Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Turnip Leaf Damage

Not much to talk about now, so I found this photo of turnip leaf damage from last season. Any idea what the culprit might be? My guesses are, thrips, spider mites, or flea beetles. There weren't any aphids on the leaves.

I had pretty much written off the turnip crop with this kind of damage, but I sprayed with alcohol or neem, or maybe both. The new leaves came out after that and looked good. I had the best turnip crop I'd ever had. Couldn't believe it. Now, I don't know if the spraying did anything, or if the insect just may have run its course.

Whenever I would water the plant or spray with something, I could just barely see the "no see ums" as they flew away, that's how tiny they were.
turnip leaves.JPG
tur leaves.JPG

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Turnip Leaf Damage

Looks like flea beetles to me. Diatomaceous earth and Neem oil should be helpful against them. Mustard plants are said to be good trap crops for them, if planted around the edges of your main crop.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Turnip Leaf Damage

Thanks. What amazed me was how the plants recovered and made such a good crop of turnips.

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digitS'
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Re: Turnip Leaf Damage

I haven't grown turnips since the 70's and I don't know why. I don't like the roots but I can't even remember if I have ever eaten the leaves. Someone send me some leaves to try!

;) Okay, I'm not yet quite that helpless. I always grow turnip sisters bok choy, often have choy sum, komatsuna, broccoli raab, etc. I've even grown tyfon Holland greens! Spinosad has worked well for flea beetles. Who cares whether the insecticides kill them or they have just migrated to the wild mustard along the fenceline?

Well, I guess I do ! One thing for sure, the flea beetles aren't flying off, on a thousand mile migration. It was only a few years ago that I learned what serious damage the larva can do to roots. Or, I learned that the damage I was always seeing - some of that was being done by immature flea beetles in the soil.

So, it isn't likely to help to raise up a robust population of the pests in your radish or whatever, and just ignore them. They are a serious pest some years and in some locations like here and I bet, in Central AZ. Good that you came out with a healthy crop, Taiji. They don't always eat completely through the leaves. Here's a picture the U of Minnesota says is flea beetle damage to turnips: link.

Steve
Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Turnip Leaf Damage

Next year I'll be happy to send you some leaves that look just like the ones in my photos; I'll probably have more than enough!

For me, one turnip has always gone a long way too. But, last year I found a couple of ways to make them more palatable if they are too bitter. I just peel them with a potato peeler, then cut into chunks and boil them as if one were going to make mashed potatoes. That way of cooking seems to take out a lot of the bitterness, but still leaves turnip flavor. You can then mash them or not.
Another way is to do the same thing, and mash them in with mashed potatoes, and also with some cooked mashed carrots. It doesn't make a bad dish.

Speaking of mustard as a trap crop, you just made me realize that whatever attacked my potato leaves the previous year left them alone last year. I think the turnips served as the trap crop instead! I didn't have turnips that previous year.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Turnip Leaf Damage

My grandmother used to cook turnips just like mashed potatoes: peel, boil, mash with milk and butter. As a kid I really liked it; haven't had it for years. Have to try it again. Turnips are also something I have never grown. If the mashed turnips are a hit, maybe I will try growing some.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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