Few sights are more infuriating to a gardener than gnawed-off touches of vegetation or plants that gradually wither afterwards damaged by insects. Careful assessment of both your garden and your plants may help determine whether crops like broccoli and sunflowers were broken by animal or insect pests and in that case, the kind. Although broccoli is most vulnerable to bugs and sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) To birds, garden predators could be unpredictable. Search for paw prints, bird droppings, holes in leaf, dirt tunnels and nearby trampled vegetation for clues about what is eating your plants and how you can stop the damage.
Common Broccoli Pests
Among the insects most likely to munch on broccoli are cutworms, cabbage worms, root maggots and aphids. Cutworms feed on young crops, cutting seedlings just below the soil surface. In case your new broccoli plants suddenly wilt and die, cutworms could possibly be the culprit. Such as cutworms, root maggots attack broccoli plants from below the dirt and leave them vulnerable to infection. Above ground, cabbage worms feed on young and maturing plants, as do aphids. If the damage is more extensive, chances good that an animal like a rabbit, a gopher or even a deer is chomping on broccoli foliage and the broccoli heads.
Common Sunflower Pests
It is not difficult to analyze the issues of sunflowers, which suffer from minimal insect damage. Birds are the biggest threat to this tall flowers. If petals are lost and seed heads are extensively pecked, birds likely ransacked the big heads for their seeds. If, on the other hand, young lawns are severed or extensively chewed, then bigger pests such as deer or rabbits are very likely to blame. Aphids also may be a problem; assess leaves and stalks for wilting, sticky holes and release in the greenery.
A fence is the most obvious system to protect against animal pests like rabbits and deer. Bury the fence at least 12 inches underground to deter burrowing animals, and ensure it is at least 4 feet tall above ground to foil deer. Covering the flower heads with cheesecloth, big paper bags as well as pantyhose keeps sunflower seeds protected from birds while the flowers mature.
Insect Pest Protection
Spraying broccoli and sunflower plants with water from a hose may be effective in getting rid of aphids. A collar of aluminum foil placed around young plants can keep cutworms from reaching exposed stems. Floating row covers over broccoli and youthful sunflower plants wards off flying insects like aphids and cabbage flies, which lay origin maggot eggs. Hand-picking slugs, caterpillars and other crawling insects also can do to mitigate damage.