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HELP! Holes in leaves of plants

Posted by californiangardener (My Page) on
Mon, May 11, 09 at 19:05

I have a small container garden on my balcony and up until now it has been doing just fine. However, of late (in the past week or so) I've noticed a lot of tiny holes in all the leaves of my plants - so many little holes that I'm beginning to think it's a going to be a problem. I am currently growing sun gold tomatoes, a few violas, some spearmint and peppermint - all of them seem to be affected! I have noticed a few little gnats flying around - should I be spraying something on the plants to prevent whatever it is that is eating my plants? Help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HELP! Holes in leaves of plants

Have you seen any tiny bugs on your plants or anything? I had small holes in many of my plants and determined that it was flea beetles. It took a while to actually spot them though, they are sort of small. Now they seem to love my eggplants. They are leaving everything else alone in favor of the eggplants. I did put some Sevin on the eggplants, but then it has rained a lot here over the last week or so, and I noticed today that they were back on them......

RE: HELP! Holes in leaves of plants

Tons of tiny holes in your plants certainly sounds like flea beetles. Different types of flea beetles like different things. My eggplants also have flea beetles.

They seem to prefer my "Black Beauty" eggplant over my "Ichiban" one (about 80% to 20%). You can see some minor damage in below picture.

I also had another black beauty seedling with so many little holes in the leaves that I'm not sure it will survive.

RE: HELP! Holes in leaves of plants

I have found that the best time to look for flea beetles (and this does sound like flea beetles) is an hour after sun down and again through the night (my neighbors probably think I am insane - out in my garden all hours of the night with a flash light). Anyway, the flea beetles are usually mostly black and the ones I get are a little smaller than a pin head or about the size or slightly smaller than most of the holes you see from them.

I hand pick because for me this does enough to keep their numbers down. The other thing that seems to have helped is a bit of cultivation of the ground beneath the affected plants. I have been able to keep them under control doing these two things this year.


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