I was doing my nightly reading of “Golden Gate Gardener” last night trying to find out what was wrong with my lemon tree. Though I have more than a dozen green lemons developing, the leaves don’t look so good. I decided to take a closer look, and this is one of the things I found. On the undersides of a few leaves, I saw cottony puffs and an ant madly racing around. Upon closer inspection, they appear to be aphids that the ant has spun webs around. Aphids are food for ants, but I didn’t want to take a chance this ant couldn’t eat them all. I gave the leaves a quick wash, and removed infected leaves.

While I was out with my camera, I moved to the parkway, as I had also been reading about cucurbit pests. And this is what I found. Kind of a mold on the backs of leaves of the Japanese cucumber. I just harvested two good ones two days ago, but the leaves all look pretty bad.

There are a host of issues here.

Something is eating the leaves, like a cucumber beetle, though I’ve never seen one, or, the small birds eat holes in the leaves like they do on my sunflowers.

At this point, I saw tiny beetles on the backs of leaves running around. I first thought they might be a pest, but thought they might be a tiny version of a lady beetle, which eats the mold, so I left them alone. It took blowing the photos up on the computer before I was sure they were beneficial lady beetles.

Here’s one in a larvae stage. They are only about 1/16 of an inch long.

This disease eats right through the leaves from the back to the front, I think.

This lady beetle was racing around on the back of a leaf covered in this waxy mold-like stuff. I hope it eats it all!

This, I’m convinced, in some kind of leaf miner. I read they have several stages as they burrow through the leaf, getting larger and larger. That’s pretty evident if you look at the beginning of the line and the end of it. It would appear that it has metamorphosed and emerged from the leaf at the fat end.

Moving on to my Japanese melon right beside the cucumber, I’m hoping these dents do not mean this emerging melon is infected with some bug!

The leaves don’t seem infected, but they are lacy from something eating on them. I think it’s the birds, as I saw what I think is bird poop. My patty pan squash is but three feet away, and once again, the powdery mildew is back!

There are white spots on front and back. Time to spray with my milk solution again. Two beautiful squash are growing, so it doesn’t seem to be slowing growth, yet.

Thank God for the pollinators. There was a bee clinging to this leaf in the breeze, and when it would settle, the bee would groom itself. You can see its back covered in pollen. There are a few big blooms on the patty pan squash, so, I guess it was about to dive back into the bloom.

I guess it was a good thing I didn’t know about cucurbit diseases and pests before I started. After researching diseases and pests online for a couple of hours, I felt a little queasy. For sure, I learned that cucurbits with certain diseases must be removed from the garden, and not planted in the same spot the following year. The book said you have to plant them at least a quarter mile away, haha! My front garden is tiny, so I’m not sure if I will be able to plant cucurbits next year. We shall see. Gardening is an adventure! Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye