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Every year....

Posted by Mindyw3 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 13:50

I love walking out to check on plants in the morning only find that a few go missing every night. Eaten to the ground. So lovely.

And yes I already have rings around each seedling. Doesn't really seem to help at all. It mainly serves to mark the spot where a plant was. :/. Sometimes I want to give up on brassicas but I love them so much! I expect I'll lose half of them. Lost all the Swiss chard seedlings already. Funny thing is the bok choy has barely been touched. Everything else is getting munched though. I tried cloth covers one year. Held down with bricks. That didn't stop the carnage either. Any other ideas? My only thought was to put out larger seedlings but I really don't have the room to keep them inside longer.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Every year....

Do you know what is eating them? Identifying the culprit(s) is going to be key to figuring out how to prevent it from happening again.


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RE: Every year....

Hard to say without pics. Are they munched completely to the ground, holes or edges chewed, or snipped at the soil line and just lying there?

Kevin


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RE: Every year....

I've had problems with snails and slugs mowing down my bok choi every night. Not a solitary thing works (yes, I've heard and tried them all). I finally started growing it in half wine barrels that I'd set off the ground on a circle of retaining wall bricks. That is now the only way I can grow it.


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RE: Every year....

Kevin: completely gone. Some there is still a little stem poking out. Others there is nothing left.


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RE: Every year....

I say it's a critter of some type. It would have to look like an insect or slug horror movie for them to work that fast.

Unfortunately, I can't really help on this one since the only critter i have problems with is gophers and those you would definitely be able to identify the telltale signs.

Probably going to have to do some spying -- sit out at night with a flashlight to catch the culprit. One thing that MIGHT help for the short term(while they're small) would be to take gallon milk jugs or #10 cans and cover them. With the cans, cut out both ends and cover with plastic with holes punched in so the plants can breath at night. The jugs, cut out one end and poke holes. 1st thing in the morn, remove them.

If you do catch the culprit, let us know. There's usually a remedy or ten for ANYthing.

Kevin


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RE: Every year....

Are you sure it's only at night? Until the plants are established, I have to cover my beds with bird netting, as robins and crows will come by and snip them right off. I think they use them to build nests or something. Didn't know what was doing it until my husband caught one in the act.

They won't usually mow down a whole row at once though. In my garden, that has always been slugs or snails. Though I'm blessed to not have mice or rodents, so my list of suspects isn't long.


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RE: Every year....

Loribee: you're talking about freshly sprouted direct sown seedlings, right? I'm assuming these are seedlings that were transplanted or more than tiny since mindy had rings around them.

Mindy, can you clarify a little?

Kevin


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RE: Every year....

They are transplants but still very small. I'll post a pic in a sec.


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RE: Every year....

Kevin, it doesn't matter if I've sprouted in ground or transplanted. If the plants are small enough, the birds will whack them right off at the stem. I end up with a little stem sticking out. I wouldn't have believed birds if we hadn't seen it ourselves. Now, I've got to net over everything until the plants are large enough to withstand a few snips.


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RE: Every year....

Heres the size they were:


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RE: Every year....

Loribee: I meant with the slugs. I've had slugs mow down freshly sprouted seedling rows, but never seedling transplants.

That's why I think it's critter(including birds), and not insect or slugs, in Mindy's case.

Kevin


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RE: Every year....

Ohhh, yes, slugs will mow down my bok choi even from transplants. Sunflowers too. Though the OP is talking about chard. I can't imagine a slug passing up bok choi for chard. For that reason you are most likely right.

I admit, I have little experience with chard, though. Where I live, aphids hit leafy vegetables like lettuce and chard so bad that I won't grow it anymore. Could never wash them good enough to keep me from the willys. LOL


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RE: Every year....

My guess would be bunnies. A rabbit fence takes care of that problem. You need to dig a little trench where the fence is going to go and bury a couple inches of the fence. The little furry demons can burrow.


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RE: Every year....

Well I put out beer to see if I'd nab any slugs which I didn't. And now whatever it is is starting in on the kohlrabi. :(. I think I'll do some spying tonight.


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RE: Every year....

If you have any netting or chicken wire, try tenting the plants, or even just some of them. That will tell you if it's critters.


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RE: Every year....

Good idea loribee2. Hate to think just SOME of them at the risk of losing those that aren't covered. But, at least one can narrow it down that way.

Kevin

This post was edited by woohooman on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 18:00


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RE: Every year....

Not sure how easy it is to see, but this is what I have to do every year when I plant. The netting stays on until the plants are big enough to survive having leaves or branches snipped off. Though once they're that big, the birds seem to leave everything alone.

Granted, I'm fortunate I'm only dealing with birds. If this were rabbits, gophers or mice, that would seriously suck. Don't know how effective just netting would be against something with arms.


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RE: Every year....

I lost very single cowpea, if they ever even showed. I think doves ate the seed. I couldn't find any seeds and it hasn't been wet so I'm pretty sure they didn't rot.
Not a single plant germinated in a 16X 8 area so I'll be putting netting over it when I replant tomorrow.
The other garden got all stirred around and now I have corn, okra and amaranth all over the whole area.


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RE: Every year....

Try placing a plant on one of these.
-Terry

Here is a link that might be useful: Omnivore trap

This post was edited by terry_neoh on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 0:05


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RE: Every year....

TRACYDR I feel your pain! For a while, we had a neighbor's cat use my beds as a litter box. The thing scratched up a whole row of carrots and ruined the batch. The netting will keep the cats out too if it's secured around the edges (I use landscape fabric tacks).

Any year I don't cover my newly planted beds, I regret it. Now, I just consider it a necessary addition on planting day.


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RE: Every year....

I put bird netting over that bed last d ight and it appears nothing was eaten!! Could be a fluke. Guess we will see!!


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RE: Every year....

Crossing fingers!


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