User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

seriously frustrated right now

every day I go out, more plants disappear. :( I believe it is the slugs. cucumber and melon seedlings, just vanishing night after night. I'm never going to get anywhere! GRRRRRR. I guess I need more domes over the dumb things.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
SPierce
Greener Thumb
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Go out at night on patrol, to see whats going on? Are they being eaten- or just disappearing all together?

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

well, the cucumber seedlings are just a little stub and there is nothing left. same with the melons. just gone. I see slugs all over my driveway and all over the place and it has been really wet for the past month. so I suspect slugs. :( anything I can do besides putting bottles over them?
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
SPierce
Greener Thumb
Posts: 732
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts

sheeshshe wrote:well, the cucumber seedlings are just a little stub and there is nothing left. same with the melons. just gone. I see slugs all over my driveway and all over the place and it has been really wet for the past month. so I suspect slugs. :( anything I can do besides putting bottles over them?
Do you have deer netting around your garden or anything? If the entire plant is disappearing, i highly doubt that slugs will do that much damage that quickly. Deer? Squirrels? Groundhog? A stupid neighbor with a lawnmower? (long story)

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

I think slugs did a number on the cucumbers I planted this year, too. Sounds exactly the same. They would come up, then within a couple days the plants were gone - just a nubbin of a stem left right by the ground.

Of the 10-12 plants that came up, I have three left. That should be plenty for our needs, but it was still really frusrating, as it set me back a week or two.

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

The plants are so tiny, just coming up out of the ground. I would think a slug could do that, right? p;us the melons that are in the garden have a fence around it. although, I'd suppose a deer could still get in. But, I'm still leaning towards slugs.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

sheeshshe wrote:The plants are so tiny, just coming up out of the ground. I would think a slug could do that, right? p;us the melons that are in the garden have a fence around it. although, I'd suppose a deer could still get in. But, I'm still leaning towards slugs.
I know for sure that the culprit for the demise of my cucumber seedlings was not warm blooded. I'm almost 100% certain it was slugs - there's just no need for any plant eater to come into my garden and nibble off days-old cucumber seedlings and not touch anything else.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I live in a dry area. Our low humidity pretty much discourages slugs and snails. I do see a few slugs, but only under some protective cover. They seldom do any damage to my plants. I only bring this up so you know I don't have much experience in dealing with them.

However, I suggest some Diatomaceous Earth to powder the plants and area under them. Also crushed up egg shells or sand are deterrents. Slugs and snails have soft bodies and do not like the sharp edges of these things.

There are many critters and some diseases that are the gardeners enemy. We can ignore the damage or do something about it. I prefer to address the problems as they arise. You get more harvest that way.

You can search this forum for ideas on coping with the problems. Most things have been talked about before. Also Google is your friend. Good luck.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I grumble a bit when such happens, but just get right back out and replant. With beans and corn I generally plant two beans per space. That way at least one usually germinates and survives, or I can lift a sprout from one area to fill a bare spot. I've had to replant quite a few times so far this year. For the most part, the second planting came up and survived. Try again, the critters will probably be too interested in the larger plants and will ignore the fresh batch of seedlings.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

OK, I will plant again. I have some DE, but it is such a rainy week. I'll try it anwyays. can't hurt. I have some sand too. I'll give it a shot. can't hurt either!
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

DE does help with the slugs, but don't apply it in a rainy week. You just have to reapply after every time it rains. In the meantime, while you are waiting for a dry spell, crush up some eggshells and put around the plants. They don't dissolve in the rain and also help deter slugs.

Holes in leaves are slugs. If it keeps up, the leaves become skeletonized, where there is nothing much left but the main ribs/ veins of the leaves, but it takes them awhile of working on it to get to that point, doesn't happen over night. I'm still not convinced that something being eaten down to a stub over night is slugs. Very typical ground hog damage. I live with ground hogs, so I'm quite familiar with it. :)

In case it helps to know that other people get frustrated too, try reading the last few posts in this thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40833&start=15
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

rainbowgardener wrote:DE does help with the slugs, but don't apply it in a rainy week. You just have to reapply after every time it rains. In the meantime, while you are waiting for a dry spell, crush up some eggshells and put around the plants. They don't dissolve in the rain and also help deter slugs.

Holes in leaves are slugs. If it keeps up, the leaves become skeletonized, where there is nothing much left but the main ribs/ veins of the leaves, but it takes them awhile of working on it to get to that point, doesn't happen over night. I'm still not convinced that something being eaten down to a stub over night is slugs. Very typical ground hog damage. I live with ground hogs, so I'm quite familiar with it. :)

In case it helps to know that other people get frustrated too, try reading the last few posts in this thread:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40833&start=15
Rainbow...what is being described is exactly what happened to my cucumber seedlings. The were only a couple days old - no true leaves yet - and one or two would be gone overnight. There are no groundhogs in my neighborhood, and there's nothing else I can think of that lives in my neighborhood that would have done that kind of damage.

Interestingly enough, since I put out beer traps last week, I haven't noticed any real damage (knock on wood). I got a total of six slugs over three nights. Not a lot, but perhaps I got the ones with a taste for cukes.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Well, I guess it makes sense that slugs could do that to seedlings so small. That's one of the advantages to starting everything indoors. I don't put out any tiny seedlings, so they are a bit less vulnerable to stuff like that. By the time I put them in the ground, they are too big for cutworms and too big for slugs to destroy them like that (even if they do get holes in the leaves)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

hmmm. still not sure what it is then. I see slugs all over the place, even during the day right now, so I am inclined to say slugs, just because the shear amount of them.! could be cut worms too, not srue. there are my baby lupines and every time I go out, one of the stems are broken off at the base. same with the hollyhocks. :(
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

missymiss99
Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: Ca

Try diatomaceous earth from lows. Get it in the garden section not the pool section. pour it around your bed like a protective perimeter It feels like shards of glass to slugs and other crawling critters It will repel them. only issue if it gets wet you have to re-apply. safe for kids pets and you. hope this helps you :D
Missymiss99

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

if it ever stops raining, I will do the diatomaceous earth. seriousl;y. it just won't stop! well, it stopped and then it started again. :( supposed to be this way as far out as I can see on the forecast :(
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

OK, I lied. I just looked again, and looks like saturday and beyond should finally be good!
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

what's happening to your lupines and hollyhocks definitely sounds like cutworms. You can prevent cutworm damage by putting a little collar around each one when you plant it:

https://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/qt/cutwormcollars.htm

Remember the eggshells for the slugs while you are waiting for things to dry out...
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
GardenRN
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1102
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Chesterfield, Va

I have been going out at night on "slug hunts". I started with salt, but didn't want to salt my whole garden. So now I just take out my fishing filet knife and slice them in half. It's quicker than salt and saves the soil the hassle.

I thought it would be an endless chore, but honestly, after the first few nights, I have definitely noticed a difference in the numbers I am killing. The first few nights I probably killed about 50 or 60. Now I may get 10, max. And 10 slugs can't do that much damage to the garden.

You'll learn where to find them too. The slugs by me particularly love the onions. There are ALWAYS 3 or 4 over there. The do like all the things you mentioned, but because there's not much competition anymore, most of mine can be found on one side of the yard. Good luck!
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

And 10 slugs can't do that much damage to the garden.

You would be amazed the amount of damage ONE slug can do! :twisted:
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

mattie g
Green Thumb
Posts: 583
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 am
Location: Northern VA, USA -- Zone 7a

rainbowgardener wrote:Well, I guess it makes sense that slugs could do that to seedlings so small. That's one of the advantages to starting everything indoors. I don't put out any tiny seedlings, so they are a bit less vulnerable to stuff like that. By the time I put them in the ground, they are too big for cutworms and too big for slugs to destroy them like that (even if they do get holes in the leaves)
I don't have the luxury of starting indoors (no indoor setup), so I buy tomato, pepper, and herb plants, and just sow cukes directly in the ground. Believe me...I'd love to have an indoor seed-starting setup!

I hope sheeshe find and "eliminates" the culprit!

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

Ok, so if it were cut worms, aren't I supposed to dig around the plant and find the worm? I don't' see anything. and I didn't see anything when one chopped my tomato plant either. UGHH
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

User avatar
hendi_alex
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3567
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I've never seen damage by any other critter that resembled the damage of a cut worm. Cut worm damage that I've seen always has a near clean cut near the ground, with the cut portion of the plant sprawled on the ground beside the cut stem. The stem and root system remain intact.

If the plant top is entirely gone, then it is likely a bigger critter like a rabbit. Snails will eat an entire young bean plant, but it usually takes a few days, and the stem is usually left standing. A rabbit or deer will nibble the whole plant including the stem down to the ground. If the entire plant is gone, and there is a small hole where the stem used to be, the problem is often coming from a vole which runs in a mole tunnel and eats 100% of the plant, starting with the root and pulling the plant down into its feeding tunnel.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3234
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

If it is slugs you will see some slime near the plants. It sounds like the kind of damage slugs do. You could also put beer traps out, place beer in something that the slugs can get into but not out of like a bowl. Slugs love beer and will drink them selfs to death or actually crawl in and drown.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

sheeshshe wrote:Ok, so if it were cut worms, aren't I supposed to dig around the plant and find the worm? I don't' see anything. and I didn't see anything when one chopped my tomato plant either. UGHH
I don't think they are always that easy to find, being brownish in brown soil. But the collar prevents them from getting to your seedlings.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
sheeshshe
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1254
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:17 am
Location: maine

OK, I put a few collars out on my daughters things.


I have 2 things going on, the chopped things (cutworm) and the vanishing cucumber leaves. so I think there are 2 separate things going on.


I have some neem oil, I might try my hand at that next.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

missymiss99
Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:41 pm
Location: Ca

Because you get so much rain and the Diatomaceous Earth will wash away. try a ball covered in pennies. It repels snails and slugs :D. Follow the link on how to. But you don't have to use a bowling ball I would use a cheaper weight. hope it helps you out. https://bethevansramos.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/penny-bowling-ball/
Missymiss99

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”