Tackling leaf miners


Leaf miner maggots are the larvae of flies which are particularly drawn to leafy greens like beet leaves, spinach and chard.

They burrow into the leaf and eat all of the nutritious chlorophyll, which is vital for the plant to absorb energy from the sun.

And this week they recently  made short work of the beetroot leaves in one of my containers. They hit most, but not all of the leaves – so hopefully if monitored the healthy leaves might be able to keep the beets growing as they’re still pretty small.

I had been away for a few days, and hadn’t been keeping that close an eye on the beet leaves (I was preoccupied with keeping my brassicas free from cabbage butterfly larvae (they’ll be along in their droves shortly).

It’s vital to keep a check on leaves that are exposed to these enemies (and those under netting need to be checked regularly too for rogue entrants).

The leaf miner larvae are white and oblong.

Thankfully the beetroot in the raised bed wasn’t as badly affected, and I quickly dispatched with any larvae clinging to the leaves.

It’ll be important to check these, as well as the leaves on my broccoli, kale and sprouts to ensure the plants are pest free.


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