Salad crops being lanced!

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kermit

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  • Location: Perthshire, Scotland
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  • Small garden, large raised beds
Salad crops being lanced!
« on: May 08, 2010, 10:56 »
Just noticed a lot of my 3-4 inch little gem lettuces & tarpy spinach appear to have had lots of their leaves 'cut' at the stem.  Theres no obvious slug damage (im using pellets).  The leaves just seem to be left lying on the soil.  Any ideas / remedies?

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Salmo

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Re: Salad crops being lanced!
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 15:04 »
It could be leatherjackets.

Leatherjackets are the lavae of Daddylonglegs. They are usually about 20mm long with a soft brown body. They have no legs.

They feed on the surface on warm damp nights when they chew through the bottoms of leaves which fall over or scatter around.

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Bobbeh

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Re: Salad crops being lanced!
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 21:16 »
I had a lot of problems last year with that type of thing. Small plants would suddenly wilt and die and it turned out the stem had been eaten through.

Digging around the area of the deceased plant would normally reveal some creepy crawly, either a leatherjacket as Salmo says or wireworms. It was mainly wireworms causing problems for me, I must have killed hundreds of them last year, and I've got a load more so far this year too. I believe these things are mainly a problem on land that was previously grass, which is the case for me in my back garden plot.


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kermit

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  • Location: Perthshire, Scotland
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  • Small garden, large raised beds
Re: Salad crops being lanced!
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2010, 23:04 »
Found loads more seedlings tonight which have been cut at the stem  :mad:  Pretty sure its leatherjackets as I keep seeing loads of daddy longlegs in and around the beds.  Also, the beds were formerly my lawn (albeit they are 2 feet high now).

Anyone know of a good remedy?  I see you can get nematodes but they should be applied in autumn.  I wont have anything left by next week at this rate, never mind autumn!

Im thinking of not watering at night to see if that helps but I'll try anything!  Even a nasty chemical, which isnt usually my style  :unsure:



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