Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Is It?

Curiosities are part of the reason I love living close to the earth as MM and I do out here JOTOLR. Today, two mysteries. Short post, though, as we are on our way to another of those dratted “town trips.” Remember those bumper stickers that touted what the driver would rather be doing.  Mine is, "I'd rather be home gardening."

Something likes my Columbine. The artistry it creates is quite lovely, I think, but more than that, how does it do that? The leaf is not “chewed.” It’s sucked. So, what is it that can suck out a leaf, leave this fascinating trail, and what is the nature of the food it gets in the process?

Second, something likes my Hollyhock leaves. I never see a thing resembling a predator, but the leaves always become ugly this time of year…What is it? How does it multiply? Is it a fungus? Or….what?

Finally, the Bright Lights Swiss Chard is just about to find its way into canning jars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t retain that lovely color, but is oh-so-good!


  1. I haven't a clue on either of those plant problems -- I'd try spraying with some insecticidal soap (Safers is one kind.)

    I love chard and would grow it as an ornamental even it it weren't good to eat. Great picture!

  2. The hollyhocks look like they have got Rust, a fungal disease. Hollyhocks are very prone to Rust which will affect the vigour of the plants. If you want to treat you would need a fungicide. The blobs are the new spores developing. Affected leaves/plants should be burnt not composted. The columbines have leaf miners- a small fly whose larvae tunnel around inside the leaf tissue. Again burning is recommended and possibly an insecticide. As I don't like to use chemicals in my garden the plants generally have to tough it out or be dumped.

  3. Great to see an answer to those little leafy trails - I've always wondered what caused them!How do you can your chard? I've never done it as there seems to be an abundance in the garden all year but having a few jars put up would be great on those cold / wet nights when I don't want to go out to the garden.

  4. Elora, Yes, leaf miners and rust. I would use Safers on the leaf miners and let the hollyhocks tough it out as Ruta M. suggested. I've seen hollyhocks grow to lovely heights without rust but they were in the dry mountains of California. The miners are quite artistic.
    I need to get weeding or one will not be able to tell which is weed or plant! -- barbara