Flea beetles?


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See attached pic. Is this flea beetle damage? Whatever it is, its eating my ground cherries. I have spinosad, neem oil and BT but I'm not sure which is the best to use. Im thinking spinosad? Any suggestions? Also, should I be using these products preventatively on all my plants or just on the affected ones as they occur?
 

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See attached pic. Is this flea beetle damage? Whatever it is, its eating my ground cherries. I have spinosad, neem oil and BT but I'm not sure which is the best to use. Im thinking spinosad? Any suggestions? Also, should I be using these products preventatively on all my plants or just on the affected ones as they occur?
You usually can see flea beetles. What if anything do you see on the bottom of the leaves. Look for the culprits at night. Bt is only for caterpillars. Neem Oil is a contact killer and is excellent on eggs and mites. This could possibly be mites but this is something I would use spinosad on first and if that didn't work use the Neem. Using these as a preventative also kills your beneficial insects. I never spray anything until I see damage, otherwise, it is just a waste of time and money spraying for something that isn't there and probably won't be there. This damage didn't happen all at once, it took some time. Inspect closely more often. I think the damage was done while these leaves were closer to the ground and pill bugs got to them.
 
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Ok that is what I was thinking... re not spraying preventatively. Sounds right. I used captain jacks deadbug spinosad on them. I hope they recover and flourish in time....
 
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I have seen evidence of pill bugs in the soil. Not under those particular plants... yet... but in other places. I will go out there tonight and look at the plants with a flashlight and hopefully figure out who the culprit is. It seems like a lot of my plants get little holes in them so its hard for me to know what is acceptable damage and what needs spraying.
 
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I just saw this on one of the ground cherries but its damage looks different than the little holes, although just as unwelcome.
 

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I have seen evidence of pill bugs in the soil. Not under those particular plants... yet... but in other places. I will go out there tonight and look at the plants with a flashlight and hopefully figure out who the culprit is. It seems like a lot of my plants get little holes in them so its hard for me to know what is acceptable damage and what needs spraying.
I just saw this on one of the ground cherries but its damage looks different than the little holes, although just as unwelcome.
Uh oh. That is a cucumber beetle. He didn't do the origional damage shown but spray spinosad ASAP. These are really bad guys. Spray both sides of the leaves if you can.
 
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I sprayed both sides of leaves. Ugh. I hope it works. I've been raising those groundcherries from seed and have put alot of tlc into them.
 
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I sprayed both sides of leaves. Ugh. I hope it works. I've been raising those groundcherries from seed and have put alot of tlc into them.
Keep a close eye on the damaged leaves and see if any more damage occurs and especially watch the new leaves. It's a good thing it is happening now instead of during the blooming period.
 
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Ok, thank you for your advice, as always. I will keep a close eye from now on!
I looked again at the cucumber beetle picture and saw what caused the original damage which you took care of with the Captain Jacks. It was cabbage looper caterpillars. You can see the dried out carcass of one of them.
 
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Oh my!!! Good find!! Seems like my garden has a huge diversity of bad bugs. Are most gardens like that?
Not really. Insects and caterpillars are attracted to weak or stressed plants. There are many reasons for this but in any case, a successful garden MUST be carefully observed on a daily basis and the gardener MUST know what is going on. I inspect every plant in my garden on a daily basis. When you have learned what to look for you can inspect a plant in about 10 seconds. You will soon learn what to look for whether it be from caterpillars or insects or fungus or a virus or some nutritional issue. I had some cabbage loopers on one plant of Portuguese Kale about 2 weeks ago. I walked by and saw a few small holes in one of the leaves. I know holes in leaves aren't normal so I looked on the bottom of the leaf and saw the looper happily munching away so I go mix up a pint of Bt and spray all of my Portuguese Kale plants whether they needed it or not. As of today there isn't an insect or caterpillar of any type to be found and the damage to that one kale leaf was minimal at worst. I rarely have to use anything in my garden but by being vigilant I can stop any problem before it gets serious.
 
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Well a lot of my plants are newly transplanted so maybe they are stressed from that transition? I will go out there and play them some relaxing music.. Haha no im joking, but I will do a better job of inspecting from now on! Thanks so much..
 
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Well a lot of my plants are newly transplanted so maybe they are stressed from that transition? I will go out there and play them some relaxing music.. Haha no im joking, but I will do a better job of inspecting from now on! Thanks so much..
I don't know for sure but to me, it seemed that your ground cherry has a yellowish tinge to it. If so it is lacking nitrogen and that is probably why the loopers got to it. Take some pics of all your plants and I will try to help you diagnose any problems you may have.
 
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Oh your the best! I really appreciate this! Its helpful and fun for me! I just started to take pics but it started raining . But I did manage to get a pic of my brandywine tomato plant which seems to be struggling since I transplanted it. It does seem a bit yellow like you mentioned about my ground cherries. My other brandywine tomato plants look very similar to this photo too. You can see there are little tiny holes in a couple of the yellower leaves.
 

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Oh your the best! I really appreciate this! Its helpful and fun for me! I just started to take pics but it started raining . But I did manage to get a pic of my brandywine tomato plant which seems to be struggling since I transplanted it. It does seem a bit yellow like you mentioned about my ground cherries. My other brandywine tomato plants look very similar to this photo too. You can see there are little tiny holes in a couple of the yellower leaves.
Yep, chlorosis is beginning. It is a little too early to tell exactly what is missing. It is either nitrogen or iron or magnesium or all of the above. When and what did you fertilize with and how much?
 
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I haven't fertilized yet. I had been thinking I should wait until they got a little bigger but I guess my plants think otherwise. The only fertilizing I've done was directly to the soil 2 months month ago with Langebenite and blood meal.
 
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I haven't fertilized yet. I had been thinking I should wait until they got a little bigger but I guess my plants think otherwise. The only fertilizing I've done was directly to the soil 2 months month ago with Langebenite and blood meal.
No wonder they are chlorotic. Here is what I would do to all of your plants. First I would trash the langbeinite or use it very sparingly as a soil amendment IF needed. Then I would give all the plants a jump start by giving each plant about 2 tablespoons of bloodmeal and water it in lightly. Then I would treat the plants with Chelated Iron as per directions but mix it with molasses @ 2 oz per gallon of water and water it in lightly. Then I would get some manure based organic granulated fertilizer and put about 2 big handfulls around each plant out to the dripline and water this in heavily. But before you do anything take pictures the day you do all of this and then take the same pictures 7 - 10 days later so you can see the dramatic results.
 
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This sounds lovely!!! I can get just regular molasses at the grocery store right? I've seen chelated iron at a local garden store so I know where to get that. I already have bloodmeal so I'm good with that. Do you know of a brand of manure based organic granulated fertilizer that is good?
 
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This sounds lovely!!! I can get just regular molasses at the grocery store right? I've seen chelated iron at a local garden store so I know where to get that. I already have bloodmeal so I'm good with that. Do you know of a brand of manure based organic granulated fertilizer that is good?
Food grade molasses is a LOT more expensive than horticultural or feed grade. You will be using quite a bit of it. I pay $12 per gallon. Any organic fertilizer is good as long as it has OMRI somewhere on the bag. Go to a feed store and talk to them. If they don't carry it they can get it very easily. Myself, I use Medina 3-2-3 Growing Green but that is only because it is locally made. There are many others. Just google organic fertilizers
 

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