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Blog archive: January 2012

Garden monsters #1: Cutworms

Gentle reader, I’m here to confirm that every garden is a wonderful world of magical fairies, and also… there are monsters. It’s true!

And so I feel it’s my duty as an organic gardener to alert you to the truth of the creatures under the sky, and the monsters that every organic gardener learns to circumnavigate without the use of poisonous chemicals.

Garden Monsters #1: Cutworms.

So called because they cut seedlings in half given only the smallest opportunity!

They live just underneath the surface of the soil, and what they do is eat the juicy delicious little 1/4″ piece of the seedling that connects the upper part of the plant to the roots.


They don’t touch the rest of the upper parts or the roots, but leave them there to go to waste.

Unless we thwart their monsterly ways with Toilet Paper Tubes, with cardboard cups, or with those heat-protecting cardboard tube things on the outside of a disposable hot drink cup!

What we organic gardeners do is this…

1. Plant the seedling.
2. Stick the tube over the seedling (cut the bottom off a cup to make a tube)
3. Watch the cutworms bump their heads on the cardboard ha ha!

(because they’re not very bright, so they can’t get around them)

And then, we take the card tube off again as soon as the seedling is big enough to be un-delicious in the 1/4″ part.

Easy peasy!

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