Suicidal Okra seedlings
That's what it seems like anyway. Last year I did germination in jiffy pots (outside, hot driveway corner) and transplanted. plants were fine, thrived.
This year I decided to direct sow (since that's what the package said). Germination rate is low (easily less than 33%). But I did get enough to move around as needed.
Now the seedlings are going missing. Some were at the point of a 2nd set of leaves, approaching at least 2" in height.
In the last few days some have disappeared. -- no digging, no detritus, foot prints - just gone. Finally I found one plant out of the ground, wilted and dead. Then I found a newly emerging seedling uprooted (again with no visible forensics). I replanted that today with some water and as of this evening appears ok. But the largest surviving seedling I found tonight (after seeing it ok this PM) laying on its side wilted and dead.
Anybody have any ideas on whats pulling these guys up with no chew marks or paw/hoof prints?
I think its safe to assume this is mechanical (ie not insect or disease). I've got deer but the garden is fenced and these are way too small for all the other yummy stuff in the vicinity even if they were getting in. I've seen rabbits in the neighborhood (500' away, the next block over) but never in my yard, I border a reservoir area with a nice coyote population. and neighbors on both sides have dogs. Chipmunks and squirrels abound -- they seem to be diggers not pullers. So...???
thanks for listening at least.