The Q&A Archives: Somethings Eating My Starter Plants

Question: After planting my starter plants from a local farm I've noticed that within a weeks time that there is no more leaves left. It seems that some type of inscet has made a meal at out my garden greens! I have peas, green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. Any suggestions on a quick cure so that my garden can survive? Thanks

Answer: The most typical culprits would be slugs (you will see slime trails since they eat at night) as well as rabbits, crows, woodchucks, and deer. A little detective work will help solve the mystery. Slugs can be deterred with hand picking at night when they are active, traps, baits or by sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the soil around the plants. The other pests can be deterred with commercial or homemade repellents usually based on garlic and/or red pepper. Sometimes a temporary wire mesh cage or a row cover spread over top the plants will protect them until they are larger. The most reliable solution for four legged critter problems, however, is a fence.

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