The Q&A Archives: Holes In Pole Bean Leaves

Question: I planted "Kentucky Blue" pole beans a few weeks ago. When the leaves emerge, they quickly develop holes which seem to consume the leaves. I have noticed the same thing but to a lesser degree on my spinach leaves. I have not seen any evidence of insects on the plants. I have planted another type of bean next to the affected ones but was wondering if there is something I can apply to the plants to prevent this. If possible, I would like an organic solution as I was hoping not to add any pesticides to the garden.

Answer: Based on your description it is very difficult to make a positive identification of the problem. There is a possibility that it is a bacterial blight which spreads during wet weather such as we have had this spring. However, since you did not mention any discoloration or other symptoms on the leaves, I suspect the culprit is slugs.

If this is the case, there are several methods of eliminating the slugs. You can hand-pick them (just after dark or very early in the morning work best) and drop them into soapy water, trap them with saucers of beer, or use a commercial slug bait.

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