127 articles tagged "Cucurbits".


Ever year, I put together fungicide schedules for cucurbits. These may be found at purdue.ag/pumpkinfs and purdue.ag/melonfs. They may be downloaded as PDFs on legal sized pages.  Please use these tables along with the MW Vegetable Production Guide and the fungicide label.  If you have trouble with accessing the tables or have other questions. please let me know.


Figure 3: Fusarium wilt symptoms on watermelon transplant.

A recent observation of gummy stem blight on a watermelon transplant has reminded me to remind growers to inspect seedlings. Whether one is growing transplants or receiving transplants for delivery, seedlings should be inspected for possible disease problems. If one is uncertain of the cause of the symptoms, an official diagnosis can be obtained by sending the sample to the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic. Below I will describe several common transplant diseases of cantaloupe and watermelon as well as management options. I have had similar articles in the Hotline in the past, however, I will use new photos here. Gummy stem blight on transplant seedlings may be recognized by the water-soaked area of the stem near the seed leaves. In this article, I will show a leaf with a lesion of gummy stem blight (Figure 1). A closer look (one may need a 10X hand-lens) at any gummy stem[Read More…]


Figure 2. Beetles are attracted to the color yellow and to the lures within the jugs. Once they find their way inside, they have difficulty finding their way out, eventually falling into the soapy water to die.

Have you ever wondered how striped cucumber beetles manage to find your cucurbits every year? Striped cucumber beetles rely on sight and smell to find food. They are particularly attracted to the color yellow and to scents produced by cucurbit flowers and male striped cucumber beetles. This summer we studied how we could use lures that imitate cucurbit flowers and live beetles for mass trapping with yellow gallon jugs. On one farm, 16 traps captured 2,363 striped cucumber beetles from late May through early September (Figure 1). The vast majority of these beetles were captured in May and August. In May, the beetles were most attracted to the control jugs, but in August, beetles preferred jugs containing live beetles and floral lures. If you place traps early in the season—before or as striped cucumber beetles begin to emerge—we recommend using only yellow jugs without any lures or live beetles. If[Read More…]


On Friday, April 12, the FDA and CDC announced an outbreak of Salmonella Carrau in pre-cut melon products distributed by Indianapolis-based Caito Foods. While an Indiana company has been implicated in the outbreak, the melon product used to create the pre-cut products were not from Indiana and were likely imported from outside of the United States. Indiana growers are currently preparing to plant Indiana’s 2019 cantaloupe and watermelon crops in Southwestern Indiana and other parts of the state. Growers are anticipating a safe, bountiful harvest. Indiana melon growers take food safety very seriously and implement many on-farm practices aimed at reducing the risk of a foodborne pathogen contaminating the crop. “Indiana growers use a variety of practices that reduce the risk of contamination at the farm level. Among these are testing of irrigation water, use of sanitizers in wash water, and employee training programs”, said Scott Monroe, Food Safety Educator[Read More…]


Two types of injury on young warm-season vegetable plants are caused by low temperatures: frost/freezing injury and chilling injury. Frost/freezing injury occurs when temperatures drop below 32°F. Ice formation in plant tissues cut cell membranes. When the tissue thaws, the damage results in fluids leaking from the cell, causing water soaked damage. Frost/freezing injury is detrimental to warm-season vegetables, such as melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, beans. To avoid damage, the best way is to plant warm-season vegetables later in the spring, after the last frost has passed. However, weather is difficult to predict, and there is a growing trend of planting early to achieve early harvests. For the early planted warm-season vegetables, here are a few suggestions that may protect plants from low temperature damages. Covering. The idea of covering the seedlings is to create a microclimate around plants. Because the heat accumulated in soil irradiate back at night, covering[Read More…]


Figure 1. Cucumbers start to wilt following a night average soil temperature was 58 °F

Chilling injury occurs when temperatures are above 32°F and below 55°F. The plant tissue becomes weakened that leads to cellular dysfunction. The most noticeable visual symptom of chilling injury is leaf and hypocotyl wilt (Figure 1). This is caused by the rapid decline in the ability of roots to absorb and transport water. It also caused by the plant’s reduced ability to close stomata. If temperatures do not improve, plants may be killed. Low temperatures also have an effect on mineral nutrient uptake of the plants. Absorption of ions by roots is difficult, as well as their movement in the above-ground parts of the plants. As a result, chilling injured plants often show symptoms similar to nutritional deficiency. Although warm-season vegetables are all susceptible to frost/freezing damage, their susceptibility to chilling injury varies among plant species. Pepper plants seem to have greater difficulty recovering after chilling injury compared to tomato[Read More…]


Bacterial wilt is a serious pest of cucumbers and melons. This disease is caused by the bacterium, Erwinia tracheiphila. However, it is spread by the striped or spotted cucumber beetle. Most management schemes have concentrated on controlling the cucumber beetle in order to lessen the severity of bacterial wilt. Currently, management of bacterial wilt often takes the form of a soil applied systemic insecticide such as Admire Pro® at transplanting and follow up pyrethroid products applied foliarly about 3 weeks post transplanting. The pyrethroid applications are made when the 1 beetle per plant threshold is met. Every year, there is a melon variety trial at the Southwest Purdue Agriculture Center in Vincennes, IN. In 2018, the trial included several specialty melon varieties. We noticed more bacterial wilt than usual (Figure 1). Therefore, we decided to rate the varieties to see if there were any differences in susceptibility. Figure 2 shows[Read More…]


Gowers always want to know which variety is the most suitable one for their farming location and market. I do understand the frustration of growers when looking online at all the varieties being sold by different vendors. There are a plethora of varieties available that have different fruit types and growth habits. Characteristics like potential yield and disease resistance are always important considerations for growers. Which variety will work best for my farming operation and market? During 2018, I attempted to address growers’ concerns and need for local variety performance data, hosting a zucchini field trial at the Throckmorton Purdue Agriculture Center/Meigs Horticulture Facility, Lafayette, Indiana. How was the evaluation conducted? Soil of the test plot comprised of a Toronto-Millbrook (47%) complex, Drummer (27%) and Starks-Fincastle complex (26%) (ranged from a silt loam to silty clay loam). The spring 2018 soil test showed 2.8% organic matter, pH 5.7, and 34[Read More…]


Figure 2. Personal size (mini) watermelon cultivars.

Watermelon variety trials are conducted every year at the Southwest Purdue Agricultural Center in Vincennes, IN. In the 2018 trials, it included 38 standard-size seedless watermelon cultivars and 10 personal-size watermelons. This article discussed the top yielding varieties in our trials in 2018. The full report of the variety trials, and  information about the previous trials  can be found at https://ag.purdue.edu/arge/swpap/Pages/SWPAPPDFPresentstions.aspx Standard size seedless watermelons Tailgate is a new cultivar from Seminis. First time entered into our evaluation in 2018. Tailgate had the top yield variety in the 2018 trial. It produced large-sized fruit, average fruit weight was 18.5 lb, 37% fruit in 36 counts and 20% in 30 counts category. Firm flesh, good quality. Tailgate was one of the five cultivars that did not have hollow heart fruit among the 12 fruit selected for the quality test. Bottle Rocket had a consistent high yield in both 2017 and 2018 trials.[Read More…]


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