So what really ate my cucumber seedlings??

June 28, 2016
last modified: June 28, 2016

I started a thread earlier this month about slugs, since I thought that was what was destroying my cucumber seedlings. The damage I am seeing, however, doesn't look anything like that from a slug, so I am puzzled. The damage occurs both during the day and overnight; sometimes only the stem is left sticking up from the dirt, sometimes just a leaf or two have been chomped on, sometimes an entire leaf has been removed from the stem and is just lying there on the ground.

The other odd thing is that the seedlings (which include lettuce seedlings) and plants in the rest of my beds are untouched - knock on wood. I have a cucumber cultivar (Lemon Cucumbers) planted in another raised bed, quite close to this one, actually, and those seedlings are fine, thus far. Whatever it is, is determined that I not have any grown-from-seed-I-planted cucumbers in this particular bed, though they seem to have given up on destroying my Homegrown Pickles. I planted some cucumber starts in this bed, after replanting the seeds for the second time with the same dismal results - seedlings one day, gone the next.....they are of no interest to this beastie.

I am pretty sure this is being done by an animal with 4 legs, not an insect. There are rabbits in the neighborhood. Though I was sure that having the scent of my four dogs in the yard would make them steer clear of MY garden, lol, I am probably delusional! So, is it rabbits? If so, they don't actually seem to EAT the leaves every time, just bite them and break them off, but they keep coming back to do it again, and leave everything else in the veggie garden alone.

Anyway, I won't be direct seeding cucumbers next year. Sigh.

Here are some photos:

I am sure this is not a mystery to others here; please let me know what is systematically destroying my seedlings!


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