86 articles tagged "Cucurbits".

(Photo by Dan Egel)

​We have received a number of reports of outbreaks of spider mites, primarily in watermelons and in high tunnels. The problems in high tunnels are not unexpected because one of the primary causes of mortality in mite populations is rainfall washing them off the plants and, of course, that is lacking completely in high tunnels. With all the rain we have had, it’s a little surprising that we are seeing problems in watermelons, but the older I get, the less I’m surprised by how infrequently arthropods behave the way we expect them to. In both scenarios, we don’t really have treatment thresholds for mites. Generally speaking, if populations are increasing, they need to be controlled. Once the decision to treat has been made, that’s where things get very different. In watermelons, we have a variety of pesticide choices. See page 115 of the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (ID56) for the[Read More…]


(Photo by John Obermeyer.)

​I have seen more green stink bugs this year than at any time in my career. I have no logical explanation for their abundance. It was thought that as the invasive brown marmorated stink bug became established, it might outcompete the native stink bugs such as the green stink bug, causing numbers to decrease. However, this year, brown marmorated stink bugs have been relatively uncommon, and green stink bugs seem to be everywhere. Stink bugs feed with their sucking mouthparts and are likely to feed on a wide variety of vegetable crops, including cabbage, sweet corn, cucumber, bean of all types, okra, mustard, peas, peppers, and tomato. Check the Midwest Vegetable Production Guide (ID-56) for your particular crop for insecticide recommendations.


Vegetables such as this watermelon may become sunburned if lack of foliage cover exposes the fruit to excess sun and heat. (Photo by Dan Egel)

​Loss of foliage due to poor growing conditions or disease can cause fruit to be exposed to the sun. Hot temperatures and direct sunlight can lead to areas of the fruit that appear bleached or sunburned. Sunburned fruit may not be marketable. To reduce the probability sunburned fruit, every effort should be made to maintain foliage throughout the season. Early wet weather encouraged foliar disease and recent hot, dry weather may have restricted foliar development. Orienting vegetable plantings to minimize damage from the prevailing winds and providing windbreaks such as strips of rye or wheat may help to reduce sunburn. Several products are available that are labeled for use as a preventive for sunburn. These products may be broken into two groups: kaolin (clay) based products and calcium carbonated based products. Kaolin based products include Surround®. Some Surround® products are labeled for use as sunburn protection, while others are not. For example,[Read More…]


Downy mildew causes bright chlorotic lesions on pumpkin leaves that are limited by veins. Lesions eventually become necrotic. (Photo by Dan Egel).

​On July 22, I announced that downy mildew had been observed on watermelon in Knox County in southwestern Indiana. This article https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/swpap/VeggieDiseasesBlog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=48 describes the outbreak and management options. Below, I will discuss the whereabouts of additional downy mildew outbreaks on cucurbits.  Downy mildew has now been reported on cucumber in Knox and La Porte County Indiana. Downy mildew has been observed on pumpkins in Mason County in central Illinois. In addition, several counties in Kentucky and Michigan have reported downy mildew, primarily on cucumbers. A photo of downy mildew on pumpkin is shown here for reference (Figure 1). You may follow the development of downy mildew of cucurbits on this website http://cdm.ipmpipe.org/.


​Pumpkins are off to good start and vines are starting to run, which means it is time to think about making a sidedress application of nitrogen. Typically, I recommend to split nitrogen applications half preplant and half sidedress. This is especially beneficial given all of our rain this season. If you relied on preplant N alone, with all of the rain, you may very well have lost almost all of your nitrogen with plants just now starting to set fruit. In my personal scenario, on light colored forest soils (common in So. IL and IN, 1.5-2.5 % organic matter) and given no-till with cereal grain residue I generally shoot for around 100-110 lbs. actual N per year (this would be decreased with more fertile, high organic matter soils) with about 50 lbs. of that at sidedress. In a tilled field, you could decrease this recommendation to around 80 lbs. actual N/A per year. This difference can[Read More…]


Downy mildew of watermelon causes dark brown or black lesions often surrounded by a yellow halo.

This disease has been observed on watermelon in Knox County. The following article will discuss the symptoms, biology and management of downy mildew of cucurbits. Symptoms. The symptoms of downy mildew vary depending on the host.    On watermelon, the lesions start out as chlorotic (yellow) areas that become round and necrotic (brown/black) areas surrounded by a chlorotic halo. Lesions may be limited by veins (Figure 1). Note that leaf lesions of gummy stem blight may have dark fungal structures (pycnidia) present that are lacking with downy mildew. Also, whereas gummy stem blight will affect stems and petioles, downy mildew will not.  Pumpkin lesions also start out chlorotic and are often angular. Eventually, the chlorotic lesions become necrotic. Lesions may be more common along a vein. Lesions on muskmelon often have poorly defined margins and are not as angular as described above for pumpkin.   Cucumber lesions start out chlorotic and very[Read More…]


Magnesium deficiency in cantaloupe often occurs in high

​I have observed many fields of cantaloupes with magnesium deficiency or manganese toxicity. Watermelon plants may exhibit similar symptoms, but not as frequently as cantaloupe. Both disorders are related to acid (low pH) soils and usually occur in clusters in a field. Magnesium deficiency usually appears on sandy ridges and can be recognized by interveinal yellowing and death of tissues on older leaves (Figure 1). Manganese toxicity also first occurs on older leaves but appears in heavier or darker sands, often in low areas of the field. The diagnostic feature of manganese toxicity are the tiny pin-hole type lesions with yellow halos clustered between the veins (Figure 2). Leaves are best viewed when held up to the sun. These disorders can easily be confused with an infectious disease. In particular, magnesium deficiency has been confused with Alternaria leaf blight. Symptoms may seem to “spread” from areas of the lowest pH[Read More…]


​Populations of striped cucumber beetles continue to remain high. Muskmelon and cucumber growers should continue to monitor and spray as needed to avoid transmission of the pathogen that causes bacterial wilt of cucurbits. Wilt symptoms are showing up on melons throughout the state at this time, with greater prevalence in the southern counties and less further north. Growers are encouraged to spray as late in the day as possible, preferably after the flowers have closed and the bees have left the field, so that effects on pollinators are minimized.


​Growers may be wondering whether to replant pumpkin fields where the stand is uneven due to excess moisture. Potential yield of the replants is one thing it would be good to know. We have data on yield of pumpkins direct-seeded or transplanted in mid-July in northern Indiana. The trials were no-till planted into a harvested wheat field. Pumpkins were harvested in mid to late October. Yield of direct-seeded pumpkins ranged from 0 to 0.6 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004, and from 2.6 to 6.4 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. Yield of transplanted pumpkins ranged from 2 to 8 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004 and from 4.4 to 9 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. For comparison, typical yields at this site for an early- to mid-June planting date with conventional tillage range from 10 to 25 tons per acre.[Read More…]


These lesions may be covered with a white mold during moist conditions. (Photo by Dan Egel)

​Most growers first notice this disease when large, soft areas develop on mature watermelon fruit. These lesions can be several inches across and are often covered with a white mold. The lesions usually form first on the bottom of the fruit, close to where the fruit comes into contact with the soil. Further development of the disease often results in lesions on the top of the fruit as well (see Figure 1). Conditions that favor Phytophthora fruit rot include warm, rainy weather such as occurred recently over much of Indiana. Water that stands in pools also favors severe disease symptoms. Overhead irrigation may help the disease to spread. Phytophthora fruit rot can spread rapidly when conditions are favorable. The organism that causes Phytophthora fruit rot of watermelon is Phytophthora capsici. This organism is more closely related to algae than to fungi. Therefore, P. capsici is sometimes referred to as a fungus-like[Read More…]


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