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Self-contained Box Gardens: Grrrrrr! What did this to my Jals in an EB?

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
5:52 PM

Post #6448036

Is this cutworm damage? I've never seen or had a problem with them in the past so I'm kinda clueless. Could snails do this? If it is a cutworm, where do they hide? Should I uncover the EB and dig around for them? Looks like one (pic below) will die for sure, the other 5 should make it...if there's no more damage. Stupid bugs! Grrrrrrrr!!

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
5:53 PM

Post #6448038

Chomp!

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
5:53 PM

Post #6448044

YUM!

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #6448047

:(

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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
6:08 PM

Post #6448106

I'm on the hunt for midget lumberjacks! :)
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 22, 2009
6:09 PM

Post #6448110

Good grief, Ray Der Phan! You're critters are even meaner than what I've got up here. I have no idea what could have done that. Cutworms? And they couldn't chew through?

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
6:18 PM

Post #6448173

[quote]Good grief, Ray Der Phan! You're critters are even meaner than what I've got up here. I have no idea what could have done that. Cutworms? And they couldn't chew through?[/quote]

Good grief is right! However, my choice of words were a little more colorful when I noticed it today lol

The mini lumberjack didn't even taste the leaves. It went directly for the stalk.

I have no clue what could do that. I didn't even think we had cutworms here, if it is what did it. The only bugs I've seen on my plants this year is Aphids(tons of them this year), Scale bugs, Whiteflies and snails.
gardenglory
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2009
6:39 PM

Post #6448257

O wow...I would be madder than heck myself. That was the story of my melon attemp last year.
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 22, 2009
6:39 PM

Post #6448259

I just read that the horned worms will eat through stems like that.

Are the "tomato horned worms" going to bother peppers? I found one on an eggplant last year. Chewing leaves not stems, luckily. So I know they will eat on other plants besides tomatoes.

Yeah, I didn't say "good grief" when I saw your pictures either.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
6:57 PM

Post #6448319

[quote]I just read that the horned worms will eat through stems like that.

Are the "tomato horned worms" going to bother peppers? I found one on an eggplant last year. Chewing leaves not stems, luckily. So I know they will eat on other plants besides tomatoes.

Yeah, I didn't say "good grief" when I saw your pictures either. [/quote]

Probably not hornworms. They will eat stems but prefer leaves and not a leaf was touched. And yes, they love all Peppers just as much as tomatoes.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
7:14 PM

Post #6448382

[quote]O wow...I would be madder than heck myself. That was the story of my melon attemp last year.[/quote]

I'm a little mad still but I still have 10 more Jalapenos going in pots. I may replant the EB with more Jals. Not sure what I want to do with them. They still seem to be growing and green(except for one).
fbded
Huntsville, AL
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2009
7:15 PM

Post #6448388

This may supprise you, it did my DH and I untill we actually saw them do it, but chipmunks and squirrels actually eat stems just like that. The eat ours completely
off. Yes they got up onto the EB. We solved ours by putting red pepper on the surface and telling our Alaskan Malamute to watch them.

Annie
gardenglory
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2009
7:19 PM

Post #6448401

I have to use red pepper with the squirrel as well. They love fresh green anything. If I didnt spray the roses along the fence...they would eat every bud. And have!!!

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 22, 2009
7:30 PM

Post #6448445

[quote]This may supprise you, it did my DH and I untill we actually saw them do it, but chipmunks and squirrels actually eat stems just like that. The eat ours completely
off. Yes they got up onto the EB. We solved ours by putting red pepper on the surface and telling our Alaskan Malamute to watch them.

Annie[/quote]

Problem is we don't have chipmunks or squirrels around here. If we did, they would have to get past the 3 cats on the 2nd story balcony.
gardenglory
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 22, 2009
8:13 PM

Post #6448665

A cake walk. Trust me.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

April 24, 2009
7:16 AM

Post #6455637

Garden Glory and Ray: I have my daughter repairing one of the parts of my woodenfence tomorrow, it's coming off on the back and needs wood screws to nail it tightly back on to the post, I'm worried critters can come sqeezing through, thank God it's up top of the fence and not on the bottom.
joy
gardenglory
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 24, 2009
11:16 AM

Post #6455898

I think they climb the darn fence...well maybe the armadillos dont. I sure see the opossumms up there from time to time.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

April 24, 2009
10:28 PM

Post #6458723

Yep possums can climb, they I worry about, but, haven't seen one yet; got more birds this year though, think they are smelling my strawberries and corn?
joy
thistle5
Alexandria, VA
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2009
10:28 PM

Post #6476699

Ray, I saw in another thread that you're growing lots of peppers, what varieties do you have? So far, I've only picked up seedlings of chichimeca (described as 'like a jalapeno, only larger'),holy mole, kung pao, thai hot, poblano, & ancho villa poblano (whoops, thought one of these was a serrano, guess I goofed). I've grown 'Biker Billy' jalapeno in the past, but no sign of them yet this year.

I'm an odd bird, I guess-I love hot peppers, but really don't like the taste of bell peppers, so I don't grow them. But I constantly pick up hot pepper seedlings, as the season goes along, & after the EBs are full, I pop them into the garden beds-peppers & palms are great together!

This message was edited Apr 29, 2009 5:48 AM

This message was edited Apr 29, 2009 4:58 PM

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2009
3:59 AM

Post #6478182

thistle,

Ya, I like hot peppers too. But last year I grew way too many hots(Habenaro and scotch bonnets.) They are scary hot! Too hot for me. I think they are far and away the best flavor of any pepper, but I don't enjoy tearing up while having my nose running for 15 minutes whenever I take a bite of one lol So this year, I'm only growing Jalapenos(Biker Billy's and M's), Serranos and Pablanos for heat. I like the balance of flavor and mild heat.

As far as not liking Bell Peppers...are you letting them ripen fully? They are ok when green but like all peppers, they are best when ripened to the color they are supposed to be. Much more flavor. I love stuffed roasted bells. The kinds of sweet peppers I'm growing... California Wonders, Better Belle, Big Bertha, Red Beauty, Mini Yellow Bells, Pimento, Banana and Golden Bell.

Here's the latest pics of some of my peppers...


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Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2009
4:00 AM

Post #6478187

Here's a few pepper plants...

Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan
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Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 29, 2009
4:17 PM

Post #6479792

RayDerPhan,

Do you do any pinching or pruning to your peppers? I've got about 30 plants, I think, hots and sweet, banana and hybrids that look like bells. Luckily they're not taking up so much space since I can put 2 or 3 in a big pot.

Devota
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 29, 2009
4:32 PM

Post #6479835

What, Pugsley, pinching? Do we need to do that?

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2009
5:15 PM

Post #6479990

[quote]RayDerPhan,

Do you do any pinching or pruning to your peppers? I've got about 30 plants, I think, hots and sweet, banana and hybrids that look like bells. Luckily they're not taking up so much space since I can put 2 or 3 in a big pot.[/quote]

I don't pinch or prune anything off my peppers. I doubt there's really any benefit from doing so. With Bells, I have learned that if you let the first wave of peppers fully ripen the plants production won't be as good if you had picked a few green peppers early on. This year I'm not really worried because quite a few plants have 4-6 nice sized ones going on it's first harvest. If it had only 1 or 2 peppers on it then I would most definitely pick them early to get a fuller harvest the 2nd time.
Devota
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 29, 2009
5:53 PM

Post #6480139

Thanks..I.Ray. learned something.
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 29, 2009
6:05 PM

Post #6480180

I don't know, Devota. I thought I saw where somebody does some pruning on them. But I'm not going to, you never know when something else is going to come along and want to eat those leaves.

Sounds like with those bells, it's something similar along the lines of pinching off the first bloom cluster on tomatoes to get a bigger and hopefully better crop. I didn't pinch my bloom clusters on the toms, either, though, I need all I can get off them.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2009
6:27 PM

Post #6480282

I don't even prune my tomatoes. I do remove the bottom stem and leaves or any unhealthy looking ones. But like Pugzley, I figure the bugs do enough pruning in the summer months :)

The way I see peppers...If the first peppers make it to maturity(Yellow/Red/Orange) it feels that it's done it's job to pass on it's seed and becomes less productive and lazy. Sometimes they snap out of it sometimes not. But if the first few peppers get picked while still green it pisses the plant off and starts making more blossoms in hopes of a higher percentage maturity rate. That's my belief and I'm sticking to it lol
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 29, 2009
6:32 PM

Post #6480308

My little banana pepper plant I grew last year produced more every time I picked them and when it got a little wobbly on production, I'd give it a shot of fertilizer and it would start blooming like crazy and make more peppers, it did that until it lost the sun and I yanked it. Probably should have let it alone and I'd have peppers already if it made it through winter.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 29, 2009
6:43 PM

Post #6480362

Yeah, Banana peppers are really productive. I will be getting more transplanted in the next few weeks. ATM, I only have 5. It's usually the Bell types that slack off more than any other kind of pepper. Peppers like Jalapenos just keep pumping out whether I pick them green or red.
Devota
Johnson City, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 29, 2009
6:45 PM

Post #6480387

That makes sence about picking small green ones. that is what I do with flowers to encourage more flowers but I do have to feed a lot afterward.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

April 30, 2009
4:05 AM

Post #6482741

Ray: Thank you I will try that with my peppers this year, as I just got 8 more pepper plants and two look a little worn for the weather already, the other 6 are doing ok and the 5 I have already planted in EBs are coming along fine. I didn't get peppers last season, they didn't get any bigger; wished I'd of known and pinched them little guys off, I might have had peppers then.

One of my tomatoes hanging in the revolutionary planter (like the topsy turvys') has the same kind of stem damage your plant had; now I'm wondering, how? They are hanging from a 4-armed stand from the air??? Do I know have flying squirrels? LOL The rest of my tomatoes are getting huge and put up cages and stakes and string yesterday and today.
joy
Dorkasaurus
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2009
1:27 PM

Post #6483487

I vote for squirrels. I have seen them eating my pepper plants at the base just like yours. Do not underestimate their craftiness when their goal is getting to whatever it is you don't want them to get to. We have squirrel killing dogs and cats on the premises but the squirrels laughed their way home with bellies full of my pepper plants. To stop them I took a few habaneros and boiled them for a few minutes to soften them up, blended the water and peppers in a blender, strained it into a spray bottle and sprayed my pepper plants. You'll have to reapply after any rain to be safe but it worked fine for me. I've also heard squirrels don't appreciate the human scent so putting a few hair clippings in the garden should deter them as well. I have no hair so I had to go with the pepper spray method.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 30, 2009
1:52 PM

Post #6483567

One problem with the squirrel theory. We don't have them here :)

I dug all around in the soil of the EB...no cutworms. The only thing that I find on a daily basis on the deck is slugs and snails. But they usually just munch the leaves and hide in the EB refill tube. Doing more research, I found a pic on the internet that somebody posted of slug damage to a stem(pic attached). It looks very similar to what mine looks like. I wonder if the snails and/or slugs got to my Jals early on when they were small and tender and I never noticed it before. Well 5 of the plants are standing up, green and growing still. 1 is collapsed but is still growing sideways. I'll probably end up staking him.

This message was edited Apr 30, 2009 6:53 AM

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 30, 2009
1:54 PM

Post #6483574

Oops, I forgot to post the pic. Here is slug damage that I found on the internet...look above the pepper.

This message was edited Apr 30, 2009 6:55 AM

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Dorkasaurus
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2009
3:03 PM

Post #6483859

The squirrels may have come from La Jolla. I've seen them water ski...

Anyway that pic does look similar but your plants still like victims of something with teeth to me... do snails have teeth? oh well as long as they survived. You could always leave some beer out... snails/slugs fancy a bit of the good stuff. I had a Santa Fe Grande plant break in the wind last year. It continued to grow after staking it and did produce a few peppers.

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 30, 2009
6:38 PM

Post #6484669

[quote]The squirrels may have come from La Jolla. I've seen them water ski...[/quote]

LOL! You know what? It's been 20+ years since I've seen a squirrel in Oceanside. Now that I think about it...I'm not sure I ever have. I've seen some in the parks to the east of us but none around here.

Send us your squirrels! SoCal has a shortage :)

[quote]Anyway that pic does look similar but your plants still like victims of something with teeth to me... do snails have teeth? oh well as long as they survived. You could always leave some beer out... snails/slugs fancy a bit of the good stuff. I had a Santa Fe Grande plant break in the wind last year. It continued to grow after staking it and did produce a few peppers.[/quote]

It definitely looks like something with teeth chomped my plants. But maybe the Jals were damaged by snails when they were tiny little seedlings and I just noticed it. I don't know what to think. I'm blaming the Chupacobra. :)
thistle5
Alexandria, VA
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2009
8:15 PM

Post #6485162

Boy, I'd love to ship my squirrels somewhere! Everywhere I've lived (NC, GA, CO, KS, & VA), I had squirrels to torment me in my garden. I've decided I will give bell peppers a second chance & picked up Valencia Orange & Mini Yellow bells, also cubanelle types-Jimmy Nardello & Sweet Romanian, as well as 2 more hot varieties-the serrano I thought I had, & cayenne. I may fit in a few more, as they catch my eye...

Ray, thanks for the offer of the Sungold tomato seeds, but I'm still hopeful we'll get in some seedlings. Keeping my fingers crossed...
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

April 30, 2009
8:19 PM

Post #6485182

They sent all the squirrels to Lake Elsinore, didn't you hear? LOL!

As long as they're not still eating, you'll be ok. I'm sending my rabbit/squirrel (I've seen both out here) to you. They wear Chupacabras' costumes while munching at the salad bar gleaned from the sweat of my brow.

Everybody's hungry, that's for sure!

I've got worms in my cannas. I hate them.

I hope nothing else eats on your peppers, RayDerPhan.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 1, 2009
4:39 AM

Post #6487267

Pugzley: I didn't give the bugs too much lee way with my cannas this year. I went ahead and used the fertilome triple action plus with neem oil right off the bat. LOL They are all doing really well.
joy

Ray_Der_Phan

Ray_Der_Phan
Oceanside, CA
(Zone 10a)

May 2, 2009
1:11 AM

Post #6491075

Thanks Pugz...One more bite would probably do them in. ATM, they are still growing which kinda surprises me. Truthfully, not too worried about the Jal EB...I have plenty of them growing and can replant if necessary. I was just amazed cuz I have never seen it before.

WAIT! You are gonna disguise your squirrels as Chupacabras? That's exactly what I need. I was hoping to add some slimy squirrel skins and Chupacabra droppings to the Pugzley's Mean Green Martini Machine. Might be the cure for anything that ails ya. Ok, so far it's... blended hornworms, Vodka( or your choice of alcohol), minced squirrel skins, Chupacabra poop with aphid sprinkles. Am I missing anything?

BTW, keep those squirrels and rodents east of me. I have enough problems with bugs. :)

BT works wonders on small caterpillars/worms. Give them a dose before they get too big.
Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

May 2, 2009
2:49 AM

Post #6491556

Going to go buy something to kill them tomorrow.

The only thing missing from that wicked brew is a side order of roasted spider mites. Oh, I just read that they can be green in color... I think they are here already.

I caught that squirrel out here 2x the past 2 days sitting up in the grow bags just having himself a ball. He's gotten all my little crops now, nothing left to speak of for lettuce or bok choy. He chawed on one of my cukes today, it'll recover if nothing else bites it.
Dorkasaurus
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

May 2, 2009
5:40 AM

Post #6491941

Squirrels. They're so cute and cuddly. I want to kill them.

I hurt my back last weekend and as a result my gardening is falling behind schedule. I had planned on getting everything into the garden this week but only managed to get a single tomato plant and a single basil plant in the ground. That was Thursday evening. By 7am this morning the stupid squirrels had already helped themselves. They also took my lettuce and chard with them, roots and all, which had been happily growing for six weeks already with not so much as a nibble.

Fortunately the pepper spray will keep them away from the most of the stuff I will be planting this weekend but I can't really spray my herbs with habanero sauce. Then I'll gear up for the upcoming battle against the stupid hornworms, followed by the wave of hungry grasshoppers. Good times.

Is a moat of burning oil around the garden consider organic?

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