Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cutworm Prevention - No Till Farming Update

I have been busy out in the pumpkin patch this last week.  So far our No Till Farming Method is working just fine.  BUT, I did notice when we were filling the holes with the beautiful composted manure dirt that it had cutworms. Cutworms are a serious threat to all gardeners and farmers.  They are awful, grubby worms that stay just under the surface of your dirt, looking for tender new plants to cut down and eat.

Photo source: Wikipedia
At our old house, I had a serious problem with cutworms and learned this technique to prevent them from eating my plants.  It doesn't kill them though, so as I find them, I kill them myself.

If I had remembered this trick when I was planting the pumpkin seeds this year, I would have saved myself a bunch of time and effort by just doing it while I was planting the seeds.

Because cutworms stay just below the surface, any barrier will prevent them from getting at your plants. So, I cut cheap card stock into 1/2" strips and tape them in a circle.

Then I went out to the pumpkin patch and made a circle in the dirt with my finger around each little pumpkin plant. Then I pressed the paper ring into the dirt, encircling the plant and protecting it from the sinister worm.  While I was doing this, I found 3 victims already.

I didn't count, but I'm sure I had to make a few hundred of these rings. Like I mentioned earlier, once I saw the cutworms, I should have planted the seeds right in a paper ring in the dirt.  I did this at our old place, but the chickens were drawn to the paper and scratched up many of my pumpkin hills!  This year, because of the many predators around here, we have the chickens confined in the barnyard:(

I did a check in the patch today and all the plants are doing great and growing so nice.

This post is linked up to My Healthy Green Family

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