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:( Who ate my plants?

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:( Who ate my plants?

Post  littlesapphire on 6/20/2010, 2:19 pm

I was very sad this morning when I went outside to visit my garden, like I do every morning. I came across a horrific scene. One of my squash plants had been nibbled on and had a missing vine. Then I went over to my beans, and they were missing all their leaves! And to my shock and horror, one of my peppers had been chewed down to a nub, and another had lost half its leaves. Then to top it all off, two of my tomatoes are left with only two leaves each. Who ever did it also chopped off the tops of a couple of my peas, but they didn't seem to like them as much.

Strangely, they left most of the veggies in my one 4x4 alone (except the one squash plant), and totally ignored my 2x4, but the last 4x4 was almost completely demolished. They left my marigolds alone, and didn't touch my onions.

Also, they left big holes in the mel's mix, too. The holes were maybe 3 or 4 inches wide and about as deep.

I'm so sad! All my little babies... and now I've lost so many. I have just a handful of beans left. Thank goodness they were bush beans, and I was going to plant more anyway. But it still breaks my heart.

What did this? What can I do? It came out of the blue and I haven't had any trouble at all with my garden this year. I went out and sprinkled red pepper on the leaves of the surviving plants, but will that stop them? SHould I put a metal mesh fence around the garden? I don't want to lose everything this late into the growing season.

littlesapphire

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  camprn on 6/20/2010, 2:29 pm

Do you have any photos, especially of the tracks/footprint? Sounds like a pretty good size deer. Are you right in town? So sorry about your loss. There is still time if you can get some transplants for tomatoes and probably for squash too. Reseed what you can. A fence is a great idea.

camprn

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  littlesapphire on 6/20/2010, 3:21 pm

Unfortunately, I filled in the holes, but I can say that there weren't any tracks or foot prints. The holes had been dug out, and some of them went under some of the roots of the veggies. We're very much in town as well, with houses packed like sardines all around for miles. Although I have seen deer in the small patch of woods near a local park.

I went to our local nursery and, happily, they still had veggies! And they were on sale, too. 99 cents for a four pack. The tomatoes are huge. I didn't think they could get that big in a four pack. I hope it's not going to stunt their growth. They have flowers, though, and otherwise look very healthy. I also got some peppers, which are also flowering. Thankfully, the beans were bush beans and had to be replanted anyway, so I'm not worried about that, and the little beast only ate one vine off my squash.

I think for tonight, I'm going to just pepper the leaves of the veggies, but I'm going to start looking for a more permanent way to keep them out soon.

littlesapphire

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  camprn on 6/20/2010, 3:28 pm

Oh dear, do think this was vandalism or that something ate your garden? :?:
Good deal on the transplants. They will be fine.

camprn

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  littlesapphire on 6/20/2010, 5:27 pm

New clue! I was out gathering strawberries from my wild strawberry patch, which is just a few feet from my boxes, and lo and behold, there was a large pile of bunny poo. I looked up what kind of damage rabbits to do plants, and it said that it often looks like the plants have been cut with scissors because their teeth are so sharp (where as deer tend to tear at leaves). And indeed, it looked just like that.

So. Now I just need to figure out how to deal with rabbits.

littlesapphire

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/20/2010, 7:52 pm

I'm so sorry. Rabbits are hard to screen out, but it can be done. A wire "cage" put around each bed should keep them at bay. Do a search on the forum for cages, pest control, barriers, etc. and you should find some good ideas.

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

Post  jsavolt on 6/20/2010, 10:45 pm

Rabbits can do a lot of damage in a short time. You may also want to consider voles as they tunnel into your sf beds. If you cage off your beds you can still get voles because they tunnel and come up from their holes. I picked up a solar stake that gives off a sound that animals don't like. I think it's a motion sensor as I hear the sound when I'm working in the garden. I had voles do a lot of damage early in the spring. I had tomatoes and peppers covered with buckets to protect them from frost. A vole came in one bucket (tomato) and tunneled to the next and ate down every pepper in that square. Broke my heart! I was so upset but did just what you did and planted more.

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Re: :( Who ate my plants?

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