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Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

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Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  tomlevine1 on 10/20/2013, 6:20 pm

Wow!  Everything was going just fine.  Radishes, lettuce, beets, spinach...They all sprouted, started to develop their first set of leaves, all growing and happy, and then, I went out today, and...GONE!   Within a few days, everything wilted, EVERYTHING!  and then, totally disappeared.  Cut at the stem, mostly.  Oh, the humanity!   I have autumn garden depression.  What would do such a terrible thing?  I feel so violated.  All that remains are few carrot sprouts, and some red cabbage.  Radishes, Spinach, and Beets, have been all, totally devoured.

Anyone else experience this?  Pests, pests, pests.  Who is to blame?  Am I on the right track, to narrow down the perps to the following 3:  Cutworms, slugs, aphids...  What can I do to fight this plague?  I know I should just go out there late at night, and pick them, to stay organic, and drop them in a salty brine, but honestly, for my little garden, that is romantic and not realistic, and I will lose the battle if I take this simple approach.  I have crept around in my garden with a flashlight, but the culprits don't seem to want to come out and play, exactly when I am out there exacting my kill.  Within days, all my hard work, gone.

Please, can anyone help?  Am I on the right track, and if so, what can I do to ensure success?  Since I do square foot gardening, I cannot afford to have 100% of my crop eaten by bugs.

Any help, shared experiences with this kind of dilemna, would be greatly appreciated!

Most sincerely, Tom
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  Turan on 10/20/2013, 8:21 pm

Well, it was not aphids, they do not cut stems. It does sound like slugs or cutworms. Put out Sluggo Plus. That should get them if that is the problem.

Anyone in California want to chime in?

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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/20/2013, 8:29 pm

In my experience, Sluggo Plus works wonders!
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  southern gardener on 10/20/2013, 8:33 pm

I'm in California...sounds like slugs/snails or sow bugs or earwigs to me....all of which Sluggo PLUS will get. I think it's good on cutworms too. Good luck. We had a terrible problem a few years ago, and the Sluggo Plus really worked!! Go out after dark and inspect and see if you can see what's really going on. You might be surprised!!
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  yolos on 10/20/2013, 9:08 pm

Rabbits ????  I planted 27 broccoli transplants and within a week, they had been chewed down to nubs.  I know it was rabbits because of the rabbit poop all around the bed.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  tomlevine1 on 10/20/2013, 9:42 pm

Awesome!  THanks, ALL!  Sluggo plus is on my shopping list.  I went out and dug around in the dirt, couldn't find anything.  So glad for the recommendation!!!

Rabbits is an interesting idea, I didn't even think of that.  We do have some wild rabbits around, but my yard is completely fenced off.  I'm only on about a tenth of an acre.  I walked around the perimeter of the property and filled all the holes under the fence before planting.  I haven't seen them in the yard at all after that.  I usually see them at dawn and dusk. 

You're all the BEST!  So appreciative.

PS:  Didn't see any poop.  Sidenote:  The transplanted red cabbage seems to be unscathed.    It's only the seedlings that got demolished (radishes, spinach, beets).
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  Pollinator on 10/20/2013, 10:34 pm

@yolos wrote:Rabbits ????  I planted 27 broccoli transplants and within a week, they had been chewed down to nubs.  I know it was rabbits because of the rabbit poop all around the bed.
A rabbit was my main bane this fall. Before I could do anything he took out a whole row of kale, and was starting on the broccoli and collards. I ground up some hot peppers, and let the mix soak a couple days. Then I filtered the water out with coffee filters and sprayed it on the cole plants. This seems to have stopped the rabbit.

Some of the kale and other damaged plants look as if they may recover; there is new growth. Others are dead. Depends on whether he took out the terminal bud.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  sanderson on 10/21/2013, 3:39 am

Tom  +1 for Sluggo Plus.  This morning before I left home for a week long vacation, I placed fresh Sluggo Plus in all the beds.  I use teeny yogurt cup bottoms as trays but I think most folks just sprinkle where needed.  All of my celery seedlings disappeared and I suspect sow bugs.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  cheyannarach on 10/21/2013, 10:32 am

Well I hope you kill them suckers off!  I understand your frustration.  My first year I had cutworms in my sweet potato bed and cabbage, and flea beetles eating my tomatoes and turnip green.  But the worst problem was deer, anyone know if Sluggo Plus will work on deer Wink ...  This year my biggest enemy has been hail, I already have plans come springtime to hopefully rearrange the garden and get it fenced in and covered.

Let us know how that Sluggo works and whatcha find, you can put a board on top of the dirt and during the day when it heats up the slugs will hide under it.  Might help you find out if it is slugs!  Good luck!!
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 10/21/2013, 12:12 pm

We couldn't find Sluggo Plus at our local Lowe's or Home Depot so I ordered it sent to the store.  I won't have until the beginning of November unfortunately.  I had a whole 4 squares of radishes that were popping up and simply disappeared as well.  We have both pill bugs and earwigs so I'm fairly certain it was one or both.  

Am I evil to say I can't wait for those little suckers to die, die, DIE?!!!!!
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/21/2013, 12:44 pm

Is there a nursery or garden center nearby? If so, it may well carry Sluggo Plus. Let your fingers do the walking.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/21/2013, 1:50 pm

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:
Am I evil to say I can't wait for those little suckers to die, die, DIE?!!!!!
If you are, then I am too.

To the original poster, my best pest control hint: Get a dog.* We've got years worth of dog pee around here. It doesn't scare off anything that tunnels underground, but though our neighborhood has plenty of deer and turkey and also has rabbits and raccoons and even the occasional cougar and bear, but, unlike the neighbors, we never see any of them. Though I do see plenty of them outside their houses and in community areas. I plant tomatoes outside our fence, and we have plenty of plants for them to eat, but deer and other above-ground pests and grazers would just rather be somewhere else.

*But only if you're a dog person. People who don't love the dickens out of dogs should not own one.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  tomlevine1 on 10/22/2013, 3:29 pm

Hi all:  Look what I found this morning in the backyard.  Is this, what I think it is?

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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  yolos on 10/22/2013, 3:37 pm

Looks like rabbit dodo to me.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/22/2013, 4:07 pm

It could also be a bit of deer doo-doo.

One of my neighbors had a visitation a couple of weeks ago, and the critters left her a present in her front yard. It looked just like what's in your picture, although I must say that I've never seen rabbit manure. Naturally, I asked for a baggie and took the stuff home for my compost tumbler.,
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  tomlevine1 on 10/22/2013, 4:11 pm

Well, I guess it was rabbits then, the whole time?  I guess they would devour an entire crop of raddishes, lettuce, spinach, beet seedlings in one night, wouldn't they?  And I swear, I haven't found one slug, or anything, in my relatively new soil, and I have been digging and looking tooat night even.  

Never had to deal with rabbits before.  Feeling like I want to go all Elmer Fudd on them (kidding). I guess I'll read up, will have to learn how to protect my crops from them.  My last house, critters were not a problem.

 I can't believe they're getting in through my fence, but I guess it's obvious that they are.  Persistent little guys.

Any wisdom would be appreciated!  I know how to make the Mel squares from fencing.  I guess I could do that.  Of course, I built 7 planters, so, that's going to be a lot of squares.  

Do they jump fencing?  Is there some kind of barrier I could build, around the perimeter of my garden, to keep them out, so that I wouldn't have to do every planter box, or every square?

Again, the pooled knowledge here is an incredible resource, and I thank you all!!

PS:  I think deer is impossible.  I basically have a subdivision house, 1/10th an acre, surrounded by wood fence, and surrounded by other houses in all directions except the front.  The rabbits must be getting in underneath the fence?  That's got to be the only way.  Anyway, deer can't get into my little square of a lot.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  donnainzone5 on 10/22/2013, 4:25 pm

You're lucky that the deer have no access! Just the other day, I saw two young bucks right across the street from my front yard. At 3:00 in the afternoon.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  Lindacol on 10/22/2013, 4:28 pm

What kind of fence do you have? Rabbits and squirrels here go thru chainlink. I lined the chainlink with the plastic green fencing from HD that has small holes and in 6 mos have a hole eaten thru that. There is rabbit fencing that is short & easy to step over that you could surround your beds with. Or you can build cages as described by Mel in the ANSFG book.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  walshevak on 10/22/2013, 8:46 pm

My backyard is full of rabbits and I just stand on the deck and laugh at them. WHY? Because for other reasons I have all tabletops. Rabbits can't climb. Twisted Evil Wasn't planned that way, but sure worked out.

Even the concrete mixing tubs are set on upright cinder blocks and are out of the rabbit's reach.

Kay

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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  tomlevine1 on 10/22/2013, 10:27 pm

I'm not sure what the fencing is called, but it's your standard fencing that separates subdivisions from one another.  

I walked my property this afternoon, and I think I figured out where Bugs is getting in.  Right at the side-gate, where I take the trash out.  I only have one gate in to my yard, and there's an opening definitely large enough for Trixie to run in through.  I'm wondering if I just block off that one small opening, that might do the trick... ? The rest of the fence, there are really no holes or anything.  THey would have to try really hard, and, go through someone elses yard, to get to mine.

Darn, and they're so cute to!  But, between finding the rabbit poo, and learning about Sluggo Plus, I feel so much better about my next round with the garden!!!
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  GWN on 10/22/2013, 11:26 pm

@marc iverson wrote:People who don't love the dickens out of dogs should not own one.
We have a very large garden, and we live in the edge of a forest. We have deer in the back 40, and in the area all the time. We have a partial fence, that only goes 1/4 of the way around the garden. We have rabbits in the area. we have bears in our area.
WE HAVE A DOG. Embarassed he is afraid of deer.....
We also have a pee parade...... around the property.. for fertilizing purposes. we save urine for many of the nitrogen hungry crops like spinach and basil, and artichokes.
AND WE maintain 300 garlic a year.

Not sure what works, but everyone in my area quits gardening out of frustration with the deer. The first year we were here they left us alone until the fall, and desimated the beans and raspberries. last year they ONLY ate the tulip bulls.
This year they are all around the place and never nibble in our yard. In fact the deer live right out our back yard..... but never stray to our yard
Its either the DOG, the URINE, or the Garlic. .......
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  Marc Iverson on 10/23/2013, 2:31 am

I think the urine reminds them of the dog, especially if the dog has been eating garlic. Oh, I don't know!

I do know that if urine scares them off, they know the difference between dog urine and human urine. Don't ask me how I know.
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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  jimmy cee on 10/23/2013, 9:22 am

We are right on the edge of town, herds of deer gather in our yards at night.
Pear and apple trees draw them in, along with wifes flowers.
I've had great success in keeping them out of the garden.
Even tho the height of the wire is only 3 foot, they apparently detect danger with all the stuff I have inside.


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Re: Fall Garden Apocolypse!!!

Post  GWN on 10/25/2013, 10:00 am

Jimmie
Doesn't look too dangerous to me...  Very Happy   But I am not a deer though
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