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How To Organically Control Cutworms In Your Garden

 

Remember one of the biggest reasons we garden is to grow delicious healthy chemical free produce. If you try hard enough there is usually a more organic approach to dealing with pests in your garden. Spraying chemical's and poisons on your garden can lead to chemicals and poisons leaching into the environment including your own well water. Always research and try an organic solution to your pest problem first. One place to start is Gardens Alive! These folks have a catalog loaded with many organic gardening products. They have found ingenious organic solutions to almost any garden pest you may encounter. I really suggest starting there for answers to your garden pest problems.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way. One method of cutworm prevention is rotor tilling your garden once it has been harvested. In fact it's a good idea to rotor till every row once it has been harvested. Moths come into your garden at night and lay eggs on vegetation. This happens with a variety of moths/pests throughout the growing season. Rotor tilling your plants into the garden soil makes moths look elsewhere for the plant they need to lay eggs on. One pest that gets us here in the sandy soil is cut worms. Moths lay eggs on vegetation late in the garden season. If not properly controlled they can cause pure devastation to a wide variety of fresh tender garden plants. They don't seem to be very discriminative. Taking out anything from peppers, tomato's and onions just to name a few

Another way to control cutworms is by putting some type of barrier just under the ground around the stalk of each plant. This is hard work but necessary if you already have a cut worm problem. Some people use toilet paper roll centers cut to about 2-3 inches long. You will need to make a cut in the ring to get it around the plant stem. Others use wax paper etc. The idea is to create a barrier around the base of the plant where cutworms strike. Cutworms like to saw plants completely off just below the soil surface. Blocking them from this area of your tender plants keeps them from killing your plants.

 

Cutworms also hate moisture. If you have an existing problem you can give your garden a good dowse of water or wait for a good rain. It is best to do this on a cloudy day, early in the morning or in the evening as cutworms don't appreciate sunlight very much. When cutworms surface and they will if enough water is applied you can see their holes. Wait a hour or 2 when the cutworms try to return to the soil look for their tell tale holes and simply dig them out with your hand or a small hand shovel. Use a sieve or other type of screen to filter out the dirt. There will almost always be a pesky cutworm left in the bottom of the otherwise empty sieve. Simply remove and squash those nasty garden pests.

 

Grub-AwayrNematodes NorthAnother organic cutworm control method is using beneficial nematodes. This is a biological method that is very economical and practical for organic and hobby gardeners. Gardens Alive! offers their own branded live nematodes called Grub-AwayrNematodes North.
Beneficial nematodes are microscopic segmented wormlike insects that attack pest insects and all stages of their offspring. They need a moist environment and can be applied simply by adding them to water and spraying them into your soil with a common pump pressurized sprayer. Most gardeners already have a sprayer or two around. Just make sure you don't use one that has some kind of chemical or poisons in it.


Beneficial nematodes won't harm earthworms, birds, plants or harm the environment. They occur naturally, but often not in high enough concentrations to do enough help when we as gardeners sometimes need. Spraying your garden with beneficial nematodes is a little more expensive then the above methods but is highly effective if done properly. It is very practical and allot less work than trying to save plants that are under attack. Replacing plants is more too. You can effectively cover 300 square feet for less than $20.00.
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About The Author:

Written By Steve Snyder

Visit my garden seed website. We offer high quality fresh flower, vegetable and herb seed for the home gardener.

Millington Seed Co
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