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What does frostbite look like on leaves?

Posted by bobbymcgee LA (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 11, 07 at 13:35

Hi, this is my first post, and I'm delighted to have found this website and these forums. I'm both new to Louisiana and to vegetable gardening (I was an apartment dweller back in Chicago). Mine is a large raised container garden, and was going like gangbusters until 3-4 days ago I noticed some of my plants' leaves (cucumbers, basil, and also coleus) were somewhat bleached with light-brown-to-almost-white spotting. Others, like, peppers, tomatoes and cantaloupe (and all the other herbs, apparently) are spot-free.

Can this be because it got down into the 30's a few nights ago? Since then the condition hasn't gotten worse, and nothing is dying, so aside from the cold snap, nothing about my care has changed.

I will admit to frequent watering (usually twice a day), but that hasn't hurt the rest of the garden, including the flowers, so it doesn't seem to be too much.

Does anyone know if I'm looking at frostbite or an unfriendly critter? Thanks in advance for any knowlege you can impart.

Much appreciation,

Linda in Carencro

PS: I'm a very, very happy transplant. Can't believe I started this garden over a month ago, I've got 15-inch high tomato plants in early April, and I tend the garden in shorts and tees. In Chicago I wouldn't even think of planting a petunia before June!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What does frostbite look like on leaves?

Linda, welcome to Louisiana! How do you like the food? Have you tried crawfish yet?

It sounds like a little frost or wind damage. I have it on a few of my tomato plants. My basil is still in the cold frame. It really doesn't like temps below 40.

Just a suggestion to back off on the twice a day watering. I give the garden a deep watering once a week or more often if we don't get any rain. Even though you have raised beds you can easily overdo it.


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RE: What does frostbite look like on leaves?

Thank you so much for the quick reply. I'm glad my instinct about the damage was correct. As for Louisiana cooking, I love it! I'm much more tolerant of spiciness than my sister Mary (who urged me to come down), and yep I've already sucked some crawfish heads, so I'm in Cajun heaven, y'all!

I'll take your advice on the deep watering, with "touch-ups" as needed. Mary warned me to always water at soil level, or else very early in the day, to avoid leaf burn from the sun on the water droplets.

I have bookmarked this site, and I'm sure I'll refer to it regularly. Thanks again!


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RE: What does frostbite look like on leaves?

Your sister's right about watering at soil level. An irrigation system is ideal, but it's easily done by hand, just takes longer. I try to water mid-morning or early evening.


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