I was at the Giving Garden this morning. Some of the team was busy building the living fence, which is coming along nicely. The main poles are already up and cemented into the ground. The rest of us were planting things from The Stop, and I helped to plant the Early Girl tomato seedlings that Louie had picked up. While I was at it, Christine had me also plant Black Russian tomato seedlings and an Amish Paste tomato variety.
I also learned to spot leafminers, which were on the spinach and swiss chard. Anna told us that a visiting gardener had told her that we should cut the plant down and the new growth should be ok. From experience, Anna said that it worked.
Spinach and Swiss chard leafminer flies are 1/2 inch long and gray with black bristles. This leaf miner lay eggs on the underside of the leaves side by side singly or in batches up to five. One larva may feed on more than one leaf. The larvae drop from the leaves after feeding for about two weeks onto the ground where it pupates and overwinters in the soil as pupae. In spring, they appear from mid April to May and they cause serious damage compared to the other generations that appear later. Leafminer attack vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, and celery. Sometimes they also attack lettuce and parsley in the greenhouse but cause less damage to similar vegetables grown in the field. For more useful info on the spinach leafminer, visit: http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/Horticulture-Leaflets/Spinach-Leafminer.pdf
Louie actually picked off one of the leaves and held it up to the sun for me to get a better look. It was like looking at an x-ray. I was able to see the worms inside the leaf. When he sliced open the leaf, I got a good look at the worms. This site provides some very good pictures, and descriptions.