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Getting Rid of Cutworms


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
May 7, 2008

If you garden in an area where you have to protect your tomato and pepper plants from cutworms, my husband has come up with a simple and free method. We buy our plants in 6 packs like the one in the photo. After removing the plants for planting, separate the sections, cut the bottom 1/2 inch or so off, Cut up the side on one corner, Slip this around the stem of your plant, and hold it in place by pushing a little soil against it. You can leave them in place for the season, or after the plant is well established, you may remove the collars.Thrifty Cutworm Collars

 

white plastic plant six pack

 

By Harlean from Hot Springs, AR

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January 26, 2006

My husband is an avid gardener, and has come up with a great use for those empty plastic gallon milk jugs. Cut the milk jug in half underneath the handle...

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
March 26, 2016

The best watermelon I ever ate, tasted more like ice cream than watermelon. Sadly, I never knew the name of it. Earlier this year, I ran across a particular watermelon seed, online. The melon was said to have a sherbet taste. Hoping it was the same, I ordered the seed. It's name is 'New Orchid'.

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May 3, 2007

If you start your plants from seed as I do, or even buy them from the local nursery, when you plant them in the ground insert a toothpick or wooden match as close to the stem as possible...

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April 22, 2005

When my father-in-law was alive and gardening, he used to put something around tomato plants and other plants to keep cutworms away. I cannot remember what it was. If anyone out there could help me remember, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Thanks,
AngieFoy

Answers

By ronsan (Guest Post)
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

Could be either a newspaper strip and/or crushed eggshells. The narrow strip (perhaps 2"x2") of newspaper wrapped directly around the stem so that some of the newspaper is below and above ground when the tomato is planted will thwart cutworms because their body can't get a firm hold on the stem to squeeze and cut through it. I also add a pretty good sprinkling of cleaned crushed eggshell around the base of the plant in a consistent circle so that cutworms and then slugs can't get to the plant. Any ground-crawling invader with a soft underbelly can't navigate the sharpness of the egg shell. The egg shells are washed thoroughly with water (making sure to remove the membrane inside) and then air-dried upside down until absolutely dry and brittle. Then lightly crush and store in the freezer until ready to use in the garden. I do this with my eggshells all winter long so I have plenty to work with in the spring.

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By noahsarc (Guest Post)
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

you may use dixie wax paper cups. Put the plant in
the cup and cut off the bottom. Plant directly in the cup in the ground. Works great. Good Luck.

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By Dee (Guest Post)
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

My Father-in-law, 95 years old, has put out a garden for years. He puts popsicle or craft sticks on each side of the plant to keep the worms from getting into them.

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It works! Always beautiful tomatoes.

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April 22, 20050 found this helpful

My parents always slid a nail down into the dirt right up next to the tomato plant stem. We do the same thing. Cutworms can't wrap themselves around and cut off the plant.

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By (Guest Post)
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

I've read that aluminum foil wrapped around the plant when planted at the base will prevent cutworms
from the plant.bjm

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By siris (Guest Post)
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

We used ashes from the fireplace. It did the job. Good for radishes too.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 104 Feedbacks
April 22, 20050 found this helpful

I use 1 litre plastic milk cartons with the top and bottom cut off. This leaves a square bottomless container about 6 inches high, 12 of which fit neatly into a seed tray. Plant 2-3 seeds to each and remove the weakest as they grow. Allow the strong one to grow on until it is well advanced. When its about 4-5 inches high, dig a hole, slip your fingers under the base to pick up and then drop into the hole leaving 1-2 inches of the plastic below the surface.

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This method reduces transplant shock as there is very little root disturbance and the plastic forms a collar to keep out slugs, snails, etc. When the plant is well established the plastic collar can be removed, washed and reused.

Regards

Jo

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By (Guest Post)
August 9, 20070 found this helpful

I put about a 2-3" strip of newspaper around the stem of the tomato plant, at the soil level, half under the soil and half above.

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April 5, 20100 found this helpful

I was always told to place a matchstick (or similar sized stick) against the trunk to prevent the worm from wrapping around the trunk, which apparently is necessary for them to cause damage.

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October 18, 2014

My spinach is ready for harvesting, but most of it is cut from the stem by cutworms. How can I fight the cutworms?

By Damaris K

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October 20, 20140 found this helpful

Not sure about cutworms but this works great on slugs. Just crush egg shells and put around the plant on the dirt. Works wonders!

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October 28, 2010

I have cutworms coming out of my pavers. How do I get rid of them?

By Orestes from Pembroke Pines, FL

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October 30, 20100 found this helpful

In order to keep them away form radishes etc. when planting the garden we put either wood ash or epsom salts in the row with the seeds. Really works.

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June 28, 2017

Spreading crushed eggshells around your garden bed in the spring can help kill off cutworms. This is a page about using egg shells for cutworms.

Egg Shells

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October 28, 2010

Can anyone help with my problem of cutworms?

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