Leaf Miners on leafy greens

angiemomma4June 4, 2012

Hi...I know that there are lots of posts concerning leaf miner damage because I looked here first in the search function before asking LOL! But I am still confused. I have such a problem with these on plants like chard, which I love because it is tasty and easy to grow, even in summer.But honestly, I would really like to find a way to avoid those yummy little chunks of so-called protein (ack) that burrow their way into the leaves of my greens. I know what the eggs look like for sure because it seems like they show up every time. Is there a systemic (organic) pesticide that will keep the little buggers from hanging out in the first place. Is it Neem? And if it's Neem, does anyone have some kind of schedule, or 'recipe' for how to use it effectively? Is the only way to control it with row cover? Is it too late to use row cover once the insects have shown up before on other plants in the past?

I obviously have an issue with unintentional protein but we're none of us perfect so please forgo the comments about how I should quit gardening if I freak on a bug. It's not like that. But I don't like the chunky little suckers hidden in my salad, either.

Thanks in advance,

Angie

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The way to prevent leaf miners is to prevent the flies that lay the eggs from getting access to the plants. That is done with yellow sticky traps and row covers. Once the eggs are laid - and they are injected in between the leaf tissues by the fly, not laid on top - there is little you can do about them other than removing affected leaves.

A systemic pesticide? No way. You'd be eating it. Commercially approved ones? Sadly, yes.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Systemic Pesticides

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:58PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Hi Dave,
Regarding those yellow sticky traps, do you experience problems with non target insects getting stuck to the traps? Like bees, hoverflies and parasitic wasps.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:11PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Generally no because I only place them in and among the leafy greens, no blooms that would attract the other insects. And the way my gardens are spread out helps too since those plants are so far removed from the blooming vegs.

In a small garden or one with leafy greens interplanted then yes, I can see how that could become an issue. Insect barrier covers would likely work best in that situation since no pollination is required anyway and miner flies have such a short season.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:35PM
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angiemomma4

Thank you!
I never thought of the sticky traps and I didn't know that the eggs were actually injected into the leaves. Gross to think that there are pesticides that are 'approved' for use that are non-organic. The more I know, the less I want to eat from the store...but that means I gotta grow it so. Yah.

Between my poor, caterpillar, aphid-ridden brassicas and my greens, I suppose finding a place to grow them where I can actually PLACE the Agribon I did purchase is my next task. I started out doing this with the assumption that it was better to keep my plants spread around, but if I am to use the row covers I will need to lump them together a bit more next time.

Angie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:45PM
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