Cucumber Problem- I have two cucumber plants in an Earth Box in my driveway...

Asked July 22, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

Cucumber Problem- I have two cucumber plants in an Earth Box in my driveway in Baltimore City- both from seed. I think they may have aphids, but the tiny bugs don't seem to look the pictures I see online. They are reddish brown and smaller than a pinhead- I can only see them moving if I hold a leaf right up to my eye. The plants grew very quickly for a while and have been producing fruit, but now they just look terrible. I've tried a commercial anti-aphid insecticide but it doesn't seem to do anything. Spraying them with water doesn't remove them either- they are still there even after a harsh afternoon thunderstorm. Help!

Baltimore Maryland

1 Response

The cucumbers in the photo look like they were subject to spider mite damage. Spider mites like hot dry conditions. All you can do is hose the plants and leaf undersides with water. A horticultural oil or insecticidal soap spray may cause more damage to the foliage. Next season monitor early and spray if needed. The earth boxes on the driveway may be holding too much heat. The vines are also growing on the driveway which is a hot spot. Perhaps next year you can place the earthboxes on the grass if available.
Cucumbers are vining plants and grow well on trellises. Next year you can try this. At this point you will have to get the vines and fruit off of the driveway. Place some type of material under the vines that will not heat up. Harvest the cucumbers regularly do not let them get too large.

See our profile on spider mites for more information and control and