I’ve read about it, the grave discovery one day when you go to water your seedlings. Cut, at the base, as though tiny lumberjacks came with a tiny razor blade saw and went on a drunken spree, seedling to seedling through the night.
Our basil fell prey to their weekend bender.
I called to twitter with pictures for help. I naively thought cutworms only targeted tomato plants.
Washington Gardener suggested cutworms and, indeed, their pallet for destruction goes far beyond tomatoes.
Sewn in egg crates and too small to place protective yogurt cup rings around, I found a cutworm solution that would work for the cold frame and I got to work.
How I made my own cutworm no-man’s-land:
3. Bt powder (Bt powder is so handy against a slew of pests, it’s good to have on hand.)
1. Start with an amount of cornmeal sufficient to sprinkle your seed pots with enough extra to treat the open ground within your cold frame.
2. Add Bt powder loosely based on the product’s instructions. I added about a tablespoon to about two cups cornmeal. Mix.
3. Add molasses. I completely guessed on the quantity. I didn’t want so much that it would be one sticky mass, I wanted to still be able to sprinkle the finished mixture. I added about a tablespoon. Mix with fork until evenly distributed.
4. Sprinkle over seed pots and use the remaining mix to sprinkle over the exposed floor/ground of your cold frame. Cut worms travel the ground at night so head them off at the pass.
Since my Bt powder comes in a squeezable applicator bottle, I carefully puffed a little into the cold frame with hopes it will settle out to finely coat everything and ward off any additional evil
spirits cutworms. A little overkill satisfied my vengeful urge.
Be warned: Give a few practice squeezes before using a squeeze applicator bottle on your plants. It’s capable of powder-bombing your target. I usually invert it once then turn it upright and give a light tap to clear the orifice of excess powder.
And now I wait.
Hopefully those tiny lumberjacks won’t care for our cold frame any more.