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Old May 2, 2015   #1
RayR
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Default Biological Control for Cucumber Beetles & Bacterial Wilt

Cucumber beetles were the plague of my cucumbers and squash for years and it only takes a few beetles infected with bacterial wilt to kill your crop within a week.
I said "were" because for the last few seasons I've had no problems with cucumber beetles or bacterial wilt. Of course I was very happy with that but it puzzled me as to where they went. Instead of the swarms of them that I would find resting in the flowers in early morning, I could only find one or two occasionally. And there was almost no feeding damage to the leaves.
Then a couple months ago I saw this video of Clemson's Dr. Geoff Zehnder talking about the discovery he and his colleagues accidently found decades ago after experimenting with PGPR's (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria). Then it struck me that the disappearance of my cucumber beetle and bacterial wilt problem coincided exactly with when I started seriously inoculating my seedlings with mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria!

Here's the video

Here are some links to the what has been published:

Induction of systemic resistance in cucumber against cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria

Insect feeding on cucumber mediated by rhizobacteria-induced plant
resistance


Application of rhizobacteria for induced resistance

Microbe-Induced Resistance Against Pathogens and
Herbivores: Evidence of Effectiveness in Agriculture
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Old May 2, 2015   #2
rockyonekc
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Thanks for the links. Cucumber beetles are also the plague of my garden every year. What do you do to add PGPR ? I use Jobes organic granular fertilizer with mycorrhizae and last year I dipped my seedlings in actinovate. What are you using to inoculate your seeds?
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Old May 2, 2015   #3
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Interesting!

I've had a lot of trouble with cucumber beetles too. I was planning to surround my cukes and squash with tansy and plant slow-growing white radishes with them. (Haven't tried either of those before but heard they might deter the beetles.)

I guess I'll be adding Bio-Tone too. What do you do to add PGPR?
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Old May 2, 2015   #4
RayR
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The first year I used MycoGrow, the second year I used Great White I think or maybe Myco Maximum. I forgot Whatever, an inoculant with a wide variety of Bacillus species is probably best. They did use a strain of Bacillus pumilis is their tests which did show great results. Bacillus pumilis spores are in pretty much a standard PGPR in every combo Myco inoculant. Even BiotaMax includes Bacillus pumilis. Bio-Tone does too I'm sure because all the other Espoma Tones do. Either way I would still use a combo Myco inoculant to insure you get good inoculation of Bacillus species around the roots. It would be cool if you guys could replicate the results in your own garden.


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Old May 2, 2015   #5
JamesL
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That is interesting Ray. I got killed with cuke beetles 2 years ago, and none last year.
I do use Ami's preplant dip - Mycogrow, Biotamax and Actinovate.
Definitely did it last year, but 2 years ago I am not sure....

I was eyeballing this kaolin clay product - Surround WP - last year and never did get it.
http://www.groworganic.com/surround-25-lb.html
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Old May 2, 2015   #6
BigVanVader
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First off thanks for this post. I live near Clemson and had never heard this info before. Cucumber beetles and squash bugs were so bad for me here that I resorted to growing under row covers until bloom, and some plants still get killed. I am gonna have to try this for sure.
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Old May 3, 2015   #7
Lindalana
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Are there any myco mixes that have Bacillus and not Trichoderma in it? I am a bit concerned to use mixes with trichoderma and am staying away till future info released.
I primarily use Bioorganics Myco with AACT, do not mean in one application of course. Powder goes on the roots and routine foliar applications of AACT later follow
http://www.smilinggardener.com/sale/...hizae-for-sale
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Old May 3, 2015   #8
RayR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindalana View Post
Are there any myco mixes that have Bacillus and not Trichoderma in it? I am a bit concerned to use mixes with trichoderma and am staying away till future info released.
I primarily use Bioorganics Myco with AACT, do not mean in one application of course. Powder goes on the roots and routine foliar applications of AACT later follow
http://www.smilinggardener.com/sale/...hizae-for-sale
Bacillus only inoculants seem to be hard to find but check out Roots BioPak

Label

It is also sold as PHC BIOPAK in 1lb or greater quantities if you've got a really big operation.
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Old May 4, 2015   #9
Lindalana
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Thank you much! There are 2 local stores that might carry the product, they seems do not sell it online, so I will check stores and then contact customer service if can not find.
Making my first of the season batch of AACT. Last year I had some beetles, first after many years of gardening. Was able to control them with handpicking at early hours.
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Old May 4, 2015   #10
Dutch
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Thank you Ray, James, and Linda, all good info. Linda, BioOrganics has there Endomycorrhizal Inoculant (BEI) on sale and shipping is cheaper. http://bio-organics.com/product/endo...zal-inoculant/

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Old May 4, 2015   #11
FredB
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I have a cucumber variety (WI 5207 BWR) that carries the BW gene for resistance to bacterial wilt. It is an oriental type, dark green, bumpy skin, bitter-free, 11" X 3". It also resists most common leaf diseases. The ancestry is 31/32 WI 5207 (a breeding line from U Wisc.), 1/64 PI 200815, and 1/64 Poona Kheera. The BW resistance comes from PI 200815, a land-race discovered in Burma by USDA plant explorers back in the 1950s. The variety has been self-crossed 9 times now, so I'm sure it's stable. I get bacterial wilt every year without fail, and this variety keeps on going when non-resistant varieties have shriveled away to nothing. Contact me if you'd like a sample.

By the way, the commercial variety County Fair 87 Hybrid carries the same BW gene. It worked OK for me, although I prefer a slicer rather than a pickler. It's carried by a few seed companies, for instance, Gurney's, Jung, Vermont Bean. It was the subject of a Tomatoville thread a while ago.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=12988

Several other varieties mentioned in the above thread are bitter-free and won't attract cucumber beetles as much, but they don't have the actual BW gene for resistance and they will eventually get the disease, maybe a week or two later than bitter varieties. Believe me, I've tried them.

Fred
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Old May 4, 2015   #12
BigVanVader
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I ended up buying this http://www.rootnaturally.com/store/m...corrhizae.html to try. This is all new to me but I wanted to try some on my cucumbers since I haven't got them planted yet.

Does it look like a good one?
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Old May 5, 2015   #13
RayR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigVanVader View Post
I ended up buying this http://www.rootnaturally.com/store/m...corrhizae.html to try. This is all new to me but I wanted to try some on my cucumbers since I haven't got them planted yet.

Does it look like a good one?
Mycorrhizal fungi are fine for cucumbers but mycorrhizal fungi only inoculants like Roots Naturally Soluble Mycorrhizae and Bio Organics Micronized Endomycorrhizal Inoculant don't contain the PGPR bacteria species that are the subject of controlling cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt.
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Old May 5, 2015   #14
RayR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredB View Post
I have a cucumber variety (WI 5207 BWR) that carries the BW gene for resistance to bacterial wilt. It is an oriental type, dark green, bumpy skin, bitter-free, 11" X 3". It also resists most common leaf diseases. The ancestry is 31/32 WI 5207 (a breeding line from U Wisc.), 1/64 PI 200815, and 1/64 Poona Kheera. The BW resistance comes from PI 200815, a land-race discovered in Burma by USDA plant explorers back in the 1950s. The variety has been self-crossed 9 times now, so I'm sure it's stable. I get bacterial wilt every year without fail, and this variety keeps on going when non-resistant varieties have shriveled away to nothing. Contact me if you'd like a sample.

By the way, the commercial variety County Fair 87 Hybrid carries the same BW gene. It worked OK for me, although I prefer a slicer rather than a pickler. It's carried by a few seed companies, for instance, Gurney's, Jung, Vermont Bean. It was the subject of a Tomatoville thread a while ago.

http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=12988

Several other varieties mentioned in the above thread are bitter-free and won't attract cucumber beetles as much, but they don't have the actual BW gene for resistance and they will eventually get the disease, maybe a week or two later than bitter varieties. Believe me, I've tried them.

Fred
Fred I grew County Fair last year as well as another Diva which is supposed to be unattractive to cuke beetles. I guess Diva must genetically have that low cucurbitacin production. The rest were all OP varieties and none were attractive to the beetles the past two seasons where they were all inoculated with PGPR's.
Genetic resistance is great but you are limited to the varieties that you can grow if you want that resistance.
If the PGPR route shows consistent results in unattractiveness to cuke beetles and resistance to BW, then you could grow pretty much any variety without concern.
.
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Old May 5, 2015   #15
BigVanVader
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Crap, is there a 10$ or under version that has the PGPR bacteria species in it?
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