After the Great Beetle Battle of 2014, I have decided to take a different approach to planting cucumbers this year. Cucumber beetles have always been a nuisance in my garden, but last summer they outflanked me and left a path of cucumber devastation. I normally start my cucumbers indoors, in small growing pots, and transplant them in the garden around early June. Unfortunately, this coincides with the emergence of the cucumber beetles who love, love, LOVE tender cucurbit seedlings.
I made a preemptive strike last fall, by rototilling the garden several times in the cold weather. This hopefully exposed the pests to the cold temperatures, annihilating their numbers.
This year, I’m digging in and preparing for a longer indoor growing period which will yield bigger plants and a later planting time. I have planted all my cucumbers in large pots to give them room to grow. By delaying the garden transplant time by 2-3 weeks to mid-June, I’m reducing the amount of time the plants are in the garden, providing less time for the beetles to wage cucumber havoc.