What are eating my young bean plants?

JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

As yet I have been unable to successfully grow a decent bean crop. As soon as they poke their precious heads through the soil and unfurl the first leaves, someone comes along and eats them! Doesn't matter what I do, cover with light mulch, uncover, cover with a protective shield a timber frame with hard plastic, even small pots to protect etc. Doesn't happen with any other seed I sow directly. What can it be?


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow Cutworms will cut them off right at soil level. Snails or slugs may be able to take down a seedling in one day/night.

    I had okra seedlings disappear; I suspect birds or squirrels.

    If there are parts left, please submit a photo for analysis.

    If it makes you feel better, I have had bugs take out my plants in the house.

    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm thinking birds. String a light string over them and that should help.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @shllnzl @COWLOVINGIRL not birds as I have a netted garden. I haven't seen a snail in 3 yrs. Slugs could be the problem, me thinks. I'll do some research on cut worms, not familiar. Thankyou.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow Cutworms will be whatever ground dwelling larvae you have in Australia.

    Put some beer out to check for slugs -- it will give you a good excuse to drink the remainder.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It could be any of the things that @shllnzl listed. Your description does sound like your local variety of cutworms.

    I had a sunflower that was a couple of feet tall mowed down yesterday. I'm pretty sure it was a deer, because all of the upper leaves were munched off while the lower ones weren't affected. And the remnants of those leaves vanished, while the lower leaves weren't touched. This plant was outside the fenced area, so nothing would have kept the deer away.

    If you have cutworms, you may have seen the cut leaves lying on the soil next to where the plant was growing. If the leaves have totally vanished, that sounds more like snails or slugs.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow it is weird it only happens to your bean seedlings! Surely cutworms or anything else that's hungry would eat other plants as well. Do you have a different area of your garden you could plant it, in case it is something just in that area?

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    This is why I'm scratching my head, I've tried different places, different methods. It's only bean seeds. Anyway I'm going to try the beer method and hopefully raise a glass!