Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Simply Cutworm Control

Cutworm Protection for Tomato Plants
It's that time of year again!  We go out and start planting our tender gardens with high hopes of a plentiful harvest.  After careful consideration, we select the perfect tomato and pepper plants to grace our gardens.  We plant them perfectly in their rows and wait patiently for them to grow.  However, on our next visit to the garden, we find them cut down at the base as if they are in a lumber yard.  What happened?  Well, the culprit is non other than the dreaded cutworm. A ferocious tomato and pepper plant killer.  Acutally, they are a type of caterpillar, but who cares? They just dashed our dreams of having juicy tomatos and peppers! 

Eggshells around a Pepper Plant
The cutworm stays underneath the soil during the day and comes out at night to cut down our plants. Then, if that wasn't     bad enough, they barely even feed on them before moving on to another.  The good thing though, is that there are easy and nonexpensive ways to stop these pests from harming our plants.       I use two different methods that have worked great since I was visited early in the season by these evil critters.  I have used paper cups with the bottoms cut out, so I can place them around the plants (As seen in the photo above). The cutworms are not able to climb up the cups so they just keep on moving.  Another way is to use egg shells around the plants.  Since the cutworms have a soft underbelly, they will not want to crawl over the sharp edges, so they will avoid them.  Also, the eggshells are a bonus since they add calcium to the soil which helps our plants! However, it would be more beneficial if the shells where mixed with the soil, but that is not our main concern at this time.  We just want to stop the slaughter of our precious plants!

The Evil Cutworm

After all the hard work of setting up our defenses, we should not have any further issues with the cutworm.  We have put up our walls and set up the barbed wire, or eggshells, to cut them down! I hope you don't have any issues with these pests, and you have a great tomato and pepper growing season!  Check back with us on Friday for our Recipe of the Week.  Till next time!

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