The Q&A Archives: Identifying Brown Spots on Peppers

Question: My peppers have brown spots on the leaves. What is it and how do I fix it? Also how high do you recommend a fence to keep deer out of my garden should be? Kelly Henkel Oxford, MI

Answer: Do the spots on your peppers have light grey centers and dark brown margins? If so, your plant has Cercospora leaf spot, which is a fungal disease. The disease is worse under humid conditions. The best control for the future is to rotate crops and clean up plant debris at season's end. For now, the safest solution is to dispose of the affected plants and, if possible, transplant the remaining ones further apart in another area of the garden. It's also not too late to plant new ones. Spraying with fungicides can kill beneficial insects and isn't recommended for a small number of garden plants. For deer fencing: A 10-foot fence, or two 7- to 8-foot fences spaced a couple feet apart are your best bets. The larger the garden, the higher the fence needs to be. Deer won't jump a fence (supposedly) if there isn't enough clearance on the other side. This means a long, narrow garden can be protected by a lower fence on the long sides and a higher fence on the ends. (This worked for me last year.) But deer have been know to jump over 12-foot fences so it's all a gamble.

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