I started the season with some lovely, healthy cucumber plants, as the season progressed it was clear that they were not thriving. This is now obvious that I have a heavy infestation of Red Spider Mites.
Red Spider mites are tiny tiny sandy coloured mites that live on the underside of leaves and suck the goodness out of it. Laying eggs and tiny little webs on the underside of the leaves until their numbers just overcome the plant which gradually withers and dies.
The mites find it difficult to lay their eggs in moist conditions and yet I have misted, sprayed and tried everything this year but to no avail. This has been a problem for a few years now and I think that these mites overwinter in the greenhouse. Without a really thorough clean of the inside of my greenhouse during the Winter months I think this will continue.
There is a biological control
which can be used if the infestation is caught early in the season. Using the Red Spider mites natural predators can be a useful way to control numbers but this late in the season there must be millions of the critters.
You can just about see the tiny webs and the even tinier little sandy coloured critters here at the growing point. I guess there will be no more cucumbers for me this year.