Re: [gardeners] cutworms

William McKay (
Mon, 08 Mar 1999 11:11:46 PST

I make collars.  I cut something (old file folders, old newspaper, etc  
about 14 inches long and 2 inches wide. (One year I even used some old 
black felt roofing paper;  worked great except it did not breakdown)   
Scoop out some soil around the plant to make a circle maybe 5 or six 
inches in diameter.  Put the collar in the hole, lapping it slightly, 
and put the soil back around.  End result is a collar down about 1 inch 
in the soil with a bit sticking up.  Seems to work fine.  Only problem 
is what if you trap a cutworm inside the collar.  It chops off the 
plant, but at least he can not move to the next one.  I always keep a 
few extra plants to take care of these guys.  

Bill McKay in E. Mass (where the soil under the snow has thawed out, 
>Okay, let's go back to garden fundamentals.  How do you foil cutworms?
>Many people put a nail or a toothpick adjacent to the stem of a 
>and claim that deters cutworms.  I've always wondered about this 
because it
>would require the cutworm circling the seedling to see if there was
>something that would prevent his chewing all the way through the stem.  
>talked to Dr. Bob Stoltz, Extension entomologist in Twin Falls, Idaho, 
>week about this, and he said to the best of his knowledge, that was not
>indicative of cutworm behavior.  He thought people who deterred 
>with the use of toothpicks or nails had just been lucky.  
>You can't use toilet paper rolls because a)you'd risk trapping the 
>inside the roll, and b)they deteriorate quickly anyway.  Paper cups 
>trap cutworms inside, too.  
>I have split sections of drinking straw and fastened those around 
>stems, but it's difficult to do that without injuring the seedling.  So 
>interested in what the rest of you gardeners do about cutworms.  
Margaret L

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