Bush green beans

sweetpea20February 11, 2008

Hi Everyone!

Sitting at the computer on a totally freezing winter night, going over some of the past posts, trying to keep my mind off the cold and snow out there..."only" 18 days left in February, yeah! I haven't been out of the house since the beginning of January, I think I am coming down with cabin fever!

I used to grow bush green beans every year, until two years ago. That year, although I made several plantings in succession, every time a bean popped through the soil by the next day it was ... gone! I did not think that cutworms liked green beans - I always protect my tomatoes etc., with collars but never had a previous problem with the beans. As I am fairly ancient and really can't undertake to keep planting beans over and over with no success, I just gave up. However, I am wondering if anybody out there might have some ideas as to what might have eaten the plants. Some of the stalks were left behind but in many instances, the whole little plant was gone completely. I would love to try again as I am very fond of green beans and miss the summer treat of fresh ones straight from the garden. I have very sandy soil, but no major critter problems here (near Georgian Bay, Parry Sound area), no bunnies, an occasional deer and bear. I do, however, have squirrels and neighbourhood cats. Also, come to think of it, a lot of birds. Would a bird take a bean seedling? Or are we talking cutworms do you think? (I did root around in the soil near the plants, where they usually lurk, but couldn't find any of the little horrors).

Does anyone have any ideas on this at all? Thanks for your input....

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mariana2007(6a ON Canada)

How about slags and snails? I have lots in my garden and they have a big appetite for seedlings in spring. I already started to collect all kind of tin cans to use them as traps. Fill the can with beer and bury the can level with the ground. Chipmunks, squeals and birds could be a problem too. How about using a mesh over the seedlings?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:06PM
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Hi Mariana! Thanks for responding to my SOS! I do have lots of slugs but did not consider them to be doing this thing with the beans as I had planted them every year with no problems. You mentioned squirrels and chipmunks and I do have a lot of them, plus the birds, as I said. I suspect the four-legged and two-legged critters are the culprits but which ones, I guess I'll never know. I will, however, take your advice and I'll try both remedies you suggest - the beer and the nets. It will be an interesting experiment and I'll leave a small patch unprotected as a "control". (I've been watching too many science programmes on TV I think,lol.) I'll try to remember to post my results later in the year on this thread.

Take care. Hope you have a happy St. Valentine's Day!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Thanks, Kristink!

Believe me, I will be watching like a hawk! The puzzling thing for me was that although I was always able to find the cutworms that were attacking my other flowers and veggies (curled up at the base of the plants during the day) but couldn't find any at all in the bean beds, which is why I had trouble thinking that the problem actually was cutworms. Anyway, I am taking everything into consideration this year and I will be watching for cutworms, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and anything else I can think of. I am planning on putting nets down too - I simply cannot do all that work to have it all for nothing!

Thanks again for your help!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:30PM
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Are you sure you don't have bunnies? I had bunnies eat the little seedlings to the ground. The plants amazingly recovered only to be eaten again!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 7:10PM
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