Fruit & Vegetable Gardening - Gardening Forums

Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Interested in growing a vegetable garden or a fruit garden? Whether you’re gardening indoors or outdoors, planting an edible garden can be easy and fun

Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby blackbyrde » Jun 23, 2013 8:23 am

Hello! I desperately need some help with our veggie garden this year. Something keeps eating the new seedlings as soon as they pop up from the ground. My radishes, beets, carrots, cucumbers and beans don't even get to see the light of day!

I know it's not animals - the soil around is not disturbed and the bean leaves are nibbled on gradually until they become all lacey. The radish, cucumber, beets and carrots just disappear overnight. My peas have, for the most part, been left alone.

We have sprayed nematodes earlier this season. I have tried spraying with the insecticidal soap (organic, Safer's brand) but the leaves are still eaten. I tried putting diatomaceous earth around the base of the plants - no effect. Thinking it was earwigs, we tried special earwig diatomaceous earth, bay leaves and setting out a trap. Nothing.

So last night, I covered 3 of my cucumber seedlings with glasses and this morning they are still intact. The ones that were not covered (but sprinkled with diatomaceous earth) are gone or nibbled.

So what can be eating my seedlings? Something that flies and is not affected by the soap and the diatomaceous earth?

Oh, I should add that it's been very damp this season (I live in Eastern ON).
User avatar
blackbyrde
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 23, 2013 8:14 am

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby davefrombc » Jun 23, 2013 11:36 am

My guess would be slugs.
BC Fraser Valley zone 7/8
User avatar
davefrombc
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Dec 05, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: Fraser Valley, BC

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby Jersm » Jun 24, 2013 9:48 pm

slugs would leave slime behind im guessing.

you maybe could analyse the bite marks.


also you may consider buying cheap transparent plastic containers and cut vent holes put them over the seedlings till they get strong.
User avatar
Jersm
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Jul 26, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby Jersm » Jun 25, 2013 3:55 pm

ironically today i visited my plants and for some reason something choped down 2 of my russian mammoths sun flowers seedlings it almost was at 6 inches. the stems seemed to have been chewed or something they are stringy.

5 left :shock:
User avatar
Jersm
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Jul 26, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby davefrombc » Jun 25, 2013 8:56 pm

I'm still guessing slugs .. They don't necessarily leave a slime trail... Try putting out some shallow containers with a little stale beer in them; set into the ground so the slugs can easily climb into them. You'll likely see some drowned slugs in them in the morning. Take some bare copper wire and pond it into a flat strip.....the wider the better. Make a ring around some of your seedlings with the copper wire where the seedlings are being attacked the worst .. Slugs don't like to cross over copper because their slime makes a small electric current on the copper, shocking them . . See if your protected seedlings are left alone .
BC Fraser Valley zone 7/8
User avatar
davefrombc
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Dec 05, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: Fraser Valley, BC

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby Jersm » Jun 25, 2013 10:19 pm

apparnatly coffee grounds are a neurotoxin to slugs as well.

instead of thoring used coffee in the garbage maybe make circles aorund plants
User avatar
Jersm
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Jul 26, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby davefrombc » Jun 25, 2013 11:16 pm

Coffee grounds don't seem to bother slugs much in the garden and certainly don't affect them when they crawl over the grounds in my compost bin... Coffee grounds are an excellent addition to a compost bin. It wold be a terrible waste to toss them into the garbage.. Same goes for all non -meat and fat kitchen wastes. All vegetable waste as well as coffee grounds and tea leaves should go into a composter.
BC Fraser Valley zone 7/8
User avatar
davefrombc
 
Posts: 1267
Joined: Dec 05, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: Fraser Valley, BC

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby Jersm » Jun 26, 2013 1:54 pm

apparantly one of the KEY issues about copper tape is that most people dont know how it works.

I looked at tons of videos of copper tape "not working" but its beacause they place the copper tape on wood (the side of the raised beds)

however i learned wood is an insulator and the slug will not get shocked. the slug must apparnatly be touching ground and copper or another non insulator and copper.
User avatar
Jersm
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Jul 26, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby blackbyrde » Jun 26, 2013 7:21 pm

Thanks for all the input. I've got some copper netting from Lee Valley tools and put some around the whole of one bed. Then some around individual plants. Still covering some during the night. Tried a beer trap but didnt get any slugs just a couple earwigs. Something is still eating the newborn carrot seedlings.

I'm afraid to leave things uncovered in case it isn't slugs.
User avatar
blackbyrde
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 23, 2013 8:14 am

Re: Need help! Something keeps eating my seedlings!

Postby Jersm » Jun 26, 2013 7:56 pm

blackbyrde wrote:Thanks for all the input. I've got some copper netting from Lee Valley tools and put some around the whole of one bed. Then some around individual plants. Still covering some during the night. Tried a beer trap but didnt get any slugs just a couple earwigs. Something is still eating the newborn carrot seedlings.

I'm afraid to leave things uncovered in case it isn't slugs.




hmmmmm i mean its possible birds misstake them as bugs or worms but seems odd thats its everynight. slugs do come out at night and would make quick work of a carrot.


maybe somehow you could catch the culprit by placing a trap that doesn't let the bug leave after getting in. i am thinking right now of like a really sticky tape even like they use for flies to catch what ever tried to go eat it. assuming it doesn't fly that is.


if its an animal it should leave some kind of track in the soft soil of some kind or droppings even if they visit regularly like a rabbit. also we know its at night/morning.
User avatar
Jersm
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Jul 26, 2012 12:55 pm


Return to Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

Follow Style At Home Online

Facebook Activity

Contests

Latest Contests

more contests