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Something is eating my chard and basil leaves. I'm not seeing insects or worms but something is eating the leaves and leaving the stems. Some leaves are chewed up and look "lacey" with holes everywhere and other leaves are completely eaten except for the stems. Anybody have any idea what is doing this? I check them everyday and still haven't seen the culprit! Thanks

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Sounds like a caterpillar of some sort. Check in the early morning hours, that is when you might be able to spot them. Also look for droppings around the plant/leaves.

Just a note about caterpillars, they are going to turn into something else like a butterfly or moth. If you have plenty of basil and chard for you, consider letting nature take its course and leave them to finish their life cycle.
Thanks Erica, I go out as soon as it's light enough so I can water early and still haven't seen caterpillars or droppings. They've pretty much done in the chard for now unless they finish their cycle soon. I don't mind sharing and try to plant for that eventuality but will resort to control if it becomes necessary. If I can figure out what it is. I'll try to figure out how to post a photo.
There is actually another way to upload photos, still easiest to have your pictures on your computer. Basically instead of uploading a file, click the icon that looks like a little camera and select the "choose file" option. That way the photo appears live in the discussion thread and does not need to be "clicked" to view.
This screen capture outlines the process when creating a new discussion, but the process is very similar, just the icon that is different. Web Admin

Ted, thanks for the info on the grasshopper. I am stumped as I'm not seeing anything actively eating so this may be what is going on. Will the neem also work on an infestation of aphids? I've tried spraying off with water to no avail and they're destroying what used to be beautiful cucumbers and going after melons. Thank you for the input.
Ted, are you mixing the neem with Pyrethrin and if so would you mind telling how it is mixed and what hot pepper extract you use? I have an infestation of aphids and white flies on cucumbers and cantaloup and really need to use something or I'm going to lose everything. thanks for the helpful information.
Ted, thank you for the recipe. I did see a couple of grasshoppers in the garden but still nothing near the chard but I'm going to have to do something about the aphids and this sounds do-able.
Similar experience. I just woke up this morning to find 3 jalapeno pepper plants completely stripped of everything -- leaves and peppers. These guys were beautiful, bushy 3 foot tall plants yesterday and completely bare stems today :/

Wrapped tin foil around the base of each plant before leaving for work. Will consider this Neem Oil product and/or Diatomaceous earth. . . would like to determine who the culprit is first though.
The only thing I've ever had eat my peppers as you describe are hornworms. Haven't seen any this year but picked a couple of dozen off last year. I was surprised they would eat hot peppers as until then they had only gone after tomatoes. Sorry about the plant loss, think they'll recover?
I finaly did see a large, brown winged grasshopper in the veggie patch. He can fly around pretty well as I was unable to catch him. Now that I think about it, I probably went 2 full days without checking on these plants. Ever since applying the tin foil and chasing off the grasshopper, my plants have not suffered any more damaage. Still need to post a picture, but am now out of town for the week. Will get to it by the weekend. Thanks so much for the comments.
The small birds in my area get a hankering for greens from time to time in my garden. They have been enjoying my basil here lately. One year the birds wiped out half my lettuce. This year a built an anti-bird fortress around my main planting area. I will do that with other areas eventually. Had one system set up but the little birds could get into it so finally gave in did it right. Kind of looks like a chicken coop. Makes it easy to add shade cloth when I need it.
That sounds like a great idea, this is the first year for this particular kind of damage though. I have a lot of aphids on my okra right now, there is a small flock of finches (I think that's what they are) working it over the last couple of days eating their fill of bugs so birds can be a good thing too, my chard and basil are looking much better so whatever was eating it has hopefully moved on. I am going to have to use some aphid control on my melons and cukes or I'm afraid I'll lose everything. Thanks for the tip!


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