Hi Charles. My ‘Spring Hero’ spring cabbage were planted out about a week ago at the two true leaves stage, into well manured ground that had had potatoes grown there before. I was fairly confident of limited slug damage but have unfortunately lost a few plants. Cut off at ground level through the stem so that all four leaves (inc. cotyledons) are left lying on the surface. I don’t think this is slugs; any thoughts? Didn’t mesh the plants as no butterflies around for a good while, so only netted against rabbits and the dreaded pigeons!
Don’t have an idea, but did find one of 20 plants with precisely the same damage this morning after planting out in identical circumstances (fresh compost on top of ground previously growing potatoes). I replanted with a spare this morning and hope that no more than two more suffer the same fate (as I only have two more spares left).
Thanks anyway chaps, interesting that you have experienced the same Rhys. I’ve lost four out of forty plants so there will be plenty (I hope!) even if I lose a couple more 🙂 What makes me wonder regarding slugs is that two plants were taken as explained but the leaves then stayed on the surface for a day or two without being munched at all. I noticed that once slugs find a nice food source, unless removed physically, they will just return each night until the whole lot has gone!! No more damage last night though…..maybe that was due to the ‘super moon’!
Cockchafer grubs do this and you can often find the culprit by scratting in the soil where the damage is. It may just be one individual but they can demolish quite a few small plants. I had this problem when I planted some calabrese and winter cabbage in June, fortunately I only lost a few plants and the rest grew away well.