For farmers, there is nothing more satisfying than cultivating and admiring their cucumber farm growing well until harvest time.
However, a lack of disease prevention can lead to fungal problems that can stick around and reduce crop yield, such as cucumber leaf blight.
So, how can we recognize this problem as soon as possible? And what is the best way to effectively eradicate this cucumber leaf disease and prevent its future attacks?
By studying the information compiled in this article, you will firmly grasp the key to eliminating hidden diseases of cucumbers to get a good cucurbit crop.
Cucumber Leaf Blight- Overview
It leaves brown spots on green leaf blades, developing into concentric rings and surrounding yellow halos.
What’s special is that these lesions can develop on cucumber cultivars in dark, sunken brown spots, producing disease-causing spores.
Besides sunburn, diseased cucumber plants also significantly reduce yield and cucumber fruit quality.
Diseases On Cucumber Leaves- Common Causes
Alternaria, the number one blight pathogen, can grow on plant debris for up to two years.
Under conditions of warm temperature and humid conditions, fungal mycelium produces conidia through intermediaries (including adult insects, water, wind, farm workers, agricultural equipment, etc.) striatum) to spread to living plant tissues.
Ideal conditions for this pathogen to grow include high leaf humidity (due to dew prolonged rain) and air temperatures of 70-90°F.
The rate of plant disease spread is faster from 2 to 8 hours after entire leaf surfaces are wet, and the number of wet leaves is proportional to the severity of the infection.
In addition to the factors that cause high humidity, nutrient-quality soils with low nitrogen levels promote the spread of Alternaria.
It most often appears in cucumber gardens that grow early and late in the season.
Blight On Cucumber Leaves- Common Leaf Symptoms
Although cucumber leaf blight can have serious consequences for your upcoming crop, fortunately, you can easily recognize the first signs of it shared below.
Gummy Stem Blight
Phytophthora infects cucumbers and other vines at all stages. Cucumber plants tend to wilt suddenly and gradually spread from the base to the plant’s top while the foliage is still green.
As gummy stem blight becomes more severe, the damaged leaves become looser, and the dark brown or yellow patches become more widespread.
As the disease progresses to its final stages, waterlogged regions begin to develop white mold covering the tree trunk and fruit, encouraging them to drop quickly.
Phytophthora blight can infest all vine plants except the roots. It appears as light brown leaf spots on young vines, causing older vines’ leaf edges to turn yellow.
After a while, the brown spots on the infected fruit and leaves begin to soften, sink, and secrete a black liquid when you try to press on them.
Alternaria Leaf Spot
When Alternaria attacks cucumber leaf blades from the ground, the surface of the leaf blade often has small black spots with yellow edges.
As the infection grows, the damaged leaves will turn completely brown, wilt, and fall off.
Cucumber Blight Treatment- Detailed Guide
Cucumbers are susceptible to blight diseases that spread extremely quickly during sensitive weather.
Besides pruning and eliminating pathogens, you should combine it with the treatment process below to effectively prevent the spread of airborne spores to receive the vitality of your cucumber garden.
Step 1: Spray Fungicide
Start your campaign by spraying specialized fungicides to treat leaf blight when the cucumber garden shows the first signs of severe infection.
According to the researchers at North Dakota State University, you should consider Commercial products such as mancozeb (Dithane M-45 or Manzate 200) or Anilazine (Dyrene).
Although these products are extremely effective in killing and preventing cucumber leaf diseases, they will not be very effective when the blight invasion is at its peak.
Step 2: Prune All The Bad Leaves
After spraying for a few days, you must use pruning shears to remove all areas of fungus spores, waterlogging, circular spots, or white mold.
You can trim about 1 inch for healthy stems after cleaning the blades with rubbing alcohol.
Don’t leave any suspicious areas on the tree trunk if you don’t want them to continue to decompose and become a new source of disease.
Step 3: Remove Fungal Spores
Keep infected plants at least 100 yards away from the growing area. Since they can still survive and grow in rotting materials, you must compost and bury the pile at least 1 foot below ground level.
Remove all of the cucumber planting material at the end of the cucurbit crops.
To be sure you’ve eliminated the pathogen from your garden, it’s best to try growing other plants (not cucurbits) the next year and rotate crops each season.
Preventing Blight Cucumbers- Best Methods
Even if you own a cucumber farm with growing fruit, there is no guarantee blight will suddenly strike one day.
Therefore, always combine entire plant care with viral disease prevention to create a solid defense against all potential dangers.
Spraying fungicides can control pathogens that are preparing to grow and spread.
You can contact local crop experts directly or check out commercial products on the Wisconsin Commercial Vegetable Production Facility (A3422), UW Extension Learning Store, Pesticides website, Fungicides in home vegetable gardens (D00622), etc.
Always follow the instructions on the packaging, no matter which product you use.
Cultural management includes all preventive measures and regular reconnaissance to promptly detect and eradicate the pathogen before it can spread and cause any damage.
Some measures that you should not ignore include:
- Use cucumber seedlings that have been certified disease-free
- Choose plant varieties with good disease resistance
- Avoid farming when the cucumber plants are still wet
- Maintains soil nutrients, especially nitrogen
- Avoid watering plants from above. Only water the base of cucumber plants
- Long rotation (at least 2 years) for susceptible cucurbits
- Maximize the distance between diseased and healthy cucumber areas
What Causes Brown Spots On Cucumber Leaves?
When cucumber plants are infected with the fungus Xanthomonas, they often appear in dark brown discoloration with yellow edges.
Meanwhile, victims of Pseudomonas tend to have reddish-brown spots that quickly turn black.
After only a short time, these diseased areas will quickly spread pathogens (especially fungi) to surrounding trees.
How Do You Identify Blight On Cucumbers?
Fortunately, the first signs of leaf blight are easy to identify through visual inspection. First, the green leaf blades will appear as small round brown spots while the center is milky white.
After a development period, this brown spot gradually gets bigger and lighter, revealing special concentric rings.
When it reaches the necrotic stage, it becomes an olive to black, recessed area and is a source of bacterial disease spread.
Are Brown Spots On Cucumber Leaves Caused By Overwatering?
The answer is a big “Yes”!
Cucumber plants are suitable for growing in the hot season and only require sufficient water at the base.
When its leaves have to absorb too much water, they will gradually deteriorate, creating an opportunity for mold and disease-causing bacteria to attack.
Cucumbers are susceptible to diseases due to overwatering, including anthracnose, bacterial wilt, Alternaria leaf blight spot, and downy mildew.
Some Last Words
Preventing and treating cucumber leaf blight disease on cucumber farms is a process that requires investment and effort over a long period.
Besides regularly checking for dark spots on leaves, make sure you use antifungal products as directed on the package.
Every second of delay in source control can cause the infected area to increase significantly. So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and campaign against blight! Good luck!