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How To Stop Cutworms

By Peterthinks
June 30, 2016

I had cutworms killing my tomato plants. To stop it, I did this...

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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Jun 29, 2016 6:27 PM CST
First, what an inventive way to foil the cutworms! I'm admiring & laughing at the same time.

What I want to know is how you managed not to get stung or pricked yourself whilst performing these delicate operations especially prying them open & putting them around the stems of the tomatoes.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Jun 30, 2016 9:49 AM CST
well I know I am too clutzy to pull this off Sticking tongue out
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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Jul 1, 2016 5:25 PM CST
I'd like to know that too, but I'm thinking a pair of disposable gloves might be the answer. Either that or two pairs of hemostats, one for each hand - Nah! I'd still get stung.

I'd also like to know how to fasten the nettle stems around the plants. How about a picture of the finished project?

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Christina
Spokane, WA
Jul 2, 2016 2:53 AM CST
Did the cut worms get stung or stuck on the nettles? Or do you think the nettles are a natural repellent/deterent to the cut worms? I realize the nettles will sting you and maybe the cut worm does too? I wonder if the nettle plants "scent" tricked the cut worm into thinking there wasnt a tomatoe plant? Or that it wouldn't risk injury trying to get to the tomato?
So my question is: Could you take the nettle plant, make a slurry in a blender, strain it and spray the stalk of your tomatoes/leaves so the cut worms wouldnt bite. What other pests would be deterred, slugs? Would spraying the juice around tomatoes on the soil in the evening send those cut worms running? Maybe earthworms wouldn't like that either!
I think your idea was marvelous. It made me wonder about other possibilities. I'd love to hear if you try any experiments with it in the future. And I'm really glad you saved your tomatoes!
Name: christine
Westland, Mi (Zone 5b)
Jul 2, 2016 5:37 AM CST
You could try crushed eggshells, sprinkle them around the base of your plants. They wont go over them, it cuts them up.
I've not tried this, just read it somewhere, but worth a try!

Jul 2, 2016 11:45 AM CST
My summer squash plants were blooming one morning the plants were cut off level with the soil. Do anyone know if that could be cut worms or something else?
Southern California (Zone 11b)
Garden Photography
Jul 3, 2016 7:59 AM CST
I have used the eggshells and it worked. I "planted" larger pieces in the ground in a circle around the plants then sprinkled more for good measure. I replenished every few weeks.

I like the idea of using nature to solve problems. I wonder if soaking a paper towel in lemon juice could be effective? I would put plastic against the tomato to not burn it.
Name: Jessica
Saylorsburg, PA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member
Jul 3, 2016 7:01 PM CST
With my tomato plants I wrap the stem of each new seedling when I plant them with pieces of light fabric, Remay Cloth, netting, etc. With my pole string beans I sink a yogurt cup with the bottom cut out and plant two seeds in each one. This really helps against slugs as well. They don't seem interested in climbing into the cup!

Jul 5, 2016 9:57 AM CST
Here are water to put shreds of hot pepper and a few drops of lemon, leave for about an hour ... Spray the is not toxic but effective .
Or mix of avaunt and calypso (for the plants we don't use in feeding).

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