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Peppers: Could someone "in the know" please asssist me w/ this prob?

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thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2008
2:09 PM

Post #5076234

Hi folks,
I know this is my first look and introduction to this forum. My name, at any rate, is Thor and I have a peculiar problem where my California Wonder Yellow or Orange (Cannot remember which...there were so many, over 100 that I raised for a Hunger Garden...but this is the one which I kept for my own use. The upper part of the budding leaves look just tremendous, but, as I hope you can see in the picture submitted, I am getting round holes--with brown edges in the leaves and the big ones--are gradually turning yellow along with this problem. [On a side note...it is still in a 5-6" nursery pot from which I wish to move it, but before putting it in a pot with another plant, I want to be sure there aren't any problems which could spread to my other (newly gifted to me---a chocolate bell) pepper and tomatoe/basil] I have looked at these leaves or ruffled them and I can't find any obvious bugs or eggs or flies of any sort...I'm simply stumped. Thank you for your help!

Thumbnail by thethorinator
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critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 9, 2008
2:35 PM

Post #5076395

That looks and sounds similar to the flea beetle damage I've had on eggplants (bad enough that I gave up on eggplants and just buy a few at the farmer's market). They're very tiny and easy to miss when you're looking for culprits. A spray with insecticidal soap is probably not a bad idea, even if you're not quite sure who's doing the munching... that looks like bug damage of some sort to me.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2008
10:31 PM

Post #5078785

Is there a way to spray it with a home-made insecticidal concoction? My dad used to take care of things like aphids with a simple dishsoap/water spray but I take it that this is a different bug altogether...just trying to avoid rabidly spraying something toxic on the plants. I wondered also whether the Lysol Green cleaner which is basically calendula oil, citrus oil, and coconut products of some type...again, I don't want to go down the wrong path and burn the plant. (chuckles!)
Thank you for your advice!!

Thor
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2008
10:34 PM

Post #5078796

One other fact...the pepper plant is actually feet away from a pin-oak tree, I believe. The pepper is in it's own pot on the balcony at the far end and luckily, it doesn't seem to be bothering the other plants.

Sincerely,
Thor
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 10, 2008
12:10 AM

Post #5079409

I often use a combination of insecticidal soap and pyrethrum as a "first line of defense" (relatively nontoxic and effective against a fairly wide range of pests)... but you're right, a squirt of dishsoap in water makes a pretty good spray also. I haven't used that lysol cleaner you've mentioned, but I have used murphy's oil soap (1 cap per gallon) as a drench for fungus gnats, so the lysol may well do some good. I'd sure try it on just one plant first, though. :-)
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2008
2:46 AM

Post #5080378

Thanks...I've heard that using Dawn or similar dishwashing liquid (non-detergent) does work well and so, as I have tried the Lysol "Green Clener" product once and the plant was non the worse for the wear, perhaps combining the two...tried it and even on my skin, it didn't burn and tried it on a baby 2" tall tomatoe and it didn't do anything bad to the little guy. Hmm...maybe I'm on to something, but I'm also having a problem with my tomatoes where the lower leaves are first turning yellow, then curl under while turning light brown, then come off, so I wonder whether it's the same problem (I know that there is a tomato forum, but I don't want to bother them with a joint pepper/tomato sort of issue, no offense.
Thor
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 10, 2008
3:08 AM

Post #5080533

Are any spots forming on the tomato leaves that might indicate a blight? If not, maybe they're just getting a little too much water from the recent rains (at least, it's been raining a ton around here).

Tiny holes are some sort of pest damage from a chewing insect (my money is still on flea beetles). Yellowing leaves are probably something else entirely, although infestations of mites or aphids can cause yellowing as juices are sucked from the leaves.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2008
1:12 PM

Post #5081790

Critter, thanks for your help...the problem with the tomatoes is that they slowly but surely turn yellow, generally on the lowest leaves (it happens such that you almost don't even notice), but within several days, the leaves start to curl inwards at the tip and then turn light brown, and fall or snap right off (but not on all plants--remember each one is seperated by at least 3-4 feet in seperate containers). I have a ton of baby tomatoes that are not getting "the problem" and...one thing that I am wondering about that very issue; these adult tomato plants that are having these issues are all in pots no bigger than 6 inches, but the ones that are in a huge, 18-20" pot and equally as deep seem healthy as horses, ahem, good tomatoes...could they just be having an issue related to the pot sizes? Also, it had been a couple of months since I had fed them so I did so yesterday using Miracle Gro's Tomato Fertilizer. Anyway, flea beetles...how do I get rid of them in an organic--ie I am on SSI and can't afford super expensive pest spray if it can made from home-found ingredient--way? LOL ;-) I've heard the dishwashing soap--not detergent--just Dawn and water works for some but would it work for this and would it best be applied (we're having a 90+ Degree Day up here today) before the sun hits the leaves of the pepper?
Thanks,
Thor
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2008
1:15 PM

Post #5081801

Ooops, I will send a pic of the tomato leaf so you can, hopefully, see whether the two problems may be related. I have never had the two plants in the same pot or even right next to each other except while in mini-greenhouse setup and I kept the water in the tray from getting nasy and slimy as I've realized that can breed mold or other nasty creatures. Oh, and no...no rain here and with full sun all afternoon, my plants get a gentle watering each morning.
Thor
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 10, 2008
1:58 PM

Post #5081994

Thor, "adult tomatoes" can't thrive in a 6 inch pot. The minimum recommended pot size for tomato plants is 5 gallons. So yes, I'd guess the pots are a factor.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2008
11:15 PM

Post #5084520

Yes, it is supposed to be a bit cooler tomorrow...was in the mid to upper 90's today here so I wanted to give the weather a chance for a brief cooldown and I've had horrible experiences transplanting tomatoes and peppers in this type of heat so I vowed to let the temperature be cool next time. I have been supervising the 1/8th acre garden that we are doing to feed the hungry by bringing them farm-fresh vegetables, fruit (I have dealt with approximately 120 tomatoe plants thus far and 50 bell peppers of almost every available solid color...not to mention requesting and tracking donations, and contributions...all while dealing with a terminal illness) and herbs of all types and varieties to help season both the fresh food and some of the monotonously repettive canned or prepared foods. So, I will transplant these poor--flowering---little guys into their final 20 gal. "Window Box" which should, given that these are cherry-determinate plants, fit a tomato and a peper plant as well as one small basil and one dwarf marigold to help sweeten and ward off pests of all types, I reckon. )eoe
Thanks agin,
Thor
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 10, 2008
11:44 PM

Post #5084630

I thought I remembered that you were growing a bunch of plants and figured you were experienced enough to know those guys wouldn't last the summer in 6 inch pots... LOL. Glad to hear they'll have larger quarters soon. I'll bet that solves the problem.

I know what you mean about transplanting in the heat... I've been holding off on doing any more planting out the last few days also.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

June 11, 2008
5:29 PM

Post #5088120

Yes, actually, I am very experienced with tomatoes, but I've been so busy with about 200 plants in total on a large balcony and our spare bedroom in shifts, that I neglected my own personal ones. I guess I thought the hungry needed the tomatoes more critically than I did...dumb me, I too am a client of Church Meaow Gardens. Here is a link to the most recent article on the garden...most places where they quoted the pastor, that came fro me, but hey...it's all for the greater good: http://www.wickedlocal.com/littleton/fun/gardening/x65832991/A-garden-blossoms-on-Great-Road
Sincerely,
Thor Montgomery
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 11, 2008
5:36 PM

Post #5088151

Thor, what a wonderful project! Your own plants will recover and do fine also, I'm sure... and I hope they'll produce a bumper crop for you, as there would be a certain karmic balance to that! :-)

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