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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Organic gardening in Ireland / Alternative and Sustainable Gardening practices

Cutworms problem


 
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stitchlily
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Kerry

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:40 pm    Post subject: Cutworms problem Reply with quote

Does anyone have a way of getting rid of a large amount of cutwoms, quickly? They have already chewed through a row of beans and peas, no time for companion planting, increasing organic content, and other remedies I have found online...
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Belfast
Rank attained: Sessile Oak Tree
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Joined: 23 Apr 2009
Posts: 296
Location: CSA

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you do not say what one you have tried.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutworm
Pest Control

While there are pesticides which can control these insects, the non-industrial gardener can protect threatened plants (most often tomato, pepper, pea, or bean) by simply impeding the ground-hiding cutworm caterpillar from climbing the plant; they hide in the soil near the plants and climb them at night.

To prevent this, one can:

* Place a "cutworm ring" around the plant. It can be a can with both ends cut off, or anything similar, even a ring made of cardboard. It should be at least four inches high above the soil and go one inch below the surface. Some even use five gallon buckets with the bottom cut out, planting the seedling and bucket at the same time.

* Wrap the stem of the plant in aluminium foil, wax paper, coloured paper, cardboard, or plastic.

* Reputedly as reliable as anything: simply brace both sides of the stem with popsicle sticks, toothpicks, or even sticks from the yard. If they run smoothly up the side of the plant several inches, this apparently stops the cutworm from "wrapping itself around" the plant, necessary for its evolved method of cutting it off. In fact, cutworms do not chew through stems by "wrapping" themselves, so the efficacy of this method is highly doubtful.[1]

or
Hygeia Caterpillar Spray, Derris, Malathion
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belfast has given you a lot of options there stitchlily, but there is one other method which will reduce the cutworm numbers (albeit slowly).
They usually work their way along a row and over a period of days take out seedling after seedling.
When you check your plants in the morning and judge one of the seedling to be beyond rescue due to cutworm damage, then you should excavate it and its surrounding soil (without disturbing the rootzone of others).
Throw this soil into a wheelbarrow and flick through it picking out any cutworms you see before returning the soil.
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stitchlily
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 24 Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Kerry

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the info I found, say they appear in newly turned soil, and you can just handpick them. But this is a large infestation in cultivated soil, over a few beds. They seem to be strangely absent from a lot of organic books and websites...

So, all we can do is collar the new plants, and as you said, do an awful lot of hand-picking...
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