[CH] Seedlings missing leaves

Renae (rchurch@pscosf.peru.edu)
Fri, 01 May 1998 14:29:54 -0500

I noticed that mention was made of mice eating pepper seedling leaves.  I'd
like to add one more possible culprit to the list: cats. My cat LOVES
pepper seedlings.  He doesn't usually just eat the leaves though - that's
only the first damage seen - he finishes off with the entire plant!

However, I experience outside in the garden is that the grasshoppers are
the most likely suspect.  A floating row cover of remay will stop that (and
maybe stop other possible culprits too).  For pepper plants, I would put a
tomato cage around the plants first, then use the cover.  And while your at
it, fasten the edges of the covers down with rocks.

Just thought of another organic control - heavily mentioned in Organic
Gardening magazine.  While pests seem to be quite fond of pepper plants,
they are not fond of the hot stuff itself.  Use a spray made by steeping
powdered hot chiles in water (about 1-2tblsp to quart of water, I use a
muslin bag for the powder so you can take it back out before using - really
fouls up sprayers), add just a dab of dish soap (to help cling to the
leaves).  You need to spray this again after rains.  If still having
trouble on any plants with any pests, you can make this same concoction
including lots of garlic in the steeping - makes a smelly spray, but I have
yet to find a pest that will touch it (except my cat who likes to eat
garlic tops). (I, on the other hand, am a pest that loves garlic AND hot
chiles.)(Evidently I like parenthesis too.)

Hope this will help.