Friday, June 21, 2013

What's Eating My Plants?

Something is eating my plants.

I know that the chickens are responsible for the few sad lettuce and kale plants. (Elsa found them the other day and has now made it her mission to get a bite every chance she gets.) 

But something else is eating a bunch of the other stuff. I have been meticulous in picking off the eggs of the cabbage butterflies so my kale (other than what Elsa has gotten) is doing great. The ones that are suffering are my pepper and eggplant plants, the soybeans, the dry beans, and the strawberries. Even the potato plants are showing signs of herbivory.

It's not just isolated to my veggie garden either. My little baby kinnikinnick has been preyed upon as well.  All of the fresh new leaves were devoured by a mystery creature in one evening.

So I'm angry.  I've checked for aphids and I really don't see many. There are a few here and there and they don't really eat the leaves anyway.  I've also been checking for slugs but can't find any either. But that doesn't mean they aren't around.

I think we have a various array of pests at work here.  My soybeans look like the slugs are getting to them.  Maybe the same goes for my already struggling bok choy (below). 

The strawberries are another story.  Though I know the slugs love strawberries, the evidence is of something bigger.  The little green strawberries are being stolen off the vine as a whole.  It looks as though something has come along and cut them off.  So my thought is rats.  We've seen them around the chicken coop so I wouldn't be surprised if they were getting into other stuff too.

Unfortunately, the herbivores aren't the only problem in my garden.  Some stuff is just not growing.  The onions are totally stunted and aren't doing anything.  ALL of my broccoli died, so I had to replant it two weeks ago.  My cucumbers suck, and the eggplant isn't doing anything either.  Even the zucchini is struggling.  What's going on?  Zucchini is supposed to be a like a weed.  I didn't add much to the soil this year, and I think I'm paying the price.  I have been fertilizing, but it doesn't seem to be enough.  Blerg.

Missing: Three green strawberries.
But, there are some things that are happy.  The potatoes are gorgeous, the peas are producing like the zombies are coming, and we have an artichoke!  So I guess not all is lost.  And look at the beautiful garlic scapes!  I think I'm going to be cutting them and eating them this year.  Yum!  Now if I could just figure out what's eating my plants.

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