Monday, May 16, 2011
garden pests: cutworms
this year as soon as we transplanted our broccoli, broccoli raab, brussels sprouts and cabbage seedlings, we installed cutworm collars. after two seasons we know (and perhaps we should have known after just one) that cutworm collars are necessary to save us the heartache of waking up only to find all of our brassica seedlings cut off at the stem.
cutworms are active in may and june. if you've been digging in your soil and have noticed a red pupa case, beware. these pupae will turn into cutworm moths which will lay eggs and produce more cutworms. the worms are grayish brown and usually will curl up if disturbed. a quick google search will provide you with photos of the worm, the moth, and the pupa case.
the solution is easy. just install a collar around each and every small seedling that you plant, particularly the brassica crops. we cut up old yogurt containers to make our own. the collars need to be pressed firmly into the soil to make an effective barrier. when the seedling grows and is sturdier, you can easily remove the collar and save it for next year.
by paying attention to the insects in your garden, you can garden smarter.
do you use cutworm collars?