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Gardening Articles: Care :: Seeds & Propagation

Sweetest of the Sweet Peppers (page 2 of 2)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Question of the Week: Holes in Beet Leaves

Q. My beets germinated well and are starting to grow, but I notice they have small holes in the leaves. What's causing this?

A. The most likely culprits are flea beetles. These small black beetles literally hop when disturbed, hence their name. They are a pest to many vegetables, including eggplant, broccoli, beets, kale, and cabbage, and primarily attack young seedlings. Flea beetle damage makes leaves appear to have been riddled by a shot-gun. Severe infestations cause leaves to turn yellow, and plants to weaken and become stunted.

Flea beetles thrive under hot, dry conditions. To reduce their populations, keep the soil and plants moist. You can also use floating row covers to prevent the beetles from coming in contact with your plants. If this isn't practical or the beetles are still devouring your plants, spray with diatomaceous earth, neem oil, or insecticidal soap. Once the young seedlings are a few weeks old, beetle damage is no longer a problem.

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