What is eating our plants and how do we stop it?

Asked May 29, 2018, 9:36 PM EDT

There is something eating v-Shaped holes in our garden sprouts. The spots are in pumpkin leaves, squash leaves, cucumber leaves, but especially in our sunfflowers! Yesterday there was no damage to the leaves and today almost all of our sunflowers are damaged! What is this and what can we do to prevent further damage to our garden? This is our first year with a garden. Are there any sources we should look at for information?

Marion County Oregon birds vegetable seedlings

1 Response

The culprits are birds. (The v-shaped damage matches their beaks.)

The remedy is to exclude the birds until the seedlings gain a little size. Floating row cover works well when propped above the seedling and is pinned down at the edges. (Bridal tulle is an inexpensive substitute.)

See “How to Install a Floating Row Cover” - http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS089E/FS089E.pdf.