In late October, I participated in “Heritage Breeds & Heirloom Seeds: The Past Strengthening our Future,” a gathering of gardeners and farmers in Debert, Nova Scotia. The speakers included Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds, Greta Kryger of Greta’s Organic Gardens, Andrea Berry of Hope Seeds and Greg Wingate of Mapple Farm. I gleaned the following tips from our wide-ranging discussions. This article is about controlling cucumber beetles.
– Janet Wallace, former editor, The Canadian Organic Grower
Tips and Tricks for Controlling Cucumber Beetles
In late October, several expert growers provided valuable tips and tricks of the trade on how they control cucumber beetles in their own farms. Most importantly, the key is to catch the beetles quite early in the morning. At this hour, the beetles are rather slow moving. Greg Wingate of Mapple Farm recommends using a hand-held vacuum to be able to suck the beetles away easily. David Cozac and Debbie Russell of Big Sky Farm choose to pick out the cucumber beetles by hand. Debbie came up with a technique where she attaches a small mirror to a hoe and walks down the plot rows with the mirror facing up. By doing this, she is able to spot the cucumber beetles without touching the leaves, which would trigger them to leap.
I hope these tips can give you a hand next time you find cucumber beetles in your own plots of soil. Good luck and all the best in your own growing!