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Author Topic: What is eating my lettuce?  (Read 2269 times)

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matbat

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What is eating my lettuce?
« on: May 07, 2011, 22:54 »
Hi folks

I have just converted part of my garden (Former lawn) into two raised beds and planted a variety of vegetables.

However my transplanted lettuces appeared to have their low lying leaves attacked/ate by something over the first couple of nights.  The main stems appeared to be intack but the leaves were cut off with some leaf debris left lying on the soil surface.  I had thought this maybe bird or slug, so I covered with a net and used some slug pellets (even though no slime was visable).

However the attacks have continued and I have since dug up one of the worst affected lettuces which revealed a few greyish/brown grubs which I think look like leatherjackets.  Following this discovery it appears the other lettuces are been pulled into the soil and one has been cut off at soil level.

Is this the work of leatherjackets? and what other vegetables do leatherbacks attack?

I have rows of peas, red onions and carrots which appear to be growing well and wonder if these will be attacked now that the lettuce has gone.  However  I am looking to replace the lost lettuce crop and plant some cabbage and potatoes within the raised bed however this time I will be lining the beds with plastic sheet and using riddled soil/compost which should hopefully prevent this issue.

Any ideas/advice most appreciated.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 22:57 by matbat »


Learner

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Re: What is eating my lettuce?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 01:02 »
Here's a link to a site all about lettuce damage. It's enough to put you off trying to grow them. (Please note it's American so not all of the problems will be here in the UK).

Personally I find lettuce an easy crop with few pests or problems. You could try again in a dfiferent spot.

Ma Lowe

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Re: What is eating my lettuce?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 08:23 »
My lettuce was being eaten along with the Beetroot leaves.
I happened to catch the culpit redhanded one morning or should that be red winged as it was a SPARROW.  Pa has now made me a netted frame that is hinged onto my raised bed.
Lettuce and beetroot growing without being attacked now  :D

Learner

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Re: What is eating my lettuce?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 08:26 »
Sparrows are very keen on a little newly grown fresh veg at certain times of the year.  Who can blame them?

I had the same problem with a tray of new lettuce... sparrows nipping into the cold-frame for a snack!

8doubles

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Re: What is eating my lettuce?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2011, 08:29 »
Sparrows are my main lettuce thieves, if the netting is too close to the crop the leaves still get pecked.

pink aubergine

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Re: What is eating my lettuce?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 17:57 »
Sorry to say that if lawn has been dug up for veg beds, the crops are prone to leatherjacket and wireworm damage in the first year. Often it is recommended that you just plant spuds the first year as they will attract these pestsa and get rid of them.



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