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 Post subject: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:12 pm 
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I can't believe the terrible gardening luck I'm having this year.

After losing a crop of blackberries from another heat wave, and most everything else in my garden being late, I was so looking forward to a good harvest from my pole beans. They were growing so nicely up the trellis - at least 4 if not 5 feet tall.

Well, yesterday I noticed about 1/4 of the plants had their leaves eaten off! And I mean clean off, all that was left was the tip of the vine. Then today, I went back outside only to see whatever it was came back and ate the rest!!

I'm so bummed. :-( And I can't imagine what kind of creature this could be, that can climb up and eat all of the leaves up to 4-5 feet high on a metal trellis?!?

Does anyone know what it could be?

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:23 pm 
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I had the exact same thing happen to my peas this year and, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth/yard surveillance, I found out that the culprits were the sparrows that live in our next door neighbor's lilac tree. Damn their oily bird-hides.

So: maybe birds? My sympathies. Growing from seed and watching your plants grow up to be so happy and tall one day only to be decimated the next totally sucks!

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:32 pm 
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That sucks, hopefully the rest of your veggies don't get eaten.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:24 am 
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If it's 4 or 5 feet... deer?


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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:29 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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Oh sweetie. Boo! I have been spending a ton of time at work figuring out how to veganically deer proof a garden. There are plants, scare crows, netting, and combinations of herbs and spices that keep them away. My friend Vic has her son's diapers posted on the fence of her garden-(ewww!) but she swears that it keeps the deer away.

I had a bell pepper gnawed away by what I thought was a slug, but was a very hungry caterpillar. I'm talking a 2.5 foot high plant with flowers! It is so discouraging when that happens, so I feel for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:55 am 
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It definitely wasn't a deer - I have a fence all around my yard. When I first moved in it had a couple holes so bunnies could slip through, and they ate my 1st crop of lettuce. Then I patched the holes and had no problems since, until this.

I also don't think it is birds, since I've grown pole beans the last 3 summers and never had this problem before. Maybe there were new birds visiting my yard, so it is still possible, but seems unlikely.

I think there may be a new hole somewhere behind my shed. Some kittens were able to get in my yard somehow earlier this summer, and we saw some kind of greyish gopher or groundhog thing. So the groundhog seems like it might be the culprit, except that I can't figure out how it could climb up the trellis to eat the top leaves!

I gotta find that hole but I can't get back there without moving the whole shed, which is not possible. It's wedged in a corner up against the fence. I think there is just enough room between the shed and the fence that a slinky animal could get through the hole and squeeze its way along that 6 inch space into my yard. So maybe if I can somehow block that space...

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Last edited by Aubade on Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:59 am 
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I still need to upload my most recent pics (and I have a good one of the nice leafy beans, boo hoo hoo) but here is an old pic of peas growing on the same trellis. The bean vines were already to the top of the trellis, and a few were even reaching up to the top of the fence. Only just one leaf or two at the very top of the fence still remain.

Image

Whatever it was didn't pull the vines down either. They're still wrapped around the metal - just only the vines remain with all of the leaves entirely eaten off.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:08 am 
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HOly cow yeah, it must be a groundhog! I just googled and check out this video of a groundhog way up at the top of a green bean trellis! And that is what the animal we saw in the yard looked like.



Unbelievable! I had no idea they could climb like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:16 am 
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Wow here are some more pics of a groundhog ravaging someone's garden, climbing all over it. I had no idea they were so evil!

This gives caddyshack a whole new meaning.

Now that I read about it, I think maybe its burrow is behind my shed. If I can't plug the hole maybe I can get a humane trap...

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:18 am 
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Though it seems obvious that it's groundhogs, raccoons do this too. Climbed up my grape trellis and ate the leaves on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:08 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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I still think groundhogs wouldn't like the Hot Pepper Wax or cayenne sprinkled around the yard.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:43 pm 
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You can't be mad! It's too cute!


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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:31 pm 
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mel c wrote:
You can't be mad! It's too cute!


That excuse only works the first time. After you lose your blueberry bush, your cucumbers, all your flowers, etc etc, Elmer Fudd starts to become a sympathetic character.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:54 pm 
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It could be grasshoppers. I've got grasshoppers eating the leaves on my greenbeans and sunflowers.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:25 pm 
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If the vines themselves aren't damaged, new shoots and leaves will grow from each node, and pretty quickly too. So there's still a chance for a later bean harvest. Maybe give them a fertlizer boost and see what happens?

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:47 pm 
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Jill, that's great news! I was looking at them today and wondering how they still looked pretty green and alive with all the leaves chomped off. I think I even saw a few new small leaves so maybe they will grow back!

I'm pretty sure I found the groundhog's burrow too. It isn't behind the shed afterall - it's in a back corner behind my (overgrown) herb garden. I think it may have tunneled from there along the fence, under the beans, and then behind the shed though, because my dog keeps barking at the shed every so often like something is in there. The two times I did see the gopher it was because my dog was going nuts - it drives him crazy!

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:12 pm 
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Well, here's some pics.

My pre-gopher beans on July 22nd:
Image

Post-gopher on July 29th:
Image

There are still some green leaves on them today, though not too many more. Who knows, maybe in October I'll get a handful of beans...

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 Post subject: Re: Green Bean Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Also, cukes pre-gopher:

Image

Post-gopher:
Image
That's all that is left of them, chewed tips laying on the ground. Nothing left clinging to the trellis at all.

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