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Bugs eating leafy plants in veggie path 
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Sprout

Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 6:31 pm
Posts: 2
Post Bugs eating leafy plants in veggie path
Hi guys,

First time poster and veggie patch rookie here, so please forgive my ignorance.

We established a raised garden bed about 6 months ago and the plants in it are thriving. But lately I've noticed that more and more of the leaves are getting eaten by some sort of perpetrator. Additionally the basil plant has some unfriendly-looking brown spots on about half the leaves.

Here's a couple of photos of what it all looks like: http://imgur.com/a/N5LqQ

Any tips for how I can prevent this from happening in the future?

Cheers,
Daniel


Sun May 11, 2014 6:46 pm
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Green Thumb
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:39 am
Posts: 955
Location: SE Melbourne
Post Re: Bugs eating leafy plants in veggie path
The black spots on the basil could be a fungus, that would cause the holes as well as the leaf tissue dies. I am not sure what the plant is in the second photo, do you eat the leaves on this one? That small amount of damage wouldn't bother me too much, especially if you are growing it for the fruit, not the leaves. The chard looks like snail/slug damage to me but could be caterpillars.

I would just pick off the affected leaves of the basil and bin (don't leave lying around.) Make sure there is plenty of air circulation. Harvest often as that will bring on fresh new growth. You can dry or freeze excess for use in cooking. You want young tender leaves rather than old ones anyway.

Caterpillars can be hard to spot and often lie along the ribs and the leaf stem. Look for signs of droppings too. You can pick them off manually or spray with a product such as Dipel which is considered an organic solution.

For slugs and snails, go out at night with a torch and you will find them munching away. Pick them off and drop in salted water, or feed to the chooks (unsalted!) If you go the way of pellets then the iron based type are considered safest for pets and wildlife.

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Mon May 12, 2014 11:07 am
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Sprout

Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 6:31 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Bugs eating leafy plants in veggie path
Thank you for the comprehensive reply!

Great tip on the Dipel, and I think I should probably have a venture or two out at night to see what's going on. We've also been quite lazy with the Basil harvest, so I might need to pay more attention to that too.

I'm relatively sure I've seen signs of droppings, so maybe that indicates caterpillars?

PS: the second image was of Capsicum. The fruit looks fine, only those few munches taken out of the leaves.

Cheers,
Daniel


Tue May 13, 2014 11:54 am
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1685
Location: Bayside suburbs Melbourne
Post Re: Bugs eating leafy plants in veggie path
Holes like that could mean earwigs. Roll some newspaper up tight in a roll and leave it under the plants for a day or so. Then unroll it to see if you've caught any hiding inside. Good luck.

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Wed May 14, 2014 1:57 pm
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