Garden Battle #1

If we are Facebook friends you may have seen a couple of posts yesterday and today about some uninvited visitors to my garden.

How about I just show you a few pictures.

Front yard flower & veggie garden
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Here’s my growing front yard flower & veggie garden

Oh Look! Lovely Lettuce!
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Oh Look! Lovely Lettuce!

Bronze Beauty & Red Romaine
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Bronze Beauty & Red Romaine Lettuce

Now, let’s look at this beautiful lettuce from above (picture taken this morning)…

Where did it go? Ahhhhhhh, NOOOOOO!
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Where did my lettuce go? And what is that nasty black stuff!??

Cutworms

I’ve learned a lot about these nasty boogers in the past two days. I know that they devoured half of my lettuce in less than 24 hours. I know that they burrow underground for the winter and then come back out of the ground in the spring. They devour soft greens (like lettuce!) quickly, efficiently, and with an insatiable appetite. They eat for only a few days and then prepare for their cocoon stage before becoming a moth.

My father and a good friend basically told me to get them out…now, before they eat my entire garden!

Okay!

What I Did

I sprayed all around my lettuce with a mixture of…

Do you think I covered all bases? Oh wait…then I put organic coffee grounds on the ground around my lettuce.

Finally, I went through and handpicked them all off. This took about an hour.

How many cutworms do you think I found?

48.

48 nasty, creepy, crawly, pooping cutworms.

I’ll be back out early tomorrow morning…ready for battle again, if necessary.

So, the current score is Jess = 1 & Cutworms = 0.5 (since they ate half of my lettuce).

If they come back, what other organic tips do you have for me?? I am all ears.

Until next time…

xoxo,
Jess, aka Scratch Mommy

Comments 14

  1. Yuck!! I’m glad you got them all off, but your poor lettuce!!! I guess they have to eat too. :/

  2. Oh boy! What a bummer:( sounds like you did everything and then some I’ve heard some use the empty egg shells but who knows if that will attract raccoons or possum so I think you did all you could at this point. Make sure to check late in the day too around dusk continue to look for larva. It really hurts to see the damage they caused, your garden is stunning so hang in there, you have plenty of time to sow more lettuce seed once you get your soil cleared up.

  3. Good stuff 🙂 just a friendly reminder to be careful with the diatomaceous earth as it will kill bees and other garden helper bugs. Your garden looks beautiful! Cheers

  4. Oh so gross! Hand pick, yuk! I know, had to be done. The only time I had a work issue that I saw was she I grew heirloom tomatoes then had huge horn worms. Have not noticed them with newer varieties.

  5. Oh wow—yeah! Do you have chickens? Those cutworms would be a fantastic treat! You *could* let chickens loose in your garden, but they might love the tender lettuce along with the cutworms, honestly!

    I just watched a video where P. Allen Smith dusted DE (or actually, it was a product that is by a sponsor of his, but it’s essentially DE) right on the plants with a metal sieve. I think I’m going to try this on anything that I see an aphid problem on. It will make my garden look ugly for a time, but it might save my harvest!

    Thanks for sharing this with me, by the way—great post!

    1. tried to find that video and I am not having any luck. DE is good stuff from keeping bugs away. If you have a link for the video can you share please? Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Using Diatomaceous Earth on the Homestead - The Mind to Homestead

  7. I picked the same amount of slugs and snails out of my garden yesterday. It was disgusting! I finally found an easy way to grab them though…I used chopsticks! I didn’t have to bend down as far, easy to grab and no gross slim. Worked great! I have a “cheater” pair of chopsticks that are like a giant clothes pin but I think wrapping a rubber band around and in between the top works the same way. Good luck in your fight with the cut worms!

  8. Pingback: Garden Planning 2014 - Solid Gold Eats

  9. Im not sure we have anything quite that gross or destructive in Australia, but we have some real whoppers here – Lupa’s is a big problem for us (white cabbage moth in their caterpillar stage), and I wrote a whole list of nice, easy, organic solutions to pests over on my blog! http://bit.ly/1mxWvO7

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