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Something's eating my lettuce!!

Something's eating my lettuce!!
Posted by Amber from TN on 2002-04-22 18:57:27

Ok, I've planted my first garden and am excited. When I went out to check to see if it needed water yesterday, I noticed an animal has had a field day with my lettuce!!! I'm guessing either squirrels or rabbits. Is there anything I can do that is preferrably natural that won't hurt my plants or the animals?
  • Something is eating the lettuce
    Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-04-27 07:50:01

    It most likely is rabbits since squirrels seldom eat lettuce. Making cages to go over the plants or tightly fencing in the garden so they can't get in is about the only solution. While slugs can be a problem with any succulent green growth they do leave tell tale indications that are quite different from what rabbits do.
  • Lettuce Eaters
    Posted by Happy Gardener (scbshell@yahoo.com) from Virginia - Zone on 2002-04-22 22:22:41

    Quoting Amber: ------------
    -Ok, I've planted my first garden and am excited. When I went out to check to see if it needed water yesterday, I noticed an animal has had a field day with my lettuce!!! I'm guessing either squirrels or rabbits. Is there anything I can do that is preferrably natural that won't hurt my plants or the animals?

    Amber,

    The other thing it could be is slugs. My mother-in-law has had a time with them, and from what I've heard they love veggies. She uses a chemical spray that is safe for vegetables and she buys it at Wal Mart (sorry I don't have a name for you). You may want to consider getting that. She has done the "beer bath" where you put out cups of beer around and the slugs go for that and die, but she said she things it is a big mess because of the dead slugs. The chemicals work best for her.

    I want to do some lettuce too and am afraid something will get them. I haven't put anything out yet since I've been waiting for the frost to clear. Did you start yours from seeds or did you buy plants?

    Good luck.
    • Slugs/Rabbits
      Posted by paul from NJ 6 on 2002-05-07 20:53:19

      Quoting Happy Gardener: ------------
      -Quoting Amber: ------------
      -Ok, I've planted my first garden and am excited. When I went out to check to see if it needed water yesterday, I noticed an animal has had a field day with my lettuce!!! I'm guessing either squirrels or rabbits. Is there anything I can do that is preferrably natural that won't hurt my plants or the animals?

      -Amber,

      -The chemical that stops slugs is called Sluggard. The active ingredient is metaldehyde. Its supplied usually as pellets, but discount stores like K-Mart also have product on ground corn cobs. Its activated by water. Apply a few pellets by each plant and then water. Its similar to stuff usually found in alcoholic beverages and is not seriously toxic.

      They say slugs will not crawl over anything sharp, so products like egg shells or diatomaceous earth can be used to repell them. Beer in shallow pans works well (they are attracted and drown) but you do have to replace the beer every few days.

      For rabbit fencing, you need 1" hexagons (chicken wire) buried 3" and about 24 to 30" high. The heavy "animal wire" with 1" spacing at the bottom also works, but after burial the 4" sq openings are too low. So another layer of wire may be needed.

      Slugs usually will cut slots in your crop initially. Rabbits will leave mouth sections on the edges of leaves. Given enough time either may consume all of your plants if they are unprotected.
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