I hate cutworms. One day you set out these beautiful broccoli and tomato plants you’ve tended and nurtured, and the next day out you go to find a bunch of them cut off at the soil line. Scratch the soil and you’ll uncover this fat brown moth larva. Fat, because he just had dinner.

What you do is stick a toothpick in, touching the stalk of every plant. One toothpick is enough to keep them away; they won’t curl around it. See, cutworms are dumb. We’re not talking survival of the fittest here. Grass clippings spread around your plants confuse them, because they’re looking for one green stem in a sea of bare earth. Plants grown from seed are less sususceptible to cutworms. I don’t know why.

About lifegrower

Peter V. Fossel has been gardening since he was nine, and has been an organic farmer for the last 20 years. His most recent book, “Organic Farming, Everything You Need to know” was published by Voyageur Press, Minneapolis, 2007. He’s written numerous gardening articles for Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Country Journal, Out Here, and American Profile among others. He was Gardens Manager for The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson in Tennessee before returning to Cape Cod to start his newest organic venture, Swan River Farm in Dennisport, MA.
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