Lintu
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My lettuce seedling blew off at the base???

I went out to check on my plants this morning and one of my lettuce seedlings was gone. I thought someone had walked by and stolen it until I found the leaves separated from the root right at the base. What causes this??? Not enough support from the soil?

mscratch
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possibly a cutworm at work

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rainbowgardener
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yup, most likely cutworms. Type cutworm into the Search the Forum Keyword box and find lots of info here about how to deal with them.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Lintu
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mscratch wrote:possibly a cutworm at work
They're in an elevated raised bed about 4 feet off the ground -- not sure whether that limits cutworms or not. I am very much a beginner.

Dillbert
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>>raised bed

cutworms are not "worms" as we think of "earthworms" - they are actually caterpillars - larval stage of a moth - so they moths may well have laid their eggs in the raised bed . . .

here's one blurb:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/m1225.html

Lintu
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Dillbert wrote:>>raised bed

cutworms are not "worms" as we think of "earthworms" - they are actually caterpillars - larval stage of a moth - so they moths may well have laid their eggs in the raised bed . . .

here's one blurb:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/m1225.html
I see -- thank you for that information. I've put cardboard collars around the base of my lettuce to see if that helps prevent further damage.

Ohio Tiller
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I had sparrows just clean me out this year I forgot to screen them off and the sparrows were standing there waiting for them to grow!!!! I hate those birds!

FaTRippz
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i had earwigs eating all my spinach and lettuce. they love luttce and seedlings of any kind. Maybe earwigs are the suspect, just my two cents.
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rainbowgardener
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I doubt it. Earwigs tend to eat plants from the top down like this:

[img]https://donigreenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/earwig-damage.jpg[/img]

not to cut them off at the base.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Lintu
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Thankfully it was only the one plant, and I can't find evidence of cutworms (looked for holes and all that). I hope that if it WAS a cutworm, that the cardboard collars take care of that!

Lintu
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I did just find a bug on the underside of a leaf, though :( Trying to figure out what it is by looking at pictures on the internet. Gah!

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