Provide shade for cukes in high heat?

Newatthis22July 4, 2013

Lately we've had decently hot weather (mid 80s to low 90s) and my cucumber leaves do the day with thing (such technical terms) and they seem to take longer and longer to bounce back in the evening.

Should I be providing some shade throughout the day? I've made sure they are getting enough water and such. And I checked to see if it was bacterial wilt which is isnt. Or should I just let them do their thing?

Even after the plants perk back up, they aren't looking so amazing.

Any tips?

Thanks!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

They do have a limited life span you know. Any one plant will rarely make it through the whole summer before dying back if for no other reason than age and stress. Which is why succession planting is so common with them.

Sure you can try shading them some and see what happens but healthy plants are heat lovers so better to make sure they are kept fed and watered well and mulched.

Dave.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Newatthis22

I read that straw mulch is good. That's one thing I haven't done. Besides straw, what are other good choices?

I have leftover red wood mulch. Would that be okay?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 3:21PM
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RPost78(8A)

I'm in Central Texas and our summers get into the 100's most days. Last year I did movable garden boxes and each day would bring the boxes into the shade during the hottest hours. My cucumbers didn't fair well. My zucchini, which were planted in the same box, did really well. This year I did stationary, raised beds and they get full sun. My cucumbers are growing like crazy, but the SVB are eating my zucchini. I'm guessing the full sun is OK, but maybe they need some extra plant food. I have thought of doing some shade cloth this year, but haven't done anything yet.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 3:54PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I agree with digdirt. In extremely hot weather, which is my normal, you should plan on two crops of cucs. Mine usually do well into mid July or so. I then pull them out and plant more (or plant more sooner, as digdirt said, in another bed so they are ready to fruit as the old ones go).

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:07PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I read that straw mulch is good. That's one thing I haven't done. Besides straw, what are other good choices? I have leftover red wood mulch. Would that be okay?

Lots of 'mulch' discussions here the search will pull up for you to read for answers to that question.

Wood chips are normally not recommended for vegetable gardens for many reasons. At the very least they'd be way down on the list of preferred things to use as they are the least effective at maintaining moisture and cooling soil and you get no soil improvement from them.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 4:12PM
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Newatthis22

So I've been keeping up with my watering.

They just seem so sad during the day.

Even my newer plants seem sad during the day.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 4:45PM
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annew21 (zone 7b NC)(7b NC)

I live in a place that has multiple 100+ degree days and cucumbers are among the plants that seem to tolerate the heat pretty well. I wonder if something else is causing the wilting?

I use wheat straw as mulch, if that matters.

- Anne

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:05PM
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Newatthis22

Yeah. I'm trying to track some down currently. :(

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 9:29PM
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