gooberfarmer
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Something ate my broccoli... Stems and all

I came home today and all eight plants were gone. Clear down to the ground. Has anyone ever had this happen? The garden is fenced, but I haven't installed the gate yet.
I looked for tracks but the only thing I could see was boot prints from my two year old, and I know I saw them after he went inside. In case I was wrong I even looked around the yard in case he had decided to help dad "weed." No luck.
They were Wal-Mart transplants that I had less than four bucks invested in, so it's not the end of the world. Just worried about what else might disappear.

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jal_ut
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Oh yes!

Critters of all description love broccoli plants. No, I can't guess what got your plants, but know the feeling well.
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DoubleDogFarm
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I loss about 15ft of young pea plants to 30 ducks. :shock: I left the gate open while mowing. :(


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rainbowgardener
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Most likely rabbit or some such critter. But if these were small seedlings cutworms can also disappear them like that. One year I put out I think 8 little tomato plants I had started from seed. Came back probably about 36 hours later and they had all just vanished. In that case, I'm pretty sure it was cutworms that got them.
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applestar
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Mice ate my seedlings in the garage one year. :evil:

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soil
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i agree with jal, EVERYTHING loves broccoli.
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gooberfarmer
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Dang glad to know I'm not the lone ranger on this deal. Guess I'll try again.
Thanks for all the replies.

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rainbowgardener
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Helps to have an idea what it was, to know what to do. If you think you have rabbits, a rabbit fence is probably best solution. Doesn't need to be very high, but needs to be L shaped with the bottom of the L travelling along the ground for a ways out from the fence. This prevents them from burrowing under, since apparently they don't like to tunnel.

If it might be cutworms, a stiff paper collar around but not touching the stem of each plant prevents them from getting to it. But they usually only get small plants. That was a long time ago when they got mine. These days I grow them out a lot bigger with thicker stems before they go in the garden and nothing bothers them.
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Spongegirl
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i don't think cutworms...

in my little experience with cutworms, they just cut but don't eat. i'd guess what took your broccoli is the waskally wabbit. I'm having the same problem. they have chewed threw my plastic fencing so im taking more drastic measures. they will not get my broccoli this year! and that is final! im in kentucky and their have been more rabbits than ever before. im even gonna let my daughter get a couple of cats to help out cause the dogs arent doin a good enough job. where are the hawks and owls when you need them.
im also gonna plant a foot thick layer of onions around the entire perimeter to see if that detours. id love to hear if anyone has ever done this trick.
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garden5
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Hmm, I would say rabbit as well. If you put up a fence, keep in mind that small rabbits can fit through a very small hole, so go with chickenwire with the smaller holes.

As another poster also mentioned, plastic doesn't work. They will eat right through it.
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nicro
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I had the same thing happen. We have an issue with rats from the field behind us. They ate our broccoli all the way to the ground. They recently ate my sunflowers about 3 days after they sprouted. Very discouraging!!

Spongegirl
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yes it is discouraging but...

don't let it stop you. plant again and enclose your garden. I just did because of rabbits. a small investment once and your garden will be safe forever.
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When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

DoubleDogFarm
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Rats will go right over the fence. Snap traps or poison.


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Kisal
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Personally, if you think it might be rats -- and rats live just about everywhere -- then think twice before putting snap traps or poison where your child might reach them. Losing plants is far easier to cope with than having your child harmed.

Rats are almost impossible to fence out. It would be a very expensive proposition, I'm afraid. They easily chew through chicken wire and other lightweight wire fabrics. Welded wire with a mesh of 1/2" x 1" is usually "chew-proof", but you would have to literally build a cage around your entire garden, including a roof. You would also have to bury the bottom edge of the wire a foot or two underground. Rats are very smart, and unlike rabbits, wouldn't have any difficulty figuring out that they needed to dig at the edge of the wire laying on the surface of the ground. They also can tunnel quite deep in the ground, so I'm not sure even 2 feet of underground wire would be sufficient to keep them out.

Depending on where you live (rural, suburban, or urban area), you might want to consider encouraging, or even buying and releasing, harmless snakes, such as garter snakes. Another night predator to encourage would be owls, if your area can offer them a proper habitat. Another possibility would be a "ratter" dog. Most terrier breeds will catch and kill rats, but the Rat Terrier is very well known for its skill at rodent destruction. (Be advised, though, that most terriers are also diggers, and can destroy your yard in short order! It happened to me! :lol: )

Just some thoughts. :)
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rainbowgardener
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We feed four outdoor cats that showed up (the first one came with our house, she already lived here). It doesn't turn into more than that, because they are territorial and drive strangers off the property, so mostly it's the same cats we've been feeding for years now. They are very tame and friendly, even the ones we know were born wild. (And yes we get them all spayed and neutered.)

We don't have any [small] rodent problems, except for having to dispose of the occasional body they leave for us as a present on the doorstep! But the cats are outclassed by things like raccoons and woodchucks and leave them alone.
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garden5
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Oh, I never thought about rats. I guess those sound plausible as well.

If you have any local pets, I would not go with any kind of poison...or snap-trap.

It would be best probably, to use one of those types that are contained so that Only the rats can get in.

However, try the fence first. This way, if it is rabbits, you will know and can avoid the snakes, terriers, traps, etc. :lol:.
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DoubleDogFarm
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It would be best probably, to use one of those types that are contained so that Only the rats can get in.
Yes, Bait stations are the safe way to go. I use the Tomcat brand. I have no children, but I try to be safe around my animals. :wink:

Eric

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