Every year my heirloom french cantaloupes look beautiful and then one morning you wake up and they are essentially dead - I've never gotten a harvest after three years. I am pretty sure this is related to a wilt disease which I've heard is transferred by cucumber beetles. So my question is will a floating row cover help prevent this or will it foster an environment for another one of the fungal diseases that affect melons?

I grow organically with no fungicides or pesticides.

1 Answer 1


Depends on which wilt disease you have. Many are soil borne. The only solution to that is growing the plants somewhere else for a few years to let the disease pressure subside. Note that this includes keeping most cucurbit species out. Cucumbers, squash, pumpkins etc. can all serve as hosts to one or more of the diseases in question.

IF it's bacterial wilt, that is transmitted by cucumber beetles. A row cover would keep the beetles out. You'll need to be clever around flowering time though. Cantaloupes need to be pollinated to produce fruit, usually this is done by bees. You'll either need to remove the covers when flowers are ready so the bees can do their job or hand pollinate.

more information on bacterial wilt in cucurbits

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.