Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Something's Eating My Sunflower Leaves

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Home & Family » Gardening Group Donate to DU
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-06-05 05:17 PM
Original message
Something's Eating My Sunflower Leaves
Hello!

I love this group! Hubby and I live in a rental house and for the first time ever we've been able to garden, having a yard and all. It's SO fun!

Anyways, I have planted, from seed, some of those gigantic sunflowers along the fence of our yard. Right now, the plants are about knee high and very healthy and vigorous, but something is eating their leaves. I have checked out the leaves and don't see any bugs on them, and I haven't seen anything on the leaves....I'm out of school for the summer and am always out in the yard.

I don't want to use pesticides for a variety of reasons, and didn't know if there was anything 'natural' I could use to deter pests from munching my plants.

BTW--all my other plants--tomatoes, garlic, strawberries, peppers...none of them have been eaten at all...they're in all perfect condition.

THanks!

hed
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
ebayfool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-05 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Have you checked them in the evening or early morning? Sometimes
I have wee caterpillars (& some not so wee!) that I'm only able to visually spot in the evening or cooler hours. You can also look on the leaves for little dark specks (kinda like course ground pepper?) on the leaves - while their feeding they poop sprinkles that fall on the leaves below them. Without seeing the damage it's kinda hard to guess what has taken up dining on them, though.

Yes, I'm one of the nutcases that visits my garden in the middle of the night w/a flashlight - sue me ... I'm harmless! LOL!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Blue Gardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-05 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've had this problem before
I can't be sure, but I think it was those nasty big black ants eating mine. Have you seen any around?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-05 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. There are several good organic "pesticides"
which you can spray without fear. Try:

- Orange oil
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_org_research.php?id=38
- Garlic / pepper tea
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=155

Add Garrett Juice for fertilization:
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/view_question.php?id=156
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Oh wow! those look great!
I thought it was going to be links to commercial products--I SUPER like the fact that I can make them at home...in fact, I'm off to the store now to make the orange oil spray to see if that works first.

Thanks SO much!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-07-05 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
4. deer?
they ate mine last year
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. No, no deer
Live in a neighborhood. I'd die if I saw a deer here!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-09-05 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Hi Everyone! SOrry for posting and running
I had to go out of town for a few days.

I think the culprits are ants. When I've watered the plants, I see one or two ants on the leaves. They're not huge ants, just look like regular run of the mill ants.

Thanks for the link to the pesticides. My yard is heavily visited by a variety of birdies...these won't hurt my birdies, will they? (I guess there would be info about that at the links)

Thanks so much!

hed
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-05 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. They could be Argentine Ants
Unless you're too far north for them. I had them on my sunflowers last year. They are the kind of ants that keep aphids or scale bugs and "milk" them like little cows. The ants will actually carry them to the plants and defend them from other bugs! The aphids or scale bugs will damage and eat little holes and such in the leaves. Check the bottoms of the leaves for aphids or scales. Lots of pesticides will kill the aphids/scales but the ants are harder to get rid of and will replenish their "stock" if you kill them. I put out ant traps. It was the only way I could get the whole situation under control. Hopefully, they aren't your problem. Good luck.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. what do aphids look like?
The leaves just have these big hols on them..not necessarily near the edge, but like, in the middle too.

They seem to be doing okay dispite, though. When I wrote this post a week or so ago, the sunflowers were only up to my knee...today they touch the bottom of my armpit, so they're growing rather, er, quickly.

But I've never seen an aphid, although I've read about them. Can you see them with your eyes? Magnifying glass? I looked through the mag glass and didn't see anything anywhere
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Aphids are visible
They're about the size of a pin head and can be pale green or black or brown. They usually feed on the younge4st, tenderest stems and buds, sucking the juices out of them. The holes in your leaves sound more like slug damage. They can easily be dislodged with a spray of water from a hose.

Sluggo, an iron phosphate compound that's nonhazardous to pets, works well. It's also sold as Escar-Go.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I thought about slugs
I've not seen any slug trails around them, but my husband found a few slugs under a flower pot the other day.

I'm gonna look into Sluggo and Escar-Go (I just love those names!). I remember when I was little my grandad used to put out plates of beer to kill the slugs. Would that work in the meantime? (I'm a poor student and generally have to 'budget in' anything that isn't a necessity, ya know)

Thanks so much. Everyone in this group has always been so helpful and more than willing to answer my silly "oh that's *so* common sense" gardening questions.

You all ROCK ASS!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Beer works fine
Just pour it in a bowl deep enough to drown them.
At least they die drunk and happy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-05 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Wow! Beer really DOES work
I had some left-over cat food cans and I put 2 of them out by the most eaten patch of sunflowers and yikes! The next morning they were full with nasty little creepy crawly uuuuggh! I hate creepy bugs!

But I don't know if they're slugs. They're about 1/2 inch long (or smaller...I'm not good with sizes ((which pleases my husband har har))) and brown and have 3 body parts (head, middle, butt). THey're brown and almost look like tiny skinny roaches, but I don't know. I do know that on 4th of july we were sitting on the porch drinking some beer and I looked down and one of them was crawling into my glass! GROSS!!1

I've found some of these brown things on my sunflowers first thing in the morning (they're gone by the time the sun comes out). I'm afraid I'll be totally grossed out if I look for what the bugs are online :) so I don't wanna look---

but whatever they are, the beer is certainly attracting them and killing them in great numbers.

BEER ROCKS! for more than one reason
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-05 02:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. I doubt it is ants
Ants are usually along for the ride after aphids, as the poster pointed out above.

If you need to call out the organic "big guns," order Bullseye from Gardens-Alive.


Cher
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
diplomats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-30-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Here are two more Hot Pepper Sprays FYI:
Hot Pepper Spray using fresh hot peppers:

Blenderize 2 cloves of garlic and 1 hot pepper in a pint of water. Strain; add 2 drops of vegetable oil and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Shake well and spray on the plants you wish to protect from pests: Japanese beetles, rabbits, you name it.



Hot Pepper Spray using dried peppers (I buy a big bottle of McCormick crushed dried pepper at Costco):

Mix 2 Tbsp red pepper with 6 drops dishwashing liquid into 1 gallon of water, let it sit overnight, then stir to dissolve thoroughly. Protects brassica (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) from pests.

(I found that I had to strain this mixture because the hot peppers didn't dissolve overnight.)

You will have to reapply these after a rain, but they're safe for the environment.

O8)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BronxBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Add a little Pyola Oil to the mix
helps it to stand up to the rain a little better
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-05 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. What is Pyola Oil?
I've never heard of that!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Oh! Super
I haven't made the other sprays (too much going on this summer!) but I really want to.

Thanks for the recipes!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
19. around the edges in big chunks? or holes in the interior of the leaf?
the edge eaters are grasshoppers and the holes are caterpillars.

Both respond to BT--get the leaves early, before you see the holes, if you can next year.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Oct 25th 2014, 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Home & Family » Gardening Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC