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Are The Cut Worms Italian?

A new wrinkle in my new vegetable garden: cut worms.  The hardest thing to keep alive to maturity by far so far: basil. 

I don't bother starting basil from seed until shortly before the last frost, when I'll throw a handful of seeds onto a pot of soil and stick it onto a windowsill.  My basement fluorescent light set-up is completely given over to tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplants, and peppers.

Next year, I may have to rethink, so I can set sturdy nibble-proof basil plants into the garden.  Because, like the cut worms, I consider basil one of the basic food groups.

Posted by on June 17, 2011 at 6:35 am, in the category Uncategorized.
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12 responses to “Are The Cut Worms Italian?”

  1. anne says:

    Maybe those worms are Thai :) It would be interesting to see if they had a preference!

  2. We had cutworms decimate our broccoli a few years ago–when the heads were almost ready to pick! We mourned.

  3. Matt says:

    Cut worms almost destroyed all the capsicums at my Mum’s market garden this year. Try wrapping a ring of aluminum foil around your plants; it worked for her.

  4. I had my very first cut worm this year and it took out a potato plant. Sad indeed. But basil starts are pretty inexpensive and there’s great variety available in my area. In fact, I have 3 different starts of different varieties waiting to find a home in my garden at this very moment in addition to the many that I’m growing from seed.

  5. Leslie says:

    I fought cutworms for years until I learned that the adult moths lay their eggs in the soil. Now I cover all my beds with several inches of mulch (I use straw) from the moment they’re harvested. The moths can’t seem to find the dirt under all that insulation, and I haven’t lost a seedling to a cutworm since.

    I’d be curious to know if anyone else has tried this, and did it work? Or have I just been lucky?

  6. tropaeolum says:

    If you’re into pesticide, Slug Getta Plus kills cutworms.

    If you prefer organic, someone on here recommended using the paperboard tube that comes in toilet paper. Save them, cut them in 1/2 or 1/3s and put them around the seedlings. I’m trying this on my bean seedlings.

  7. Sally says:

    Haven’t had much trouble with cutworms but like Leslie, my beds are all covered with mulch. I use chopped leaves…

  8. hb says:

    The toilet paper ring works. The cutworm likes to curl around the stem. The ring prevents it from curling.

  9. Margit VanSchaick says:

    The garden looks great! can’t figure out where the entrance is–please post some more pictures, from different perspectives. For herbs like basil, I have wonderful, trouble-free production in my three elevated 4x8ft. Planter boxes. A guaranteed crop. For, like you, I feel basil is vital for the Summer experience!

  10. Michele Owens says:

    Leslie, when fall comes, I will mulch this garden heavily with leaves and grass clippings–I’m a big no-till, no-fertilize, no-fuss person. And mulch does many jobs for me. Good to know that it even keeps down cut worms!

  11. Robby Jourdan says:

    While on internship at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens in Ontario, we placed a news paper around veggie plugs. The newspaper extended about 1-2″ about the soil and worked very well.

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