how to protect bush bean seedlings

jeanwedding(6 ky)July 9, 2009

First time growing beans. I have been planting the 3 varieties of bush beans all week and last week.

Plants are between 7 inches tall and some just planted seed.

Something is getting into my yard. Prob birds and cats etc.

Wish I could nicely fence whole shebang

This is my front yard. I live in the" city burb" Have small back yard already filled with berries etc. So had to front yard it. Sure can not eat grass

Is it okay to put "cups" around them.Upside down of course with bottom cut out.??? Found lots of "waxy" old full bags beverage cups from a now defunct fast food resturant. Found them at junk pickup I assume the gardener died or moved. I can always cut away cup later right ??

I read about using matchstick. I now have them "marked" each opening with a toothpick.

what I did was use landscape fabric over grass and completely covered with chipped tree mulch(free from prob Januarys ice storm) I had no way to transport a tiller so I did what I had to.

My broccoli did fine and so are pepper plants etc.

Or do the Bean plants need more room than a cup bottom ??

What I did was push back "mulch" cut fabric and plant one bean in each 3 to 6 inch "X" out hole.

Please comments and suggestions. Cause I have lots planted. I m so anxious to try MY own homegrown beans

Thank you


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jimster(z7a MA)

Jean, you did a great job of describing your situation -- except for one thing. What is wrong? I deduce that the "something which is getting into your yard" is eating your newly emerging beans. Is that right? If so, I suspect that some wildlife, most likely birds but maybe chipmunks or voles, are the culprits.

Provide a little more info. Maybe we can figure this out. You show a lot of good sense in your first bean growing.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:04PM
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The match stick thing is very good... for cutworms. If you have a cutworm problem, then the plants will be nicked off at the base, when you go out to look in the morning. Generally this won't be like half a row, etc. but rather a plant here and there. If you do the match stick thing, you might save some money by using twigs or even pine needles, rather than actual match sticks.

Like Jim, I'd suspect a rodent or bird if you have more widespread damage. Since you say you live in the city/burb, I would wonder about squirrels, evil creatures that they can be. Chipmunks are even worse.

Yes, do describe the damage!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 7:35AM
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iam3killerbs(7 NC Sandhills)

If the tops are being eaten off the young beans, leaving the bare stems sticking up, you may have rabbits.

The solution is a tight-mesh fence (the baby bunnies can squeeze through the 2x4-inch openings on the common, green wire, dog fencing).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 9:11AM
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jeanwedding(6 ky)

Okay all. Thank you all so appreciate responses. BUT NO one answered the part about the upside cut out bottom CUPS.
Can I use them at least temporaraily (spelling)
I know its all of the above PESTS. I found one seed gone yesterday and in its place was a buried BLACK walnut. OHHHHHH Everytime I walk outside those dang robins ,etc are at it too. esp my berry patch backyard enclosure.
Its war now. Hate those blankety blan k squirrels. Course non gardeners think they are so dang CUTE. they are just bushy tailed RATS. LOL. Course I was not laughing yesterday
Naw cant do a tight mesh fence. Remember this is my front yard. I know neighbor hate the look of it. Plus I planted prob soon will be 30 or 40 seeds. Lots have emerged.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 8:28PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Jean, I don't know about the cups. I think cups are supposed to protect against cutworms, (but they may protect against birds as well?). But are you sure the Robins aren't after worms/slugs in your mulch?

It's possible that more than one pest is at work on your beans. Have you gone out at dusk, or after dark w/flash light, and checked for slugs? Slugs can devour many, many bean plants with no sign during daylight hours that they're around. During the day, slugs like it wet, + dark, cool shade. With regular rains, mulch and shade cloth provide ideal living quarters for slugs. (This year, I've killed hundreds in home-made traps and by hand-picking).

A bucket with a few inches of water and a few drops of dish detergent is great for bringing along on slug hunts. For picking up slugs, I use two pieces of wood; half-inch wide is good. I find many such wood pieces in my wood mulch.

If your budget allowed, a nice picket fence (lined on the inside with chicken wire or other material to keep bunnies out) could make your front-yard vegetable garden look beautiful (to appease the neighbor). Some climbing flowering vines - or roses - could be planted outside the fence to climb and spill over the fence. Or runner beans with their spectacular flowers - Insuk's Wang Kong, for example - could be planted inside the fence to run up the fence. With runners, you'd have snap and shelly beans as well as flowers, plus seeds for the following year's runners. Peas could also be planted inside the fence and use fence for support.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 11:43PM
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jeanwedding(6 ky)

Ppod that sounds wonderful. Heck with diamonds and furs etc.
Diamonds etc are not this Gals best friends. Heck I would lose them digging in the wonderful dirt. plus diamonds dont look too good on wrinkled hands with broken gardening , arthritis fingernails. LOL
I will take a nice picket fence. especially with delicious beans and peas. Wow Im drooling now.
Id better get out there with those cups. Yeah I know about slugs. Ive got traps etc from years ago. Been gardening mostly flower for over 30 plus years
Im serious
Oh those Robins etc are after my small bounty of plums, peaches, apples, raspberries. in my small yard. Im not sharing either.
Happy Gardening and eatin

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 12:22AM
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I've capped bean seedlngs in the past with clear 2-liter (or smaller) soda bottles. Cut the bottom off, remove the bottle cape, and place over the planted or just germinated seedling, pushing the bottom edge maybe 1/4 inch into the soil. Make sure no slugs or caterpillars, etc. are being capped inside with the plant, of course. I usually remove the bottles when the leaves are so big they are pressed up against the side, out of concern that this could cause the leaves to rot or mildew.

For two years now this has kept most of my bean plants safe from slugs, worms, birds and so on. I don't think it would stop a cat or rabbit (not a problem where I garden), but if the bottle is on top of them, these animals might not notice there is a tasty seedling inside. Not sure.

The only problem s getting enough bottles. It's not a problem for me since I only planted maybe 15-20 plants, and I saved up the bottles from a nasty cola habit. I am sure that other things would work too- maybe some big 16-20 clear cups or something?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 11:20PM
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If you used the chicken wire short fencing, you could cover it and your plants with green nylon net from the fabric store. I've found it in widths up to 72 inches and its not that expensive. I've used it before to protect sprouting corn seeds and bean seeds from the birds. The chicken wire under it will keep the bunnies, squirrels and chipmunks out. It not only protects, it camoflages (sp?) whatever is under it so it blends in with the yard. Its also good for covering hot pepper plants. Birds love the hot peppers because they aid their digestion system. Oh yeah, you can also wash the nylon net at the end of the season and save it for next year. Don't know anything about using the upside down cups, but I think I'd try fastening a little netting over the top of them, too. Birds are sneaky creatures.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 12:32AM
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Yeah if something is digging up your seeds you planted I would suspect chipmunks or rats. I had the same problem. I kept replanting the seeds they dug. I also took a long black rubber bungy strap and removed the metal hooks, rolled it up to look like a snake and left it in the middle of my garden. My seeds stopped getting dug up after that.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 8:20PM
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