Ugh! The cutworms are my nemesis! I spread cornmeal for them when we had dry weather and the damage stopped. Now it's been wet off and on and I went out and found 3 potatoes cut clean down....2 with flowers on them.
it's been happening every day!
I planted 32 tomato plants. I went out and found one missing. I replaced it....The next day it's gone. I replace it and two days later it's gone! Come on!
I never got to have lettuce just when I was thinking I would harvest the next day....Something had nibbled part of every plant!
I just don't know what to do this year!
The cutworms are the ones that can just disappear your little seedlings like that. If you are having that kind of trouble, just plant them with a collar around them, like this:
Luckily, it's easy to prevent cutworm damage when you're setting out your plants. The simplest way is to wrap the seedling stem with 2- to 3-inch strips of newspaper. You can also make a collar from a paper cup with the bottom cut out, a strip of cardboard or a tuna can with both ends removed.
Cutworms chew stems right at ground level, just above it or just below. In order to make your collar an effective barrier, place it so it extends 1- to 2-inches below and 1- to 2-inches above the soil surface. A strip of newspaper will last long enough to keep the damaging cutworms away from your younger plants without interfering with their growth. Paper cups, cardboard or tin can collars can be left around the plants all season. Some gardeners place a pencil-thick stick or nail next to the stem of the transplant. Cutworms need to encircle the transplant to cut it off and this simple trick prevents them from getting around the stem.