Blight on Greens - Knowledgebase Question

Kenmore, NY
Avatar for hompar
Question by hompar
April 19, 1999
About mid summer all the greens I raise develop spots, then turn crisp and the leaves die.
I am referring to Beet greens and Swiss chard. I have numerous beds around the yard and different sides of the house,since this is a city garden, they all get it. This has happened every year for about 3-4 years now.
Is there anything I can do to eliminate the problem, other than not plant them?

Answer from NGA
April 19, 1999
From your description it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis of the problem. For instance, it might be damage from an insect such as leaf miner (affects spinach, beets and chard) or a fungus. However, most foliar problems can be reduced by the same steps: rotating crops, cleaning up and destroying any infected plant trash as it occurs (and all plants at the end of the season), avoiding overhead watering especially at night, and maximizing both sun and air circulation. In addition, if it is cercospora you should look for resistant beet varieties. Here is a photo of leaf problems on beets: for comparison.
If it happens again this summer, you might take a sample to your County Extension (652-3370) for a definite identification of the problem and suggested controls, if any.

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