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Small white dots on spinach leaves

Posted by mariann_gardener Idaho (My Page) on
Wed, May 19, 10 at 0:45

I have seen the same problem reported but no answer was given due to the lack of picture. Spinach looks healthy but it has lots of white dots mostly on the undersides of the leaves. It is most numerous at the bottom of the plants. The white dots feel like salt-like grains when I brush them off with my fingertips. They easily wash off without leaving any discoloration or sign of disease behind. I checked pictures on the net and they do not look like downy or powdery mildew.

What is it and is it safe to eat those leaves that had these white stuff on them? It started showing up on my lettuces, which are in the same bed but not on the same kind of lettuce in a separate bed.

thanks for the help,
Mariann

Image link: Small white dots on spinach leaves (53 k)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Wed, May 19, 10 at 19:46

I can't see a thing because the bright highlight has burned out the details. Can we try a different image?


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, May 21, 10 at 1:43

another image here
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pests/msg051503173021.html

Here is a link that might be useful: image


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

We are experiencing the very same trouble in in south-central CT with our spinach crop. The plants are growing very well, leaves are whole, and the white dots rub off and feel like sand. They also appear to wash off in the kitchen sink without trouble. The spinach tastes just fine.

I'm eager to learn what these are. I first though, leaf-miners, and we have those in another spinach patch. But the eggs are the wrong size and too numerous.

Next, I thought aphids. I did see a green aphid on the underside of a leaf. But I've never seen aphids with so many eggs on so many plants. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the climate and perhaps the a fungus or some kind? But the plants are growing well.

Very strange...

Jason


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

Same here in Boulder, CO. I think I will take it to the Cooperative Extension office.


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What varieties have these? RE: Small white dots

Oh: the variety I have planted is Bloomsdale or Olympia, hard to tell as sometimes I let them self seed. What variety have you planted?


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Another Thought: What varieties?

What varieties of spinach are we talking about? I have olympia and bloomsdale.


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 27, 10 at 12:26

It's a challenge to see just what the white spots are. The one image has so much bright light that detail is lost in the small leaf. And the closer image on your other post is still too small to see detail.

If they wash off readily, they could be aphids, very common soft-bodied beasts that get on spinach.

Further, it's not a disease since they do wash off easily.


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

I am growing Corenta hybrid spinach variety. I doubt that the white dots would be aphids. I do not have a magnifier but when I look from close they do not look like insects and they do not move around at all. Also they are too nicely almost symmetrically spaced on the leaves and that do not look like aphid aggregation.
I am not convinced that it is not a disease because I let it progress on a few spinach that I did not harvest, and I started seeing small `lesions` when I rubbed off the dots. It also felt gluey on my fingertips while before it was a dry sand-like feeling.


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Thu, May 27, 10 at 20:27

OP said " I let it progress on a few spinach that I did not harvest, and I started seeing small `lesions` when I rubbed off the dots"

Well that's a helpful bit of info. thanks

Look up white rust.


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

That's not what white rust looks like, nor how the OP's described indications manifest themselves in white rust. There needs to be a better picture or description of view under magnification.

Dan


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Fri, May 28, 10 at 20:27

I believe I said that. I'm only working with a very few facts & a too small image.

Isn't long-distance diagnosing fun? (More like guessing, right?)

Okay. It's your turn for the next guess.


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

With these clues, I'm not sure fun is the right f-word, but I can work with that. ;o)

Dan


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RE: Small white dots on spinach leaves

Hey, I think what all you guys are talking about is thrips. What you are seeing, are their eggs. They suck nutrients and are often carriers for diseases, so not a good thing. You can add beneficial insects Amblyseius cucumbers to the soil and they will stop the infestation. Also using Hypoaspis miles in conjunction will eat the soil dwelling thrips.

The lowest cost for these bugs I found were 1.99, so thats pretty good.

Hope that helps.


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