Have you ever set out healthy young seedlings in the garden, only to find them felled the next morning as if chopped by a miniature lumberjack? I have, and the culprit is cutworms. I spend a lot of time and energy planting and nurturing my seedlings, so it’s worth it to me to spend just a little more time to keep them safe. My solution is simple, effective, and chemical free. I recycle used yogurt containers into plant collars. Here’s how:
1. Take a yogurt container, and plunge a knife into it near the bottom to start the cut, then finish it with a knife or scissors. Your container is now bottom-less. Don’t fret if the cut is ragged, as mine usually are. The cut edge will be underground, and the plants won’t care.
2. With a trowel, make a hole for the seedling, and plant it. I like to set my seedlings a little lower than the surrounding soil surface.
In addition to cutworm protection, the collars offer other benefits. They shield the young seedling from wind, and they direct water right to the roots. Collars stay in place for the duration of the growing season and can be used again the following year.3. Press the collar into the earth around the plant.