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Leaf damage to spinach and bean plants

Hi all,

I'm quite new to gardening, and particularly outdoors-plants. I'm growing spinach and noticed - after picking some - small clusters of neatly positioned, white oblong-ish shapes that won't wash off. There is also damage to the leaves. I think what I'm seeing may be leaf miner eggs, what do you think? Any advice on dealing with them?

I also noticed that my dwarf borlotti bean plants have developed some bad leaf damage and found quite a few black flies on the underside of the leaves. I have not yet taken a photo of these, but does it sound familiar? And again, what can I do?

I'm comfortable with using pesticides if necessary or other methods. This is quite disappointing :(


  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,323
    Yes, these are leaf miner eggs. You should be able to wash them off or scratch them off the leaf.
  • HelixHelix Posts: 631
    Unless you are a competition grower, home grown veg are never as perfect as those you get in shops - a lot of those have been grown in controlled conditions often in poly tunnels. So you may well always be disappointed if that’s what you are hoping to achieve. Personally I wouldn't use pesticides on something I was planning to eat. Also they kill everything including all the good insects so you lay yourself open to a much worse attack of something, and end up having to use them continually. For things like black fly I will use a soap spray, but that’s about it. Otherwise I pick off leaves and let things be.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896
    I as @Helix describes above ... although to be honest other than handpick caterpillars from brassicas and put out the occasional ‘slug pub’ near the lettuces, we’ve not had to do anything about pests on our veg for several years now.

    We have lots of small birds eating the aphids etc through the summer. Feed the birds in your garden and they’ll repay you by eating the pests.

    Grow flowers that are attractive to hoverflies and lacewings and they’ll eat the aphids too 😊

    We also feed the hedgehogs that visit our garden (through the little hole in the fence specially made for them) and they eat the slugs and weevils etc ... and the frogs in the little wildlife pond and the toad who hangs around the compost heap eat the slugs  too. 

    Ours isn’t a large garden, but we’ve managed to establish a balance here by not using any pesticides. 

    I grew up on a farm in the sixties ... I saw the destruction caused by pesticides when farmers knew no better ... I wouldn’t use pesticides on plants I’m growing to eat 😰

    it is of course up to you ... you can use anything that’s legal ... I’m just telling you what works here ... and it’s a helluva lot cheaper than paying out my hard earned pension to the chemical companies, when it’s not necessary. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • g.lucy92g.lucy92 Posts: 4
    Sorry my reply is so late - thank you for the responses!

    I'm not so much bothered about how perfect my plants appear as them dying. My experience with pests so far - red spider mite and mealybugs on my cacti - has been rather dire. It hadn't occured to me that they might not do enough damage to matter.

    I'll see what I can do about encouraging other animals, although feeding the birds isn't an option as the local rats eat the food instead (and then make a home in our garden...).

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