Asica
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Something is eating my sprouts

I have notice that anytime, I use seeds and plant radish and ther veggies, something is eating the sprouts. Now I have baby lettuce coming out and I am thinking they will be gone soon. So what can I do? I have not seen much slugs, for sure no snails. I do see birds and squirrels, and possibly walking by rats. I suspecting that this maybe a bigger animal and not a slug, so would a cage work? I was thinking about building something that I can easly lift off. Maybe forks? Chicken wire? Or should I just sleep outside and watch the lettuce? Lol

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applestar
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

"Sleep outside" ... Well not really, but you might want to check on them at night if you haven't done that already -- slugs and snails come out and feed at night.

They are still your most likely culprits, especially in damp cool season.
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RedClover
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

I've built a cage over some of my veg patch as rats kept eating my veg. The buggers will eat anything. I even saw one jump in the air to try and catch a bird yesterday. Since I built the cage it's protected the veg though.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

Tell us more about what the damage looks like:

Roundish/oval holes in the middles of leaves are usually slug or snail damage:

Image
eventually if left unchecked, the leaves will end up looking like lace, with mostly just the veins left.

Semi-circular holes on the edges of leaves are usually some type of caterpillar, like cabbage worms or others:

Image
as you can see here, caterpillars often leave visible poop behind

Little seedlings cut totally off from the roots, just above ground level and left to wilt and die are cutworm damage:

Image
this picture also shows the culprit, but they do their work at night and ordinarily you wouldn't see the worm, just all your seedlings mown down over night.

etc... so tell us what your damaged seedlings look like...
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Asica
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

Thank you all for great answers.
In the garden i have broccoli, and cabbage but nothing is touching it. Only the sprouts of bell peppers, radish, cilantro, and lettuce. The sprouts that i can replant like tomato and bell pepper i keep home ir green house (aquarium) and once they big i plant them. But the rest i cannot really transplant so that is where i have a problem.
I was thinking to put something for slugs just in case and see what happenss to my lettuce.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

You still didn't say anything about what the damage looks like. You said something is eating your seedlings. Does that mean eating holes in the middles of leaves? Chewing up the leaf edges? Chopping down the seedlings as in the cutworm picture? Something else?

Different pests each inflict their own specific kind of damage and very often you can identify your pest just by paying attention to the details of the damage.
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Asica
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

The whole plant is gone. The seedling is maybe one inch tall. nothing is left behind besides the root.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

Sounds like the cutworms, unless you might have critters in your garden.

Woodchucks/groundhogs or rabbits will eat your seedlings from the top down, leaving just a few inches of stem and a little bit of bare branches:

Image

but you would probably know if you had groundhogs or rabbits or some critter like that eating your garden, though they also often come out to eat only at night.

If cutworms you can prevent this by putting a collar around each seedling when you plant it. The collar can be cardboard, stiff paper like an index card, paper cup with the bottom cut out, etc., but it has to go at least 2" down into the ground and 2" above ground:

Image
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Asica
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

Let me try the collar technique. I have just put some egg shells around, hoping that whatever is eating it will not like being poked.
I have my baby tomatoes In container. I keep them at home but with our 75 degrees weather! I was taking them outside. I was watching them like crazy. So far nothing is getting to them. Lettuce is all fine too. And radish is trying to come back!

imafan26
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

Colllar are easily made from a toilet or paper towel roll or jus from an ordinary paper cup. Eggshells would be much more work.
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ButterflyLady29
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Re: Something is eating my sprouts

You don't say where you are located. Different locations have different pests. Here the culprit would be sowbugs or pillbugs.

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