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Need to find the culprit

I don't know if it's bugs, birds, or bad luck. I'm new to gardening and can't seem to figure out what is killing my plants. Last year it was my zucchini. Had three really good sized plants, started to fruit, then something ate the base of the plant  Right at the level of soil, a clean cut. Each one, with about a week in between. This year it's been my sunflower, and all but one of my bleeding hearts. Ive looked at the plants and there is nothing noticeable, never noticed any sort of bug hanging around, just ants. I live in MD and have pretty sandy soil. I'm not sure if this is enough info, I'd be happy to give more. Just trying to figure out what this is so it doesn't wreck my tomato plants or peppers. 

Thank you! 


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645

    I take it MD is Maryland USA.   This is a British based forum with just a few non UK based members so we're unlikely to have the same pests as you.   I would have thought slugs, snails or rabbits this side of the pond but haven't a clue which critters you may have lurking in the undergrowth.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298

    Your best bet is to find a really good nursery/garden centre and find an 'expert' to help.  Otherwise, Readers' Digest do good gardening books for each country.  I have the one for the UK but I also have a Canadian one which is specifically written for the northern area of N. America. is the website and even that may be of assistance if you don't want tocan't buy the book.

  • SwissSueSwissSue Posts: 1,447

    The cuprits are cutworms, same thing has just happened to 4 of my 6 batavia lettuces.

    Have a look on here

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