from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Outwitting Cucumber Beetles

The latest technique for fending off cucumber beetles: Insect Pop-Up nets. After years of little success with cucumbers, I’m hoping these will do the trick.

Cucumber beetle

Planting day

Planting Day May 29

Low Insect Pop-Up

3′ x 6′ Low Insect Pop-Up in position.

Cucumbers

Little cucumber seedlings nestled safely inside, with the Wire Cucumber Trellis in place.

About 10 years ago, cucumber beetles took up residence in my vegetable garden and since that time I haven’t been able to grow more than a couple decent cucumbers each year.

I’ve tried planting earlier, planting later, planting transplants and direct-sowing the seeds. I’ve tried growing in the greenhouse and in the garden. Using mulch and not using mulch. Growing on a trellis and not on a trellis. I’ve dusted the plants with various organic powders, from rotenone to sabadilla dust. Last year I even constructed a little fabric shroud for them (you can read about it here). Unfortunately, that didn’t work, either.

This year I’ve decided to use an Insect Pop-Up Net to create a barrier between plants and beetles. At home my cucumber plants will be growing right on the ground, so I’ve planted them under the Low (20″) version; Here in our display gardens, we’re growing cukes on a Wire Cucumber Trellis so are using the Tall (48″) version.

So far, I am very impressed with these pop-up nets. Taking them out of their package is FUN! They spring open fully assembled. Just position them over the area and secure them with the metal stakes. It takes less than a minute.

Once the plants start flowering, the nets will have to be removed to allow for pollination. But if I can get the plants to a healthy, mature size, I figure they’ll stand a much better chance of fending off the beetles.

Cucumber beetle.

Cucumber beetle

To learn more about the striped cucumber beetle (and how to control it), check out our Pest & Disease DETECTIVE.

Kathy LaLiberte
Director of Gardening, Gardener’s Supply

3 Comments

  1. June 12, 2010    

    I’ll have to try one of those. I’m a sworn enemy of cucumber beetles. My cucumber memory is marked by “before cucumber beetle” and “after cucumber beetle”.

  2. Anonymous
    February 12, 2013    

    Will you PLEASE bring back these raised bed pop-up covers??? They work wonderfully at keeping out critters of all kinds, four and six-legged. But I can’t find them anywhere. The ones you replaced them with are apparently too flimsy to last through one gardening season. And I can’t find the pop-up covers anywhere in North America.

  3. February 12, 2013    

    If you’re not happy with the durability of the Pop-Ups, I recommend Super Hoops and garden fabric. You can choose Summerweight Fabric if your primary goal is to exclude insects. Other choices include GardenQuilt and All-Purpose, both of which provide some degree of protection from cold. You’ll find the hoops here: http://www.gardeners.com/Super-Hoops/39-392RS,default,pd.html

    -David Grist, Gardener’s Supply

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We are an employee-owned company of avid gardeners, located in Burlington, VT.