Help! Can anyone identify what destroyed my watermelon plants?

WatermelonkyleJune 5, 2014

Man am I upset :(. I started watermelons for 3 weeks indoors and the second day after transplanting them outside, they are all dug up and destroyed.

Can anyone identify what kind of animal did this? And are there any inexpensive (under $40 for 4 plants) ways to fix the issue?

Is it even worth replanting them outside from seed?

Additional images are here

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We can get 6 packs of seedlings for 2 bucks at the farmers market, but I'd give seed another shot, you should have time

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 2:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
planterjeff(7b Grant Park Atlanta)

If you don't want to buy new ones, you can achieve the size of your seedling in the picture within about a week when its as warm as this. I've been seeing squirrels doing this around my house. I guess they know there's a nut/seed under there. Ive heard blood meal's smell can keep squirrels away. I am not sure how true it is, I myself have let the neighbors cats/my dogs take care of it. In fact my dog came running up to me with the other day with one hanging from his collar. I'd post the picture, but I think some folks here might get offended as the squirrel didn't make it through the whole ordeal. But he was very proud of his new bling!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
loribee2(CA 9)

Grrrr! I feel your pain. Though I don't know for sure, I'm wondering either cat or dog? When you replant, I would cover with deer or bird netting, tacked good around the plants with landscape tacks. That has kept the above-ground critters out of my garden very successfully. I pull it off when the plants get big enough for the critters to leave them alone.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
planterjeff(7b Grant Park Atlanta)

Oh and I second Loribee on the cats too. I had this issue this year a couple of times:( If you want to know for sure give it a good whiff. if it smells like cat pee, then you've found your culprit.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Do you have armadillos in your area? Mine dig holes like that all the time.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 6:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

squirrels, rats do that. But from digging I suspect squirrels.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The circular shape of the holes suggests skunks digging for worms. Just cover that bed with row cover or tulle until the watermelons start running.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 7:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like squirrels to me.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

squirrels or chipmunks.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I saw a squirrel out my window digging where we had just sown cucumber and radish seed. I was able to quickly get out there and scare him off, but I expected he would be back. I had some leftover wire fencing and hardware cloth in the garage so I got that and laid it over the area and that has stopped the squirrels from digging. I will have to take it up soon, but I'm hoping they have lost interest by then. I probably will lay some remay over it, if I ever find where I put it. [g]

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Looks like rat to me. Watermelon seeds are too small of an incentive for squirrels. Get a cat or two! They are much better than dogs at deterring rodents because they are proactive. I have 3 of them and they spend 90% of their time napping in my garden: squirrels stay at bay, possums also ( except for one that they tolerate on the fence only - not on the ground-) birds do not pick my fruits or vegetables, no rats, no mice = peace of mind. With nectarines, apricots, grapes, plum, pears, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon etc, in my garden, there would be rodents all over the place if it wasn't for them!
If you do not want a cat as a pet, associations are giving "barn cats" they are neutered microchipped and vaccinated, they live in barns/sheds and they do their hunter job. But you need to provide a safe place where they can go when it is too cold or too hot, water, food, vaccines, and vet care.
Mine are well fed and are spoiled pets so they don't "over hunt" and sleep on our beds. They run after pests but stop the chase as soon as the critters are out of the garden. Good balance. Squirrels are staying high in the trees ( I like squirrels as long as they don't eat my fruits) I keep a stepladder in between my tomato plants, the cat lays on the upper stair and the birds do not even think about my tomatoes: problem solved.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Snap Traps. Big ones baited with apple slices and peanut butter. You'll find your critter real fast. lol

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
pepper with Brown spots
I researched about this disease and it says that a...
Woody Parsnips
What causes parsnips to develop wrinkly skin and woody...
gardening math for beginners and those still learning
to help newbies and other people who have trouble knowing...
Tomato cages
I have a large number (40+) tomato cages made from...
nibbler of artichokes and broccoli
Hi, All, I recently moved from NJ to CA and am faced...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™