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Death to broccoli... Empty Death to broccoli...

Post  jbh29 on 5/26/2011, 3:33 pm

When greeting my babies this morning, I saw one was knocked over. It's stem was chewed on by something. I propped it up in hopes it might make it. When i looked at it this afternoon (and after looking online for broccoli pests) I saw the chewed area was larger and there was definetley no hope for this plant. Sad

I gently dug around the plant looking for the perpetrator and found a worm / caterpillar. Anyone know if this is a cabbage worm? I saw that at a couple of the sites I looked at, but no pics were posted. I wonder if I should just assume I have more of these little devils or since my other broccolis look fine is the danger over?

Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. I'm so pleased with my broccoli and I would be too sad to lose them now.

Little broccoli knocked down (I didn't figure out how to turn this photo upright).
Death to broccoli... Img_9210

Broccoli buffet for littel devils... Twisted Evil
Death to broccoli... Img_9211

And... the little devil himself... I put it on a leaf so it would show up better in the pic.
Death to broccoli... Img_9214

Death to broccoli... Img_9212

A last question might be is there something I should've seen or been looking for to know this little blighter was there before the damage was done? I'm going to go out now and carefully look through everything.

I may begin researching natural pest repellants or sprays. any thoughts?
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Post  Smartchick on 5/26/2011, 4:29 pm

Well, I know it is not the cabbage worm/cabbage loper that I'm used to seeing. They are little green wormies (at least the first time you see them they are little and green - the next day they are big and green - no kidding) and I've only had them attack my leaves and leave brown poo all over. I know because I've battled them both the past two years. This year all my cabbage family plants are under a row cover and they are BEAUTIFUL - no holes or worms in sight. Not sure what this guy is. Judging by the damage though, it might be a cutworm. That is one I know of that cuts things off at the soil level. Best prevention for those is to put a "collar" around young plants (I use milk jugs or oj cartons with both ends cut off) to keep them from getting to the stem.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 5/26/2011, 4:40 pm

Jenny, I tend to agree with SmartChick that this is not similar to cabbage worms like I saw in such abundance last year. Shocked

Check this link about CUT WORMS. Your picture of the worm looks more like this to me, and the damage is simlar.
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 5/26/2011, 4:57 pm

Yep, definitely a cutworm. Is it possible you placed your SFG in an area that was lawn before? Here in the Northwest, cutworms riddle the soil under grass sod. They hide during the day, then burrow up to the surface to chew through anything tasty. We have one of those coffee pots that uses small plastic cups of grounds for brewing individual cups of coffee. When I planted my kale, broccoli, etc. early this spring, I cut off the bottoms of these ground holder, cleaned them up, and installed one around the base of each seedling. The plastic ring barrier has totally eliminated previous years' predation by cutworms--and they look nicer than cut-off toilet paper rolls! lol!
For a long-term solution, get parasitic nematodes to introduce to your SFGs. Any of us who have gardened for a few years have suffered such a loss, too. I feel your pain.
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Post  jbh29 on 5/26/2011, 8:43 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote:Jenny, I tend to agree with SmartChick that this is not similar to cabbage worms like I saw in such abundance last year. Shocked

Check this link about CUT WORMS. Your picture of the worm looks more like this to me, and the damage is simlar.

Thanks for this link. I agree, it must be a cutworm.

So, you, Smartchick, & Nonna have all put collars around your plants? I will do this tomorrow and hope there are no more deaths in the night. I have paper cups (and toilet paper rolls) that I could use. Should I put them around everything with a stem? (i.e. tomatoes, squash, peppers, parsley... everything?)
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Post  camprn on 5/26/2011, 8:51 pm

@jbh29 wrote:
@Furbalsmom wrote:Jenny, I tend to agree with SmartChick that this is not similar to cabbage worms like I saw in such abundance last year. Shocked

Check this link about CUT WORMS. Your picture of the worm looks more like this to me, and the damage is simlar.

Thanks for this link. I agree, it must be a cutworm.

So, you, Smartchick, & Nonna have all put collars around your plants? I will do this tomorrow and hope there are no more deaths in the night. I have paper cups (and toilet paper rolls) that I could use. Should I put them around everything with a stem? (i.e. tomatoes, squash, peppers, parsley... everything?)
I would put them around each plant that is less than 1/2 inch in diameter. Good luck!
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Post  CindiLou on 5/26/2011, 9:07 pm

Here is the rings I made to protect from cutworms (the white rings)...I got the idea from Acara.
Hubby cut me 4" sections of 4" pvc and I put them around the plant and pressed halfway into the dirt.

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7255-garden-doing-good
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Post  jbh29 on 5/26/2011, 9:50 pm

@CindiLou wrote:Here is the rings I made to protect from cutworms (the white rings)...I got the idea from Acara.
Hubby cut me 4" sections of 4" pvc and I put them around the plant and pressed halfway into the dirt.

[url=http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7255-garden-doing-good
http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t7255-garden-doing-good[/quote[/url]]

I like the look of pvc rings. Good idea. I didn't see them around your cukes... only your broccoli. Are these the only ones bothered by cutworms? I'm worried about my zucchini, squashes, cukes & mellons. Toms too.
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Post  CindiLou on 5/26/2011, 10:02 pm

I don't have any around the cukes yet. I keep doing a number on my back so the garden is one step at a time right now. Hubby has the rings ready for me. I also don't put them on my plants in the buckets. They aren't in garden soil so they don't have problems with the cutworm. That is what I figure anyway. But hubby has made the rings for me this year so they will be put on. Hopefully tomorrow!
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Post  quiltbea on 5/26/2011, 10:17 pm

I always look for the easy and inexpensive solution.
I put 2-4 toothpicks buried more than halfway in the soil against the stem (right up against the stem) because a cutworm has to wrap itself around the stem to cut it off.
Works for me.
I do this for my broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and anything that has a stem when its transplanted.
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Post  camprn on 5/26/2011, 10:19 pm

@quiltbea wrote:I always look for the easy and inexpensive solution.

I do this for my broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and anything that has a stem when its transplanted.
I've not used toothpicks in ages, I use the toilet paper tubes, works like a charm. Wink
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Post  walshevak on 5/26/2011, 10:24 pm

toothpicks can be added at anytime. The rings look like they need to go in while the plant is small.

Kay

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Post  camprn on 5/26/2011, 10:30 pm

@walshevak wrote:toothpicks can be added at anytime. The rings look like they need to go in while the plant is small.

Kay
I cut the tube in half then cut that ring length wise and wrap it around the transplanted seedling and push it into the soil a bit. After a few weeks the tube decomposes and the plant is large enough that the cutworm is no longer a threat.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1987-03-01/Natural-Pest-Control.aspx
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Post  squaredeal on 5/26/2011, 11:48 pm

After I lost a couple of small tomatoes, I cut a plastic straw into several sections, then split each section lengthwise and wrapped the stems with those. No more problems.
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Post  shannon1 on 5/27/2011, 2:05 am

Since I like to reuse things I sometimes use cans both ends and lables removed. Let them just try and get to my plants through that Twisted Evil .
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Post  Vader on 5/27/2011, 9:09 am

@shannon1 wrote:Since I like to reuse things I sometimes use cans..

Good idea. I was afraid you were going to reuse toothpicks.
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Post  jbh29 on 5/27/2011, 2:23 pm

What a ton of great ideas! Thanks to you all. I think I'll give them all a whirl. I just changed the tp, so out to the garden it goes... I just took our recycling in so I'll have to wait to try a can. Straws... sounds interesting to cut 'em up and stick 'em in. I have toothpicks handy, nice idea for larger things...

I'm heading out now - cut worms, watch out! Mad

By the way, there were no deaths this morning! Smile
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Post  shannon1 on 5/28/2011, 1:48 am

@Vader wrote:
@shannon1 wrote:Since I like to reuse things I sometimes use cans..

Good idea. I was afraid you were going to reuse toothpicks.
Death to broccoli... 889526
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