The Q&A Archives: Wormy Potatoes

Question: We have just dug our potatoes and noticed cutworms eating them. How can we control them? Can we put something in the soil next year to get rid of the cutworms?

Answer: If your spuds are being attacked by worms, you should plant them in a different garden spot next year (to avoid re-infestation). The larvae of many ground-dwelling beetles find potatoe tubers quite tasty. There aren't any soil treatments to get rid of the larvae, because they live several inches below the surface. You can try tilling the soil once or twice in the fall to expose the worms to weather and predators, and tilling again in the spring prior to planting. The best defense is to grow your potatoes in another garden spot next year, and to cover the foliage with floating row covers to keep adult beetles from laying eggs near your plants.

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