My leafy veggie plants are being eaten -- what to do?

rainrobin84October 26, 2009

Something is chowing down on the leaves of my lettuces and spinach plants so there is nothing left but little green nubs in the ground. Also on my pea plants to the point of having nothing but stems left. I have looked very closely and can't see even the tiniest bug on any of the plants.

This is my first year of gardening in AZ, previously I am from WA and have never had any trouble with this.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!

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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

I put a cover of tulle over my bed and my greens are doing great. The other bed without the cover is not doing as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: covered garden pics

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 5:29PM
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greensingh(z6b south jersey)

Not from your area but I have seen caterpillars at night munching down the seedlings.
Turnip,carrots and peas were the worst effected.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 5:37PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Also brown garden snails, perhaps rabbits and/or birds.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:46PM
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greensingh(z6b south jersey)

good points there. rabbit bites would be at a 45 degree angle.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:55PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Voles will do this. Put out some mousetraps baited with peanut butter mixed with oatmeal, and see what happens.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:33PM
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karen_b(6a s.c. PA)

I've been having the same problem with my spinach and bok choy, and noticed green caterpillars. I'm going to try dusting with diatomacious earth on the soil around the plants. Wish me luck.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 3:08AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Rabbits' eating habit is very obvious, they will eat things in whole, from top to bottom,some time leaving nothing behind. Summer insects will make holes.

Snails, slugs will start (usually) from the outer most leaves, will eat the tender parts, leaving behind the vains.
Also, snail/slugs need a bigger plants to munch on, because they hang on the leaves and start chewing them.
Since you are in zone 9 probably you have snails, sluggs or both. SLUGGO, as I have heard is a safe organic cure for snal/slug problem. OR, if you find out that you have snails, you may consider hunting them and eating them. As the saying goes: IF YOU CANNOT BEAT THEM, EAT THEM(Grin !)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 4:26AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

It was said "Also, snail/slugs need a bigger plants to munch on,

Around here, they do very well with seedlings. So young, so tender. Not even veins remain.

And when I lived in SoCal, the snails did the same.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 7:42PM
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rjinga

Aren't there things in the soil that could potentially eat greens? or things that could go up and under any covering? and how would tulle stop that from happening? Would the tulle just keep out anything that would attack from the air ;) ?

do or did you anchor it down?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 10:58PM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

rj is right. tulle is not effective for snails and slugs.
I have covered my lettuce seedling with tulle, to block rabbits. Because it is very light it is easy to use. otherwise some of those nets sold at HD could do the job. I also chose white color so the animals might think that "O! lO! THATS NO NO, LETS GO L.O.L.
wITH SNAILS, get some sluggo. It is organic and will not harm anything but the snails and sluggs. Bribe the rabbits, serve them some fresh carrots (Grin). With the deer, play some dog bark audio, OR JUST YOUR OWN ANGRY YELLING, attached to a motion activated device.(I could have patented this one, DEER, DEER)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 12:42AM
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