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cutworms and earthworms

723 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  CarrieMF
I think I have cutworms. All of my beans are dead and a couple of my corn and pea plants are looking ill, they're at opposite ends of the garden as the beans and none of the plants between are dying.

I brought my neighbor over so she could see and for her opinion she thinks I have cutworms, her parents do and they live beside us but their garden is on the west side of their property, ours is on the east and they live to the west of us. I know it won't stop them but it isn't a direct infestation unless the smarmy things went under the grass.

I was working in the corn and peas today but didn't see anything so I went to the beans and at first didn't see anything so I dug up a couple of the yellowing plants and after I spread the dirt around and watched it for a couple of minutes I could see some very very tiny white worms. The longest I saw was 1/4" the rest were the same size or smaller.

This is the same section where I had my lettuce last year and the romaine lettuce started dying in the same section where the beans did this year. Last year when I was searching through the romaine to see if I could see any obvious bugs I saw a 3inch FAT white catepillar or some sort of worm. I just about threw up on the spot when I saw that.

What is a guaranteed organic way to get rid of these cutworms? I know there is enough time if I planted by the end of June to still get beans but is it worth it or should I treat this section and forget about beans.

Should I treat the entire garden or just the sections that look like they have problems, I am guessing the entire garden.

How long should I wait after trying an organic treatment before going to the chemical powders?

I added borax & sugar to my garden before my plants came up could this be causing some of the problem?

Also it has been getting colder at night, close to freezing could that be what's killing my plants? I tried and my garden is too large for me to cover it all and then I end up doing laundry for 2 weeks.

As for the earthworms, normally if I dig a small spadeful of dirt I see literally 15-20worms. We got a nice rain 2 weeks ago, then it got nice for 2 days and then we had another nice rain for 3 days but then it continued on and off for another 2-3 days. It stopped raining 3 days ago I know earthworms are great for gardens please tell me that the rain and the dirt still being quite moist is why I have zero earthworms. I was digging around in half of my garden today and the 2 spots I used the spade in and I never saw a single earthworm.
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I had cutworms at the beginning of the season and they drove me nuts! I planted about 6 dogwood trees and all kinds of little vegetables and would go out the next morning and it looked as if someone had taken a scissor and snipped the tops off everything!

I was told you can place a nail near the base of a plant or tinfoil because they have to get around it to cut it. An older farmer told me that, but I never did it because they seemed to go after I planted marigolds, onions, and garlic.

If it close to freezing, that may be doing it, too.

Don't give up!
Thanks, half the people I talk to think it's cutworms the other half thinks it's something else,lol. I don't think it's cutworms since nothing is being cut off above or below the ground. As much as I didn't want to I went and got some chemical powder and put it over my entire garden. My lettuce has now doubled in size and as far as I can tell it has stopped whatever was killing it. I am really thinking it was an over abundance of ants.
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