Lettuce Plants

Damage to Lettuce

jmad9 added on December 10, 2016 | Answered

I removed the cover from my garden after two days of below freezing temps and found lettuce leaves all over the ground. Looks like they were chewed from the stalks, but not eaten. Same damage to my rows of kale and spinach. Looking to find out what could have caused this (I'm thinking a mouse, but not sure) and if the damaged plants will recover. We live outside the city limits and have mice, rabbits, etc., but my garden is fenced to keep out the rabbits.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 11, 2016

Yes, this definitely looks like damage from a mammal. Any mammal that can get in under, over, or through the fence would be a suspect, including mice, possibly voles, or juvenile animals. Fortunately, leaf lettuce, kale, and spinach are good at growing back after being damaged, and some gardeners can get two or three crops from the same plants by allowing them to re-grow after cutting.

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