spots, probs, other weird things! pics lQQk!

naturalmommys(9)June 8, 2010

Ok I started container gardening with zero previous knowledge on anything to do with gardening. I planted some Zucchini, bell peppers, tomato's, cucumber and a few others. All of the plants listed have yellow dots all over them. My jalapenos are the only ones without them.. And my herbs! I have a flying bug infestation which from scanning the internet appear to be Fungus gnats, not sure though. Can you tell me if I am correct? They are digging around in all the soils. Anyone know what is going on with the yellow dots? If you click on the pics you will see other questions in the descriptions but you must click the pic

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Dan Staley

Fungus gnats are merely nuisance pests. But a pain inside when proliferating - you must break their life cycle to defeat them. The 7-year old brought a dang pumpkin home from school (!) along with fungus gnats, just after we eradicated them...sigh. A lot of work.

Nonetheless, you have a sucking insect issue, maybe whiteflies, maybe something else, scan the leaves closely with magnification to find perhaps mites. That pepper has a soil problem, not able to tell if too wet or too dry, but lack of yellowing leans toward too dry, in addition to the sucking insect.

Critter at first guess was maybe minute pirate bug/~ family, but not sure that's right & Hemiptera always give me trouble. Surely rhizo can pick me up if she is reading my replies these days.

One thing I note when we grow lettuce and greens in winter inside, is that the windows block UV light and any soil fungi present (even after sterilizing , so maybe on seed) proliferate wildly and hard to bring lettuce to head or maturity because the fungi win. Kid likes the garden inside in winter so we do it, but not easy at all for two parents with hort degrees.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:03PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Fungus gnats are merely nuisance pests

Adults are but the larvae eat delicate roots. They are a plant pest. If you have fungus gnats you are keeping the soil too wet.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:59PM
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Dan Staley

'Tis true about the roots on sensitive, weakened plants. That's why you have to break the life cycle. There is usu. enough time to ensure the larvae do not do damage.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:28PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Those aren't fungus gnats. Instead they are a small size true bug (order Hemiptera) which may be the cause of the leaf spot. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts.

I'm not familiar with them. But perhaps someone from your region has the answer. If no one adds a post soon, capture some in a clear container you can close, then take to your county's Extension Service office or a large independent garden center.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Thanks so much for your help! I am going to my local garden store this weekend..hopefully its not too late for some of my plants by then:( I have saturated with Neem oil, the first time I did it I didnt heavily spray. Does anyone know if neem oil is effective for fungus gnats or "true bugs" Oh and I swear those things are biting me!

In the fourth pic there is a pic of my cucumber plant and it has that long stringy, curly looking thing growing on it and since taking the pic 3 more have formed. Is that normal? Should I cut those or will they grow leaves on them eventually?

Still not sure what happened with my pepper plate all shrivalled up, not sure if it will come back to life...looks worse.

I did let the soils dry out and I notice a big change in the amount of 'gnats'...if that is what they are...actually there is a ton of different flying crawling creatures! Didnt know we had all these bugs in Vegas.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:13PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Those long stringy things on the cucumbers are entirely normal. When you train the cuke plants up a trellis, the strings (tendrils) twine around the structure to help hold it up.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:27PM
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Thanks! I know I am a total newbie with this! They are in an upside down hanging planter so I guess I dont have to worry about them. Thanks:)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 1:47AM
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