I have seedlings started indoors in polystyrerne cups, under lights:
tomatoes & peppers up about 1 inch but not yet with true leaves. This
morning I find about 30 percent are nipped off 1/4 to 1/2 inch above
soil level. In most cases the young first leaves are gone. Completely
vanished - just a stub of stem remains.
I see no sign of whatever pest has done this (apparently overnight
when the lights are off.)
Can anybody make an educated guess, what beastie would this be? And
what can I do to protect the rest of my seedlings - please be quick! -
as well as thwart the pest in future?
Port Alberni, B.C. (Canada :) )
On Apr 18, 3:20 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Since this happened at night, you need to prevent access to the
at night. Cover each cup with something and wrap it tightly with a
or just group the cups together and cover with something large enough
heavy enough to block anything from entering, for example a large book
board. If something still happens you'll know that whatever it is,
it's in the soil.
It sounds like a slug/snail. Or as Victoria said, a cutworm in the
then they would have to be in each cup, a cutworm probably
couldn't move from cup to cup. Did you see any slime trail from a
Hope you find it; that would be very discouraging, to say the least!
Thanks all for the responses & suggestions.
The good news is, no further damage after another night. For want of a
better idea, I had doused the seedlings with appropriately diluted
Safer's soap. Don't know if that had any effect. Was also going to
sprinkle with rotenone but chickened out.
(Apologies to politically sensitive chickens.)
The soil mixture varies from pot to pot - including some garden soil,
some sphagnum, commercial potting soil, vermiculite etc, etc. Not
anywhere near uniform enough for a cotrolled experiment! Isolating
each pot, or the whole lot, under a sealed cover would have been
difficult so I didn't try - but the idea was sound; thanks.
As an added variable, I've been moving everything outdoors under cover
on the warmer days.
And no, there is no cat with access to the seedlings. Their indoor
environment is in my garage/workshop. But I've been blaming the
neighborhood felines for chomping down the greens on my outdoor
garlic. Any comments?
No trace of slug slime on either seedlings or garlic.
Aren't gardens fun !!!
|>The soil mixture varies from pot to pot - including some garden
|Bad idea. Probable source of your problem. I always buy a new
|of "Professional" Mix.
|> I've been moving everything outdoors under cover
|>on the warmer days.
|Don't put plants in the sun with a transparent cover over them;
Yes they would cook if enclosed. They are only covered - to protect
from birds & (?) cats - and well ventilated.
Garden soil I've previously sterilised before using for seedlings.
This year I got lazy. Could have been a problem; maybe not.
Still no new damage. I'm betting on a mouse (caught one last night.)
On Fri, 20 Apr 2007 11:04:33 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior
| firstname.lastname@example.org wrote in
|> And no, there is no cat with access to the seedlings. Their
|> environment is in my garage/workshop. But I've been blaming the
|> neighborhood felines for chomping down the greens on my outdoor
|> garlic. Any comments?
|Could be. My cat loves my chives which are indoors right now.
Leads me to a new thought about the seedling nipper. We do have the
occasional mouse. Small enough to get in under the fluorescents where
it's nice & warm with tender shoots to graze on - ??? Didn't see any
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