Not to brag, but I have an extensive library of gardening books. They help me with research and help to confirm my opinions and growing experiences. None of this was of any help when I discovered holes with yellow yuck stuff oozing out of my cucumbers. I finally found a reference to pickleworm in one of my books, but no information was entered on what the moth who laid the eggs looked like, what the eggs looked like and where to find them, or how to stop the damage.
We are fortunate to have the internet and Google at our disposal. There is good information online. It turns out that there are really no controls but there might be a solution if we get started early enough with preventative measures.
Trying to raise vegetables and fruit organically sure has its tribulations and is not always easy. I’m not sure I want cucumbers enough to bag them after every rain. I leave that up to you to decide if it is worth it.
I did manage to get several mature cucumbers from my vines, but not any from the so-called “burpless” long skinny Oriental cucumbers. They were attacked as soon as they reached a good size for eating. I do wonder if letting one of the cukes over-mature on the vine could have led to my problems. One turned fat and yellow while we were out of town for almost 2 weeks. Before that, I noticed no worm activity. When I returned, they were devouring all the fruits on the vines.
When I first read about the pickleworm frass, that yellow yuck stuff oozing out of the cucumbers, I pictured the worms backing up to the entry holes to do their “business”, sort of housebroken worms in the garden. However, when I opened up the cucumber, I saw that it was oozing because there was so much of it. I say again – Yuck!
Posted August 16, 2013
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
It’s hot outside. It makes more sense now to plant drought tolerant plants. Consider sedums, they are a hardy succulent, a late summer bloomer and an amazing pollinator plant. To learn more click here for an informative video.
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