Its hard to have my cute little babied seedlings sooo far away - 1 mile away at my community plot! I planted them yesterday and today I worried that I didn't leave enough of the cut worm collars above the soil level. And I worried about the winds. And the rabbits. But this evening I checked on them and all are just fine. They look happy and snug. And they seem to have grown in my absence. A relief!
Yesterday someone left a comment on my post asking about my cut worm collars. He referenced a Burpee collar that costs 3 for $10. It looks cool, but I still like my make shift collars. I cut off the bottom of the pot the plant was grown in with scissors and position it so the top is sticking out but the plant is submersed up the first true leaves. The photo shows close ups of a couple collars.
I hope the collar is close up enough to see. The cut off pot ends up about 1.5 - 2 inches tall. I position it so a little bit is above the soil, maybe 1/4-1/2 inch, the rest is below the soil. It seems to me that cut worms don't really climb, they are more likely to dig. (If you don't have pots you can cut, use toilet paper rolls or paper cups or try the fancy Burpee ones.)
A quick search of cut worms explains that these are nocturnal hairless (ugly) caterpillars that crawl around and nibble at certain tender growing things at ground level. They chop off young tomato and broccoli stems. It is very disappointing to come out the morning after planting and find decapitated seedlings! :(
All of the other seedlings we planted yesterday are doing great too. I can relax and sleep well...