[Market-farming] Cucumber beetles

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Tue Feb 3 16:25:43 EST 2004


Courtney

    Cucumber beetles are a challenge to everyone, believe me. The most
effective organic tool I'm aware of is exclusion. This means using a barrier
to prevent the beetle from reaching your crop. Spun-bonded row cover
materials are what most people use to create an effective barrier which
won't harm the plants. The plants or seeds must be covered immediately after
planting and the edges of the material buried to prevent beetles access to
the plants. Then the material works like a greenhouse. In fact, with
cucurbits, spun-bondeds promote plant growth and crop earliness so it's a
win-win situation. Unfortunately, the materials need to be removed once the
plants start flowering to permit bees to gain access to the flowers and
facilitate pollination. But by then, the plants are well-established. Also,
the beetles are in the "down" part of their cycle, depending on where you
farm and when you planted. The spun-bondeds are sold through a number of
sources and are made by more than one manufacturer. Reemay is the oldest
version, Agryl is another. Perhaps other list members can provide further
advice on sources.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center

-----Original Message-----
From: Courtney McLeod <cmcleod at imscompany.com>
To: Market Farming <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 2:00 PM
Subject: [Market-farming] Cucumber beetles


>I am looking for any suggestions how to handle cucumber beetles.  We have
>them pretty bad every year and I am really trying to garden organically.  I
>am learning about it and would like to do as much as I can that way.  But I
>have no idea how to keep up with these without those bad chemicals.  I
don't
>want to use them anymore!  So if anyone wouldn't mind steering me in the
>right direction, I would greatly appreciate it!
>
>I also want to thank everyone that gave me information regarding the
>SunSugar cherry tomato's.  I have ordered the seed and am anxious to try
>them out this year.
>
>Courtney
>Herb Thyme
>
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