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Tomato Cutworm

I go to great lengths to create the right environment for growing tomatoes. This year I even went so far as to build framed beds so that I could get the soil just right. Sadly, when I check on them I find that the young seedlings have been lopped off a ground level. What is causing this?

I enjoy receiving viewer mail and during the spring and summer I always get lots of questions about tomatoes and how to grow them successfully. Why wouldn’t I, I mean we plant over 40-million tomato plants in this country each year!

It sounds like your problem is the dreaded cutworm. One of the best ways to deal with this is when you plant your young seedlings, just wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the base of the stem and in no time the plant will grow large enough that it will no longer be attractive to this pest.

Now another point I to keep in mind when raising tomatoes is that you should plant them in different places from year to year. For instance, one year I grew tomatoes in my raised beds, the next I grew them along a trellis. This is just one way to stay a step ahead of the pests. I even go so far as to avoid planting tomato plants where I have planted other members of the tomato family, such as eggplant and peppers.