Garden Pests and Diseases of Beets
Pests, Diseases and Problems of Vegetables
Beetroot and related crops
Including: spinach, spinach beet and Swiss chard
Beet leaf miner (Pegomya hyoscyami)
Prevention and treatment: Where leaf miner is a recurrent problem, spinach, spinach beet and Swiss chard can be covered with horticultural fleece or other fine cover. Encourage quick early growth of beetroot. Squash larvae within leaves or remove infested leaves. Winter-digafter an attack to expose pupae to birds.
Beet leaf spot (Cercospora beticola)
Typical symptoms: Small circular pale brown spots appear on the leaves of beetroot and spinach beet. However, beet leaf spot does little harm.
Prevention and treatment: To prevent this disease developing within a crop, take the following measures: increase potash levels in the soil if low; use a; thin plants early to allow a good airflow around the leaves. Once it has occurred, remove infected leaves at once and clear up all crop debris. Never save seed from infected plants.
Black bean aphid (Aphis fabae)
Typical symptoms: The plants are infested with small black insects; the leaves may be distorted and sticky.
Prevention and treatment: See Aphids as Garden Pests
Typical symptoms: The plants produce flower stems prematurely.
Prevention and treatment: Use beetroot varieties resistant to bolting if sowing early in the season. Sow spinach in autumn and spring; avoid the long days of summer which encourage bolting. (See Plant Disorders – Understanding the Problem)
Typical symptoms: Yellow patches on the leaves; a grey mould may appear underneath in damp weather.
Prevention and treatment: See How to Treat Common Plant Diseases
Typical symptoms: Leaves show unusual colouring including red and yellow coloration and green or yellow mottling; they may be tough or crumpled.
Prevention and treatment: See Plant Diseases – Understanding the Problem