Ask a Question forum: Something is contagious in my garden

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Genia
Sep 5, 2016 6:30 AM CST
Hi there, I am an ameteur at best when it comes to gardening so I appologize if the answer to this is painfully obvious. I live in central Florida and in July I started some tomato plants from seed, the heat resistant kind, and I have also started some cucumbers from seed and bought a six inch heat resistant tomato plant. My issue is that all of my plants have this same white growth on them. I know it's hard to grow anything in Florida summers, especially with the hotter than usual summer we have had and the hurricane that came through last week. I am trying to do everything I can to baby my plants but the white rash has gone from one plant to the rest. They are in seperate containers with what I thought was a good drainage system. If you could please give me any insight, it would be most appreciated. I am a novice gardener and I'm sure I've made plenty of mistakes. Thank you!



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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 5, 2016 6:48 AM CST
This is the damage of a pest called leaf miners. They are inside the leaves. On edibles, removing the affected leaves is a safe treatment, or doing nothing at all if that would mean the loss of most of the foliage.
http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r783300911.html
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/control-leaf-miners-tomato-plan...
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 5, 2016 6:50 AM CST
Welcome! Your tomato problem is caused by a leafminer, the larvae of a tiny insect that "mines" inside the leaves. You may prefer not to treat with a systemic insecticide since you're going to be eating the tomatoes (a systemic insecticide is taken up by the plants so that the insects inside the leaves are exposed to it). A contact (exterior spray only) will not control them because they are protected by the skin of the leaf. You can pick off and destroy the worst affected leaves but supposedly tomatoes can tolerate quite a bit of damage from leafminers.

Is the cucumber exactly the same problem? Can you post a picture?

Cross posted with Tiffany.
[Last edited by sooby - Sep 5, 2016 6:51 AM (+)]
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Genia
Sep 5, 2016 7:27 AM CST
Here is a picture of the cucumbers, they are only about two weeks old. Also, I noticed that my pepper plant has it too. :/
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 5, 2016 7:41 AM CST
With all three of those different plants affected, this is probably your culprit, the vegetable leafminer, Liriomyza sativae:

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/vegetable_leafm...

Genia
Sep 5, 2016 7:53 AM CST
Thank you both so much for answering.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 5, 2016 8:29 AM CST
Happy to try to help. Much better explanation, Sooby!

Getting started gardening can be frustrating because of things like pests. The good news is that for every pest of plants, there are predators (other bugs, insects, birds) of that pest. They may not notice at first, but eventually if there are pests, predators should also show up and help keep the pests in check.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
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Newyorkrita
Sep 5, 2016 4:31 PM CST
I am surprised there is so much leafminer damage.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 5, 2016 4:49 PM CST
Hi and welcome, Genia. You definitely were a little early in planting tomatoes for optimum growth in Florida. I just planted seeds for my new tomato plants last week, and they will bear tomatoes for me all the way through the winter to about May. I don't even try to grow them in the summer for a couple of reasons - first the heat tolerant ones have not tasted all that great to me, and some of them never bore fruit even though they said they would. Second, there are so many more blights and fungal woes floating around in the summertime that even the best-grown plants will just up and die over night if they get one of those infections. You can also start new plants indoors in January and grow them through the spring for a nice harvest if you lose your winter plants. I cover carefully on cold nights to keep mine setting fruit all winter.

Yes, what Tiffany said about predators for your pest bugs is so important. If you spray, spray, spray and kill off every bug you see then the beneficial bugs (things like ladybugs and lacewings that eat other bugs) will never get established in your garden. So please, suffer through this first little glitch of leafminer damage, grow your plants big and healthy and they won't die from leafminers.

I go through the garden maybe once a week and spray a mild soapy water solution on the undersides of the leaves of my peppers and tomatoes in the evening. This helps keep down things like aphids and whiteflies, but doesn't murder too many beneficials including bees and butterflies that are more active in the mornings.

I must be honest here and tell you that I've completely given up trying to grow cucumbers, and also any kind of squash or melons here in Florida. I suppose if I brought one of my Earth Boxes into the pool cage I might have a chance but out in my garden, there are just too many pests to keep ahead of on those, plus they are very susceptible to powdery mildew, a very fast-growing fungal leaf disease.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill

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