Serious help needed (Bush beans)

Mark1984(7)April 29, 2012

Ive been gardening religiously for about 3 years now . The first year I had an awesome harvest but since I have had some serious trouble with the beans . One week and a few days ago I planted about 10 rows oh Blue Lake , October , and Cow pea ) The seedlings that re emerging are very spaced apart and some of the seed pods are opening with no leaves with other emerging with no pod at all , just the stem . I originally though rabbits or deer , and even though I did see deer tracks one night I have not seen any since and there are still plants emerging the same way . There has also not been any rabbit manure that I have found and have not seen any rabbits around so far . So I started investigating and dug around a little in my rows . I found seedlings that had a healthy looking root system but the pods themselves were rotten . Also in a number of them I found tiny white worms . Obviously they are boring into my beans after I planted them . So Im thinking cutworms , root maggots , or both . Im not sure how to go about eradication as last year I just gave up on beans altogether . Everything else in my garden is coming up fine and looks very healthy and as far as I know has not problems with any type of soil dwelling insect . First question is what is eating my seeds before the emerge and secondly how do I get rid of them ?

P.S. I do rotate all my crops every year and this particular garden area has never been used before this year .

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zzackey(8b GA)

Cutworms are nocturnal. I have never seen one, just the damage. It looks like someone actually cut the little seedlings at the base with a knife. Darndest thing to see. I lost my cute little kale seedlings to them one year. They can be prevented by using what is called cut worm collars. Which is a cardboard tube from your toilet paper or paper towel. YOu just need it to be about 2 inches high. You put it around the seedling when you plant it. Push it into the ground and it should last for a season. They will not climb over it. I don't know what those little worms are.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:46PM
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dosent sound like cutworms them . Nothing is cut at the base , most that are just the stem are about 2 inches off of the ground .

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:59PM
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My father in law had been having trouble with his bean plants with the beans getting holes drilled into them and then last year he sprayed the crop, before the beans emerged, with neem oil and did not have any of the same problem for that season. He seemed to think it was cucumber beetles.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:31PM
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One species of cucumber beetles are also known as corn rootworms, and other species can be mistaken for them.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:44PM
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Young cutworms will indeed climb up the stem and eat the newly emergent leaves, whereas older ones will girdle the stem in typical cutworm fashion. I run my beans late because it's the early sowings that seem to get hit the hardest.

Here is a link that might be useful: black cutworms U of IL

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 8:07AM
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In a word? Eww.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:18PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I was struck by your description of white worms inthe seed itself. Could be seed corn maggot, which eats many other seeds including bean seeds. Here's a link to a picture of some, and an internet search can lead you to more on how to manage them if that does turn out to be your culprit. Cheers!

Here is a link that might be useful: Seed corn maggot photo

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:18PM
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Im going to start re-planting today , I believe that the weather was god at the time of the first planting but it turned off cold and rained very hard for about 2 days and really stunted the growth so much that some rotted . Im hoping that that's when the worms moved in and is was the rot they were after more than the beans themselves . Its going to be in the 80's this week and mid 60's at night which should provide great planting weather . Ill update when I see results . Thanks for all your input on this subject as its about to drive me crazy !

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 12:58PM
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If your worried about the maggots getting the seed, why not start them in pots than transplant after they sprout. I started mine in the 4 pak containers I saved from last year and that worked great for me. Plus it saved me fro having to thin the out, which I hate. They beans are sprouting now cant wait to start picking.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 12:53AM
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