* beet leaf miners, powdery mildew, and spittle bugs oh my

Posted on May 21st, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Home and Garden.

I knew this gardening thing seemed suspiciously easy.  Seemingly overnight, my beets went from really healthy looking to unhappy.  Lots of wilted leaves that look like they’ve been eaten on the inside.  The layer of tissue between the leaf surfaces is just gone for large patches or even whole leaves.  To the internet!  Google tells me that it’s almost certainly leaf miners, and that I probably just didn’t realize what the early infection looks like.  I snipped off all the damaged leaves and hopefully the beets themselves are ok.  They’ve got to be pretty close to being ready anyway.

I also recently noticed that my lavender hedge has these little clumps of foam all over.  wtf is that?  Literally the same day, Greenwalks posted about spittlebug.  At least it doesn’t seem to be harmful.

Unlike the powdery mildew that’s been attacking my bushes.  I’m not really sure what type of bushes they are, unfortunately, but a couple of them had a really heavy infestation last year when we moved in.  I cut away all the bad parts and sprayed them with horticultural oil, but they are looking even more sickly now, and it looks like it might have spread to some of the rest of them.

And then there are the plants that I killed myself.  I tried my hand at pruning in the fall, and only now are the results apparent.  I did a reasonably good job for one set of bushes (again, not entirely sure what they are) because it was obvious where the new growth was.  The wood is really brittle, though, and in the process I damaged enough of it that some of the plants are dead now or have big dead sections.  The lavender also survived my hackjob, but is looking kind of woody and messy.  It’s growing back in pretty well, though.  My big rosemary plants were not so lucky.  I read somewhere that you couldn’t prune them too much and that they’re really resilient, so I just cut off sections kind of haphazardly.  Come spring, only 2/5 were worth saving, and even those have some large dead sections.  They’ve now been relocated to an area of the yard where they won’t need to be cut back.  I think they weren’t actually supposed to be pruned in the fall was my main problem.  Details!

2 Responses to “beet leaf miners, powdery mildew, and spittle bugs oh my”

  1. Gazebo Patio Furniture, How do I get rid of green mildew stains on patio furniture?, Trivoli, Sunjoy, Suncast Says:

    […] craftlog » Blog Archive » beet leaf miners, powdery mildew, and spittle bugs oh my […]

  2. Karen Says:

    Oh dear! You’re right, gardening can be frustrating at times, what with all the critters and diseases that plants can be susceptible to. But don’t give up! You win some, you kill some, is what I’ve learned in my 10+ years of somewhat haphazard gardening. If you don’t try, you’ll never learn!

    If you post a picture of your shrubs with mildew, I’d be happy to take a gander at what they are. Also, the Master Gardeners have lots of free advice either in person at their clinics or over the phone. And the Plant Answer Line at the Center for Urban Horticulture is a great resource too, or you can just email them via the Miller Library site.

    And don’t blame yourself for everything – the rosemary plants might have been killed off by the deep freeze we had last December. I lost an entire giant hedge of rosemary over the past two years, and I hadn’t pruned it at all.

    Oh, one more thing – pruning is an art that takes a long time to learn, there are so many factors to consider. Have you heard of Plant Amnesty? They are a great org. here in Seattle that promotes pruning education. They have lots of resources and classes, and Cass Turnbull, their founder, has a great book out that the library probably has.

    Good luck with your gardening challenges, and just keep truckin’!


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