What's eating my herbs and vegetables?

cjra(TX)April 26, 2010

I have a bunch of herbs planted in pots and in my raised beds: peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant. Something is eating my herbs, peppers and eggplant (tomato plants look ok). The leaves look like they've been attacked by leaf-cutter ants. I never see anything on them though.

What could be eating them and what do I do to stop them? I have been spraying with neem oil the past few days but see no improvement yet. I'd prefer to stay organic.

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princealbert(Aransas Pass TX)

cjra,
The snails are biting the heads off everything I put outside. we are having an extra heavy crop of them this year here in Belton.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:23PM
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pasadena77502

I've had some trouble with these fuzzy white catepillar dudes. They started eating the leaves of my lemon balm and my hydrangea until I put coffee grounds around them.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:26PM
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annnorthtexas(8)

I think snails are eating my vegetables. It seems like they come out at night and chew away the leaves. We have them even in drier years. I sprinkled out snail bait and seems to have done the trick. Not sure what brand it is although it was labled eco friendly.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:39PM
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jolanaweb

Ann, we have so many snails, last year, during the drought they ate on all of out melons, they got in from under the melons.
Long ago I was told the decollate snail was a good thing because it would eat the brown snails and slugs. It did a great job at that but no one told me if their population exploded, they would eat my plants, lol

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 12:47PM
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cjra(TX)

So it's probably snails? Wouldn't I see some around? I've seen none.

I think I heard somewhere that beer works well against snails. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:00AM
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dragonfly_wings(Z8 - Central TX.)

Well as I've harvested the last of my greens that now look like swiss cheese, I've found as I rinse the greens in a bowl of water that the culprits are those little green inch worms. Try swishing some of the harvested stuff in water and see what comes off. They are very hard to see.

I'm also going to have to get a jump on the grasshoppers as I see the tiny youngsters are now hopping about. Going to use the bait that worked pretty well last year.

Nothing attacking the tomatoes, lettuce and peppers just yet but am keeping a close eye on them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:12PM
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mrgrackle

Snails are usually kinda obvious especially if theyre doing massive damage. Check around, under, moist, dark, etc. to make sure but you usually see their shinny trails, right?

Ive heard beer works but you have to put out multiple beer traps around your plants. Ive heard to use soaked dog food in piles to distract the snails. I can only think that youd end up with a lot of snails if you actually fed them regularly. Ive also heard over and over that putting crushed egg shells around plants works. I dont believe it. I met a fella on another forum that raises snails. He obliged me and put some snails in a tupperware with a barrack of crushed egg shells between them and their food source. The snails crawled all over the egg shells no problem.

I like this: Garden snails are edible. Many of them are the actual species used as escargot. As far as I know none of the snails in Texas or even the United States are poisonous. They can become poisonous by eating poisonous plants, fungi or snail, snail bait, etc. You just feed them something like herbs for a couple days, starve them a few days and then cook.
Ever since I learned this I havent had any snails in my garden... pity, I like escargot.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 11:33PM
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