brownsfan62
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Can BT spray eat plant leaves?

I saw cabbage moths flying around my garden last weekend, so I promptly sprayed the cabbage, melons, beans, and cukes (per the package suggestions) with BT. I'm now worried that the concentration may have been a bit high, because now my plants' leaves are gone. The stems are still green, so I think there's hope for recovery of at least the cukes and beans, but the cabbage and melons appear to be toast.

No chance of deer--I have a 6 foot fence around the house and garden. The leaving alone of the vines and stems also has me skeptical about animals.

Did I melt my plants?

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rainbowgardener
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Should NOT be possible. Bt is a bacteria that is specific to certain kinds of insect larval hosts.

What else happened last weekend or since then? Are all the plants affected or just some varieties/ individuals?

Melons and cukes are very prone to a borer (zucchini vine borer/ squash borer) that produces damage like that. One day you have big healthy squash plants and two days later the leaves are all wilted and disappearing.

But I don't think the squash borer would affect cabbage. Look around carefully and see what things look like.

You are also in Ohio, are you in the same weather pattern with me, with tons of rain lately? I'm starting to have lots of fungal stuff going on in my garden, potatoes that seem to have some kind of blight, basil with some leaf curl thing, etc. I know its all the rain and humidity (exacerbated by the fact that I'm trying to grow full sun plants with not full sun, so they are probably more vulnerable). Anyway you could have something like that happening.

Give us some more details of what everything looks like, and/or post some pictures...
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brownsfan62
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The leaves didn't wilt...they're gone. My tomatoes and peppers are lush. My pea vines weren't touched.

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Ozark Lady
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I have lacey cabbages. So I sprayed Bt, and while doing so, I found a worm down inside the stem of the top.

For the leaves to be gone, and not just lacey, something obviously ate them.

Bt will not hurt your leaves. If you spray it in sunlight, you can scald your leaves while spraying, but they would discolor and die slowly from the scald, not gone.

Bt is only effective on small worms. If you look, you may have some large worms. And Bt doesn't even give truly large worms indigestion. Look for worms that are hornworm sized, check the dirt around the stems, cutworms that are too big to be bothered by Bt will eat your leaves off.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

DoubleDogFarm
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Bt will not hurt your leaves. If you spray it in sunlight, you can scald your leaves while spraying, but they would discolor and die slowly from the scald, not gone.
Liquid on hairy leaves may- can magnify and burn, but it has been proven that on smooth leaves this is a myth. Hairy leaves keeps the liquid up off the leaf and acts like a magnifying glass. Water laying flat on smooth leafs, not so.

brownsfan62
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I was just out there again. I guess it could have been worms, but to have that much damage in two days is amazing to me!

Here's my poor pole beans:
[img]https://farm2.static.flickr.com/1303/4706296811_664376d4f6_b.jpg[/img]

And the cukes:
[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/4706296239_b55310b573_b.jpg[/img]

And what's left of the cabbage:
[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4071/4706937152_bd5caa4fdf_b.jpg[/img]

But the tomatoes are doing just fine!
[img]https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4051/4706295931_df27bb6faf_b.jpg[/img]

DoubleDogFarm
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Wow,

I'm thinking maybe rodents.

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rainbowgardener
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yup, I agree... what kind of small critters do you have around that might have attacked your plants. Groundhog would be good candidate, if you have them.
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sciencegal
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I'm thinking rats. The cabbage leaves looks like the Swiss chard leaves on another thread where they decided it was rats. I once had a plague of rats when I lived in the desert. They ate the pole beans in the same way as yours.

brownsfan62
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Could rats climb that cage? There's damage at least 5 feet in the air.

sciencegal
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brownsfan62 wrote:Could rats climb that cage? There's damage at least 5 feet in the air.
Most definitely. And they like the new bean leaves. At first I thought the goats were getting into the beans which were growing next to the goat pen, because it looked like the beans had been browsed. But, then I started seeing the rats running along the beams outside my milking room and noticed that the large plastic garbage cans I was using to store feed were being chewed through. I used Decon and had nearly 40 rats dying out in the open after a few days. It was very gross. I do not like rats. Once the rats were gone the beans grew back.

DoubleDogFarm
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Yes, and the wood trellis and fence helped them.

sciencegal
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It's probably the [url=https://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/rattratt.htm]roof rat[/url].

"They make typical runways along pipes, beams or wires, up and down the studding, or along the horizontal ceiling joists.."

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Ozark Lady
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I still say worms!

I had a hornworm go through and eat an entire bed of plants in one night.

We had a hard time spotting him. He was over 4" long before we located him!

Problem is: You rarely have one worm!

It could even be more than one thing. But worms ate all but the mainstems on some of my plants. Not this year, but in earlier years.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Kisal
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I doubt there would be roof rats (Rattus rattus) in Ohio. They tend to like a warmer climate. They're common in the coastal states and southwest, but only rarely ... and temporarily ... in the interior of the country. We have them out here. The ordinary old Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is the one that is common throughout the entire U.S., is quite capable of climbing those trellises and munching on your plants.

Chipmunks could also climb the trellises, although they would be more likely to go after the beans, rather than the leaves. They will climb trees to get at fruit and nuts. :)
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