In August, when the nights become longer, the roots of the cucumbers begin to absorb nutrients more difficult. That is why, at the end of summer, it is better to use not a root fertilizer, but a foliar fertilizer at the level of the leaves.
As for the composition of fertilizers for cucumbers, from the second half of summer, the amount of nitrogen is reduced, in addition to providing phosphorus and potassium, which are responsible for the formation and formation of fruits and strengthening immunity.
For foliar fertilizing of cucumbers in August, mineral complexes with trace elements can be used.
At the end of summer, foliar fertilizers for cucumbers can also be prepared by growers from superphosphate (1 tablespoon) and potassium sulfate (1 tablespoon), diluted in 10 liters of water.
In addition, for fertilizing cucumbers, natural recipes are used such as: infusion of ash, sour milk or whey (dairy product is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 3).
The best time for foliar fertilization of cucumbers is in the early morning. Thus, the solution spray will have time to dry before the appearance of strong sunlight. It is not recommended to spray in the evening, because wet leaves can cause the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms and lead to disease.
Fungal diseases of cucumbers in late summer
Cucumber crops are not bypassed by many fungal diseases such as: powdery mildew, downy mildew, root rot, etc.
The occurrence of fungal diseases in cucumbers is favored by the cool, humid weather that occurs in August in many regions. Fungal diseases quickly infect plants and cause the leaves to dry out and fall off, which leads to the death of the entire plant.
Preventive measures can help prevent fungal diseases in cucumbers.
To protect cucumber plants, the first rule is to observe crop rotation. Many pathogenic microorganisms and fungi that cause plant diseases live in the soil. For this reason, one of the most important measures is the implementation of such a simple agricultural technique as monitoring crop rotation: cucumbers can return to the same plot of land at the earliest once every three years. In addition, it should not be planted after other crops in the pumpkin family.
Previous crops recommended for cucumbers are: cabbage, legumes, onions, garlic or corn.
The second rule of protecting cucumbers from diseases is to treat them with fungicides. Since the end of summer is also the harvest period, it is recommended to use natural preparations for the preventive treatment of cucumbers. It must be emphasized that natural recipes for cucumber diseases must be applied not only once, but once every 10 days if we want to get results.
Treatments applied to the leaves of cucumbers should alternate with those applied to the soil to increase the amount of beneficial microflora in the soil and reduce the number of pathogenic microorganisms.
For treatments, you can use biological products containing hay bacilli or you can use products containing Trichoderma.
Pests breed in cucumbers in August
Cucumber crop pest infestation can also result in crop losses in late summer. Cucumber pests in August are formed mainly by snails and mice.
For mollusks, wet weather is an ideal environment, therefore, after rain, their number increases significantly. If there is no cabbage in the garden, then juicy cucumbers become a target for snails. The peel of the fruit can be damaged, making it unfit for consumption.
The easiest way to deal with snails is to sprinkle the soil with mordant substances: sand, sawdust, pine needles, crushed eggshells, etc. If you spread this material around the plants, it will be very painful for the snails to move, so the pests will not approach the cucumbers.
On the other hand, during this period, field mice have already begun to turn their attention to gardens. Unlike snails, they spoil not only the skin of the cucumber, but the whole cucumber.
Special means or folk methods can be used to get rid of rodents. Growers can grow a number of rat-resistant plants in the garden, including chamomile and absinthe. Black or prickly burdock root is also an effective herb against mice.
If all these risks can be avoided, then farmers can harvest cucumbers until the first frost.