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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fall Garden Woes

Someone has been eating my fall garden crops, and it's not me!

Daikon Radish Seedling

Pak Choi  or Tatsoi seeding

Pak Choi or Tatsoi Seedling

The frustrating thing is, I haven't seen any bugs around these seedlings, so I don't even know what's doing the damage.  With the cucumber beetles this summer, at least I could see them all the time on my plants so I could kill or curse them (often both at the same time).  But these fall seedlings are getting eaten up by some mystery pest and I don't know what to do, or whom to curse and blame (not productive for the garden, I know, but it can be therapeutic for myself)

Is there anyone else battling mystery seedling damage in their fall garden? 

19 comments:

Sherri B. said...

I do not know much about pests except that they eat what they want. Perhaps you could Google, 'photos of plant damage vetetables' or something like that..I have done that many times for other things. Good luck.

Shawn Ann said...

I KNOW! Something has been eating my chard. Think I will sprinkle some Diatomacious Earth out there...

Kaytee said...

My guess is slugs. They come out at night, so that might be why you're not seeing them. You could do like Shawn Ann and use Diatomacious Earth, or get slug killer, or you can create the best slug trap ever. Get a shallow dish, fill it with beer, they can't resist it and then they drown.

Urban Gardener said...

Actually I would guess wasps. My guess is you didn't really notice the minor amount of damage they did on your mature summer plants, but now that the summer garden is winding down they are stealing leaf matter from your tiny little seedlings.

Erin said...

my broccoli seedlings look just like that, ugh! I feel your pain!

Meredehuit ♥ said...

I'm guessing slugs. Check them in the early morning. You should see slug trails.

upinak said...

That is slug feeding. Are you having more rain then usual?

I would highly suggest (if you are able ot someone can for you) grabbing one of those HUGE bag of grounds from Starbucks or another coffee place that is nice enough to save you the grinds. Spraying your plants with cold coffee doesn't hurt either.

Besides, coffee is a natural fertilizer. Good Luck!

thyme2garden said...

Sherri B. - thanks! I'm like you, I know very little about pests, except that I really don't like the damage they cause in my garden!

* * * * *
Shawn Ann - I hope you figure out a way to stop the damage on your chard! Some of my chard seedlings got munched on, too, but the damage wasn't as bad as the ones in these pictures.

* * * * *
Kaytee - thank you for the tip on the beer trap! I meant to try it tonight, but I got distracted, and now I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it in the dark. :(

* * * * *
Urban Gardener - I don't know much about wasps, but you could very well be right about the damages being more noticeable now that the summer crops are gone.

* * * * *
Erin - thanks for your empathy! It's really hard to see the tiny seedlings struggling against pest damage.

* * * * *
Meredehuit - Since I slacked on putting out slug traps tonight, I'll check them out tomorrow morning for slug trails.

* * * * *
upinak - we've had the driest summer here, with hardly any rain the whole summer. I don't know where these slugs would be coming from, but if it is them, they sure are causing lots of damage in the garden. Thank you for the tip about coffee ground and cold coffee!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

kitsapFG said...

At least one of those pictures was clearly slug damage. Many pests can make the other type of eating marks. The best thing is to patrol for slugs in the early morning when things are still wet with due and the slugs have not left to hide yet for the day. Pick them and get rid of them. Hand picking is the most effective slug management tool I have found - and I know because I live in the rainy coastal pacific northwest where the slug reigns supreme.

Dan Owen said...

I have to go with the slug idea also. I've seen some real monsters in my garden on a couple of occasions. Just plant more veggies and hope some make it.

thyme2garden said...

kitsapFG - thanks for another vote for slugs. I will have to be more vigilant in the mornings, although that's MUCH easier said than done on weekends!

* * * * *
Dan Owen - thank you for the slug input. I like your "plant more than they can attack" idea. :)

* * * * *
Everyone: I have yet to actually see a slug in the garden, but with so many of you experienced gardeners voting for slugs, I'm convinced that slugs must be in the garden somewhere. Over the last two days, I have also seen aphids and army worms feasting on my seedlings. I killed what I saw, but I'm sure there are more where they came from. Sigh, gardening is fun, but it sure isn't easy!

Amy Manning said...

I've been doing slug experiments in my own garden and blogging about it. www.amysoddities.blogspot.com

meemsnyc said...

That's what my plants look like too. Swiss cheese!

vrtlarica said...

I have same damage on some of my seedlings. And also no bugs around to blame them.
I hope seedlings will survive.

thyme2garden said...

Amy - I checked out your slug experiments. I'm looking forward to your eggshell and beer trap experiment!

* * * * *
meemsnyc - we like real swiss cheese, not seedling swiss cheese!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - I hope your and our seedlings survive!

meemsnyc said...

Bugs ate all of our Mustard Greens. So annoying! Hey, did you like the prize we sent you?

thyme2garden said...

meemsnyc - dealing with garden bugs is really frustrating and makes me think violent thoughts, kind of like road rage. And yes, I really liked the prize! I'll email you.

Julianna said...

neem oil??? worked for grasshoppers and crickets which ate away at our garden last year.

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