What is eating up my Swiss chard and making the leaves yellow?
About 2/3 of my Swiss chard leaves are plagued with something that makes them yellow and wilt, and eventually turn brownish gray and shriveled up. I pulled all the leaves that were afflicted this morning, but have no idea how to combat this, preferably naturally since I'd like to eat what remains. Any experienced gardeners who can help? If it helps, I'm in San Francisco, Northern California, and I planted the seeds about 6 weeks ago, or early May.
Sounds like aphids, the larvae of ladybirds are a natural control.
It looks like it could be downy mildew. It's a fungus. You can use a fungicide to get rid of it. I'm not sure what could be done naturally.
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The damage is consistent with that of a sucking insect like an aphid. My guess is that you have thrips, esp. if you can't see anything. ( they are very tiny but can be seen if leaves are tapped over a sheet of white paper.) You might also have leaf-miner if you notice curvy-line patterns in the leaves. Both can be controlled w/ an organic control called spinosad.
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