Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bean and Tomato Mites

So what turns beans and tomatoes from <==this to this==> ??

Well the answer is Mites. Mites love hot dry dusty weather, just the kind of environment you get in an Australian summer. There are different kinds and colours, brown russet mites, red spider mites etc. They attack the plants from the lower leaves and move up the plants leaving dead brown foliage.

A close inspection of the leaves (and I mean close, they are tiny) shows small critters often congregated around the veins of the leaves (red circle).

Occasionally you may see eggs and sometimes a fine cobweb like material is apparent (blue arrow).

The leaves become progressively pale and almost silvery (red arrow).

You will most commonly see them on the underside of the leaves (green circle).

The solution is to treat the leaves with a soap/oil spray made by adding 1/2 cup of liquid soap to 500ml of vegetable oil and then taking a tablespoon of this solution and diluting it with a litre of water, shake before use. This suffocates the mites. By the way always remember what Hector the safety cat says about keeping stored garden solutions out of reach of little 'uns and never keep them in a container they recognise as a food product ie a fruit juice bottle full of homemade chilli spray (mwahaha...)

Cheers Aldrum

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