JayPoc
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What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plants?

This photo is pretty indicative of what I'm seeing. It is by far worst on the zuchs, although there is some damage on the yellow squash and cukes. These poor little plants were just getting started. Of four little plants started, one has been mowed down completely, and the other three look like this. The seed leaves have been pretty well chewed, and the first true leaves that were just getting started are completely gone. I don't have a lot of hope they'll recover, so I'll probably be putting in some replacements. Anyway, whaddya think is doing this? I see no critters at all. I've has issues with slugs in the past, but I feel like I have that pretty well under control and haven't seen any slugs there, even after dark when it was rainy and damp. Thoughts?

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imafan26
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

Slugs, and snails from the looks of it. Bait with sluggo or put out some sacrificial lettuce and bait them.
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JayPoc
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

imafan26 wrote:Slugs, and snails from the looks of it. Bait with sluggo or put out some sacrificial lettuce and bait them.
Again, I thought I had the slug issue under control, and I haven't seen any slugs to speak of even when I looked after the big rains. And interestingly, my lettuce hasn't been touched. Eh, maybe....I'm crazy busy this week or I'd wet it down real well and have a slug stake-out.

oh, and just to add. During my sluggy times in the past, the slugs violated all sorts of things but left the squash alone. Would seem to be an odd shift in tactics if this is in fact slugs...

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applestar
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

Hmm... I would have said slugs/snails too. Remember,the recent heat wave would have stimulated them into hatching and breeding... And didn't you have some rainstorms pass through? Some of my sunflower seedlings and cucumber seedlings look something like that. Maybe try surrounding with horticultural DE or crushed eggshells. Putting a scrap piece of lumber on the path and checking underneath.

Do you see grackles hunting in your garden? They seem to be slug/snail specialists.

I was worried for my squash I planted at the base of the central Spiral Garden compost pile (slug central for sure) -- but several mornings now, the mulch have been tossed around (sometimes squash are buried) and peck marks into bared dirt at the base of the compost wire cage in several places. So happy to see this especially when I haven't felt up to doing the slug patrol so I just rescue the squash and re arrange the mulch. :D
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!potatoes!
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

definitely could be slugs/snails. could also be flea beetles.

JayPoc
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

well, it's drying out right now, so slug activity should be pretty low. If/when I replant, I'll put down some of my slug bait just in case...thanks all...

valley
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

Good luck with it. This is the year of attacks from the insect and rodent world. I'm fighting Hornworms, mice and kangaroo rats Oh, and grasshoppers.

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JayPoc
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Re: What manner of beast is devouring my baby zucchini plant

Well, since this thread got bumped back into the first page I'll give a little update...those plants were a little stunted at first, but caught up just fine and have been churning out zuchs for the last 6 weeks or so. Still going strong. I've had no SVB, squash bugs, or stink bugs to speak of so this has been my best squash year ever. I really think the extreme winter killed off a lot of these pests...



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