something got my plants

guineagardenMay 10, 2007

Help, please... I got 3 dormant 2-yr old goji plants in December and diligently planted them according to the instructions. When I went to check on them a week later there was nothing left but 2" nubbins sticking out of the ground. I blamed our guineas.

I bought more goji plants, this time all I could get was 3 one-year plants (softer stem, not woody yet.) This time I put chicken wire all around them including over the top to protect from random birds, plastic cups around the base 1" up from the soil to protect from cutworm/ army worm, augmented with Epsom salt (they were looking quite peaked when they arrived), sprayed with neem and garlic and when I went outside to check the next day there was nothing but 2" nubbins sticking out of the ground.

When I went outside to check today, even that had been reduced to ground level.

I have no idea what has eaten my precious goji plants and I am devastated.

This is the first year this space has been gardened. I rototilled, then hoed. The soil is acid, treated with lime.

My nearby tomatoes are suffering from every pestilence known to tomato-kind: whitefly, thrips, aphids, tiny black ants, cutworm, millipede, armyworm, slugs, grubs, grasshopper, birds, (now under nets). I have augmented the soil with rabbit manure, lime, kelp and Epsom salt in the watering, and sprayed with neem oil and garlic though my tender, organic soul is lusting for DDT.

The 25 walking stick kale plants to the other side of the gojis were also picked off over 2 weeks or so in a similar manner- first only stem nubbin left, then nothing.

Can someone please offer some ideas as to what could have gotten my gojis (and my kale)? And what earth-friendly thing I could do about it that I haven't tried? (I know these won't come back, but in case I persist in my fruitless passion...) [I posted to the pests & diseases forum, but have gotten no responses.]

thank you.


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Have you considered rabbits, deer, voles, etc. ?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:35PM
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I guess I didn't mention that not only are the goji plants covered top to bottom with chicken wire, the whole garden is also surrounded by 1" chicken wire.

I thought voles only ate roots. Would they reach up and chew a plant 3" above ground? Deer could absolutely not have gotten past all the wire fencing- it covers the top (I also have attentive dogs.)

There are no rabbit droppings anywhere. Would rabbits prefer woody plants over tomatoes?

If voles are the problem, what organic method is there to discourage them?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 6:59PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Voles most certainly damage and eat plants, fruit, veggies, girdle trees, etc. They can be hugely damaging. Trapping is the only way I know of to protect your plants.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 11:49AM
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