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June 18th, 2018

This year has been an especially bad year for cutworms in the vegetable garden. Every morning, I patrol the garden looking for the tell-tale signs that they’ve been out and about. You can typically tell cutworm damage because the seedlings look like they’ve been snipped off at the base of the plant.

If you you use your fingers to make rings about an inch deep around the stem, you’ll find the cutworm, usually about 2-3 inches away from the stem. They can vary in size and are brown, so they can be hard to spot.

This past week I’ve dug up 10, the chickens have been turning them into eggs for me.  This is one pest that can do some serious damage in a vegetable garden. I lost about half of my second planting of lettuce to these little beasties. Last year they ravaged by beans and cucumbers.

Are you dealing with any pests in the garden at the moment? 

3 Comments to “Cutworms”
  1. kristin @ going country on June 18, 2018 at 5:58 am

    I guess you have too many plants to put a barrier around the seedlings? That’s what we always did with tomato plants; we’d just push anything that would encircle the plant stem down into the soil a bit and the cutworms couldn’t seem to get under it. We had some old coffee cans with the tops and bottoms cut off that we saved for that, or I’d use big tomato cans, cut-off rims of cottage cheese containers, anything that would encircle the plant.

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  2. Sarah McCormick on June 18, 2018 at 10:02 am

    We would always put a nail in the ground right next to the tomato stems to keep them from cutting all the way around it. I didn’t know you would find them by digging around the plant! Very good to know.

    Reply to Sarah McCormick's comment

  3. KT on June 18, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    DEER are the pests of choice here! They will eat almost anything if they are hungry. My hostas that are right at the base of the house have been nibbled twice already. You’d think they would be too wild to come that close…maybe we need to get a big dog!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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