sweet thunder
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Did a cutworm do this?

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3478/3466165639_c22c0aae55.jpg[/img]

The stem is cut off almost an inch above the soil, and I didn't think that was the typical cutworm MO. At least it looks like it could grow back.

If not, any thoughts on what it might be? It's Thai basil, if that matters (and just transplanted yesterday. :( )

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Ohh, just planted? What a bummer!
Nothing's eaten? Just snipped? I watched a rabbit casually nip down a Moonflower vine transplant (also just planted) and spit it out from an upstairs window last year. I was SOOO MAD! :evil: Apparently they TRY things that they don't know for sure is inedible. :roll:

If you have rabbits visit your garden, only way I know to protect the plants is to put up fences -- individual plants or all around the bed. For temporary solution, tomato cages wrapped with plastic (if cold weather) or things like floating cover, burlap, old sheets, etc. and clothespinned in place works too.

cynthia_h
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

In California, I'd also suspect snails when any plant destruction is involved. This particular pair of seedlings might not have been damaged by snails, given that the destruction is above ground level, but if snails/slugs haven't put in an appearance, they will soon. :x

If you do a search on the phrase "snail hunting" here at THG, you'll find stories of success vs. snails. I don't want to derail your thread here on this particular instance of plant destruction, though.

I sure hope it's not rabbits, though...

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Cynthia, I have read your tales of battle with the snails!

The more I look at it, the more I think you're right. The opal basil was clearly mauled by either snails or slugs, so it is certainly possible they were responsible for this as well. I'm using beer traps and iron-based bait, but I also have heavily mulched beds, so I can hardly compete. I admire your efforts with handpicking, but my sleep schedule would make that a challenge for me.

Fortunately I think rabbits are a low risk. I've seen plenty of wildlife around here, but never rabbits. My two dogs wouldn't stand for it, especially the Jack Russell mutt!

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Excellent about the dogs! :D JRTs, being terriers, are genetically hard-wired to go after small animals. Terriers were, after all, the original rat-control crew...various breeds were trained on different creatures, but rabbits would still trigger that "Go get it!" instinct.

Too bad you have an off-schedule sleep situation. Even a one-off raid will help, though. The best time is approx. 2 hours after darkness. Take a flashlight and be sure to look underneath the leaves for the nasty gastropods.

Good luck, and congrats on the dogs. (They *do* sleep in the house, though, don't they?)

cynthia

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

Oh yes, the dogs are definitely inside (unless it's sunny out, and then they're inside, outside, inside all day long!) But no matter where they are, they always know when something Exciting is going on outside. You should've seen them the night we had a bear out there.

As for the snails, I don't have to work tomorrow, so if I can stay up late enough I might go out tonight with a flashlight and bucket. :twisted:

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

It's become very clear now that gastropods are responsible for this. :evil:
They've been back three nights in a row. The eggshell barrier didn't seem to slow them down at all.

I'm thinking basil might need to grow in a container surrounded by copper tape, like so many other things around here.

If only the husband would agree and the dogs wouldn't eat them, I'd get a couple of hens. *sigh*

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