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My plants are being eaten!

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My plants are being eaten!

Postby lemonlove » Apr 30, 2012 12:46 pm


I am a new Veggi/fruit gardener, and I have been having some trouble. In the interior of BC where the weather is already warming up, and our frost free dates show are May 1st-Oct1st.

I am planting in a large Community Garden plot, where there are about 40 other garden plots. I have started seeds on my back porch at home, and it's been exciting seeing everything grow so much! Haven't had a single hiccup, until I put a few things into the ground.

Broccoli and Brussels sprouts, being a cold loving crop, I decided to put into my new garden plot. Less then 24hrs later they were COMPLETELY defoliated. So I dug em back up and want to start again with other extra seedlings I have.

I then transplanted some sunflower seedlings form my house to my garden plot. They were healthy at my house, and again, the very next day, they have nice big chucks taken out of the leaves.

I also have marigolds, strawberries, raspberry canes, and rhubarb that are already up above ground. The marigolds and raspberries are untouched, but now my strawberries are getting eaten.

Here's the part that puzzles me, other gardeners in the same community garden space have what looks like purple broccoli, and lettuce, and strawberries that are SO healthy and without any bit marks at all!! These plots are on the other side of the community garden space from where I am, and I have noticed my neighbour gardener is having his spinach eaten.

Why are mine being eaten, what is eating them, and how can I stop this?
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby DonnaZn2SK » Apr 30, 2012 12:55 pm

Being from BC, do you see evidence of slugs?
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby lemonlove » Apr 30, 2012 1:04 pm

I haven't seen slugs for a long time. The interior here is very dry, I just moved here from the wet coast (as we like to call it) I believe this is technically considered semi-desert. I don't know if slugs like this climate, but I haven't seen a slug yet.
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby CdnChelsea » Apr 30, 2012 3:23 pm

Could be some type of caterpillar eating the leaves. Try checking the underside of the leaves to see if you can find the caterpillar. Some caterpillars have great camoflage so look carefully.
Also check for their eggs on the underside of the leaves.
Remove said caterpillars and eggs.

Another idea would be to install a floating row cover ~ light agricultural fabric ~ over your veggies. This stops the butterfly from laying their eggs on your plants.

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth
are never alone or weary of life" ~ Rachel Carson
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby Eeyore » Apr 30, 2012 4:16 pm

A floating row cover will work if it's an insect, however it may be anything from field mice to rabbits as well.
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby Dumbo » Apr 30, 2012 9:05 pm

defoliated in 24-hrs? Yeah I would say rabbit or gopher or similar as well.
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby Mygrandmeresgarden » Jul 08, 2012 6:08 pm

Try half filling a clean empty soup can with whole moth balls and squish the can. This will prevent most of the water getting in and the air dissolving the moth balls. If it's a critter, then the smell should reply him/her. If it's bugs, start dusting. If it's slugs, well I can't help you with that because I've never had them in the garden.
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Re: My plants are being eaten!

Postby Marion » Jul 17, 2012 5:23 pm

And if you do think it's bugs, Diane says start dusting. Thanks to some help from Diane I've slowed down the devastation caused by insects attacking my squash, cucumbers and brassica plants.

Regarding my cabbage, they are under row covers. My squash and cukes have gotten dustings of DE. I bought a great gadget suggested by Diane and it pays for itself in the way that it helps me be less wasteful in applying the DE.

My squash were hit bad. Next year I'll put them under row covers. the cukes that were first put under row covers, once blooming, row covers removed..have been able to stand up well against the nibblers.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world...Albert Einstein
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