I planted cuc's in my garden--they came up fine but now look like they are diseased with a curled leaf and milky white color to them. Any ideas?
Yamhill County Oregon
Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert. Since I do not have any pictures to look at I would think you might have a lack of nutrients in the soil. Or you plants stayed in the original container too long, again without sufficient nutrients.
You need nitrogen for the cucumbers. The white leaves will stay white but the new growth should come in nice and green. As to the curled leaves, have you unfurled them and looked for any tiny insects such as aphids or white flies (which look like white flecks). They will suck the juices out of the leaves and make them curl. However, stressed leaves will curl too (due to too much heat, not enough water/nutrients).
If you can send pictures I will have a better idea of what might be going on. These are my assumptions from your description.
I would use fish emulsion (follow the directions on the package), drench the soil and wait a few days. New growth should be green. Fish emulsion has a lot of nitrogen in it. Are you familiar with the three numbers on fertilizer packaging. For example: 5-1-1 is usually on fish emulsion. That means 5% nitrogen, 1% phosphorus and 1% potassium in the bottle. If this is a nutrient deficiency, this should help. Fish emulsion also has trace elements in it that plants need.