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Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Posted by darthtrader 10 SoCal (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 11, 08 at 12:02

Something is eating my marigold border in my tomato and eggplant beds. It's very strange. My raised beds are up against a retaining wall with about a six inch gap between the wall and the planters. The only marigolds being eaten are the ones closest to the retaining wall. Only the leaves are being eaten, not the stems or flowers. Are these slugs? Snails? Rabbit or gopher? Has anyone else seen this? What can I do to take care of this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

I live in the PNW, and slugs are just a fact of life here. They happily munched on my marigolds last year...I could tell it was slugs because of the slime trails they left behind! Anyway, Sluggo took care of the problem, and I believe it's OMRI approved.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Thanks, fruitgirl! I'm on it!


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 12, 08 at 1:00

In SoCal, I'd suspect snails more than I would slugs. (I gardened in Long Beach, CA, for 30-some years.)

And although Sluggo works for slugs, it doesn't work for snails.

Or you might do a 10PM search-and-destroy trip through the garden now and then.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

What works against slugs and snails, I hear, is gritty stuff like crushed egg shells,or sand place them around the plant bottom
or copper - example take the copper scrubbing pads and pull out strands and place them around the plant bottom.
No need for poisons.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Which Marigolds do you have? Many people plant some Marigolds because they have heard they will repel pests, and some of the older cultivars will, but the newer hybrids have had that property bred out and the hybrids do not repel insect pests and some even attract them.
However, before applying any control measure look carefully to see what you problem is because applying "something" may not control that.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Not sure about the actual hybrid name, but they're little marigolds one would get as a $1.99 six pack at Home Depot. Should I get the big marigolds instead?


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

"My raised beds are up against a retaining wall with about a six inch gap between the wall and the planters. The only marigolds being eaten are the ones closest to the retaining wall."

I'd be checking down that gap, it would be a prime hiding spot for snails and if you have a lot of them down there you can just pick them off the wall/retaining because they'll just be sitting in their shells attached to a surface, down in the shady coolness and ready to come out at any sign of water.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

I've gone through a couple of flats of marigolds, because slugs seem to love them above all else. One night, I found 14 slugs on a single marigold seedling. They leave nothing but stems and nubs.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

I took the advice of a responder and checked my marigolds at 10:00 pm with flashlight and they were covered with slugs and potato bugs! I quickly sprayed them with some garden bug spray and they took off. Don't know if it will keep the slugs off for long so I'll be visiting Lowes tomorrow.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Try a pie plate of beer!! kills slugs, which flock to it and then drown.


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

Something is eating my marigolds to the stem. I would rather not use chemicals. After reading the posts I'm sure its slugs. I had a few coffee grounds and put those down, but I need more. Would it help to sprinkle salt on the soil?


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RE: Help! Something's eating my marigolds!

I have bought the standard orange marigolds from the six-pack at Home Depot as well and something is eating them leaves first and then right down to the stem. I have been using marigolds as a pest barrier for over 25 years and have never seen this happen to marigolds. I don't have slugs as none of my hostas have been treated and not one leaf has been touched nor have I seen a single slug in any of my gardening here in 4 years. i'm at a loss to know what is happening. What is the soap solution recipe? I might as well see if I can save the rest. I have to wonder if it is a tiny worm doing it b/c i can't find anything else. If it was a rabbit and we do have rabbits, they wouldn't nibble the leaves in such tiny increments, they would just munch it down. No, this is something very small doing this.


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