What is Damaging the Leaves of my Chard and Beets?

Asked May 24, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

I'd like your help in identifying what is damaging the leaves of my Fordhook chard and Shiraz Tall Top Beet tops. The damage appeared recently, and is progressing rapidly. The plants are grown in a raised 3' x 7' container filled with Leaf gro, planting mix, homemade compost, blood meal, and desiccated cow manure. Nothing has been done to the plants, except bi-weekly application of Neptune's Harvest. They are in full sun from 9am- 4pm. Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

There are a couple of possibilities here. The spinach leaf may have leaf miner damage. Sometimes you can hold the leaf up to light and see the culprit within the mine, which is just between the two layers of leaf tissue. Simply pick the affected leaf. You can still eat it once you remove/tear off the mined area.
Another possibility is fungal leaf disease. We think that given your heavily organic soil mix (which is good) you do not need to be fertilizing bi-weekly. It encourages thick, fresh, growth, which in cramped conditions can lead to disease susceptibility. Pick the affected leaves and a new flush will develop.