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Beetroot-leaf miner-cat problem

Good afternoon, hope there is someone out there with beetroot experience...

The leaves of my beetroot plants are full of leaf miner tracks, some completely decimated. I have removed the worst ones, will this do? Or do I need to get rid of all infected leaves? (Leaving some pretty bald beetroot) Can they survive on just a few leaves?

Also, l have had to do this to stop cats using the raised beds as a litter tray: image

Can they grow properly with their leaves squished down like this?



  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,010

    Hello elspethscott ; I'm certainly no expert on growing vegetables of any kind , but as no-one else has bothered to answer I would say your beetroot leaves will photosynthesise pretty much normally under your trying circumstances !

    I have a 200-foot beautiful long garden filled with a panoply of  rare and unusual shrubs and perennials , and I too am plagued by neighbours cats ; extremely annoying image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,262

    I doubt if leaf miner will cause too big an issue Elspeth. They're unsightly more than anything.

    If you can slope the mesh lids, and add sides, or raise them a little in some way ( a small batten at each corner?) it would probably help, but again, I doubt it will be too much of an issue

    Get yourself one of those water scarecrows too.....image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    Hi there elspethscott, I am no expert either but I am struggling to see any mined leaves on your beetroot so you seem to have done a good job of picking them off. If it is leaf miners then you can squish the affected areas to kill the larvae and the plant will recover. My beetroot suffers from brown mottling on the leaves in very hot weather, almost like sunburn, so I mist them in the late morning in an attempt to cool them down.

    I can't comment on your cage as I use netting, cats being less of a problem than pigeons, I imagine it depends on when you expect to harvest? If you have miners then you should consider using insect netting and moving the bed next year so you don't get pests that have overwintered in the ground.

    Best of luck.

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Thanks for replying everyone, I thought we were rid of the cat as hadn't seen it about for a while but it dug up a load of radish seedlings next to the beetroot and laid a poo in their place yesterday so the chicken wire lid had to go back on ☹️

    Battens are a good idea, will suggest to other half-he likes a weekend project!

    I'll certainly rotate things next year, to be honest I think I'll try something a bit easier! I read that digging the soil over for the winter exposes the bugs/eggs to cold and kills them off.

  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,314

    Do have another go elspethscott, aside from lettuce I reckon beetroot is the easiest crop and very rewarding. I am a very haphazard gardener and have a fair few failures of one kind or another but I can always count on beetroot. The seed lasts four or five years if you have a standard variety I know, I tested this.

    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Plenty of seed left so might be worth a shot... I love beetroot and it's so expensive to buy at the supermarket. 

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