White stuff on leafs!

Asked June 4, 2019, 11:31 AM EDT

Hi We set up a small, raised vegetable planter on our deck in Traverse City about 2 weeks ago, using plants from Meijer. We planted tomatoes, sweet peppers, peas and lettuce. We noticed white discoloration on some leafs in all but the lettuce plants about a week ago. The leafs curl and turn somewhat brown. It may be starting to affect spearmint in a nearby pot. Have not seen bugs on the plants. It’s been cooler than usual. The local garden store sold us Neem Oil, which we have not, yet, used. We're worried about using stuff on edible plants. Any thoughts about what’s up and best treatment? Thanks for the help!

Grand Traverse County Michigan

2 Responses

That could be insect feeding damage. A couple of likely culprits are thrips and leafhoppers. These insects can sometimes be very hard to see because they are on the underside of the leaf, they flee very quickly when disturbed, and they blend in with the foliage. As long as the intended use (e.g. insects on vegetables) appears on the product label, you should be able to use the Neem on those plants. Read the label instructions carefully and follow them exactly in order to safeguard the health of yourself, your family, your pets, pollinators, and other beneficial insects.


Thanks for the rapid reply and help!