Pests of Seedlings and Transplants

pests, seedlings

Cut worms of which there several species, are mostly soil dwelling, fleshy, and like a caterpillar. They will curl up when touched. Most are night feeders, destroying by cutting stems off at or just below the soil surface. A few species climb plants to eat foliage or fruit. The adult is the often seen as the moth attracted to outdoor light. Controls: keep the area weed free, hand pick them when seen; create a physical barrier with milk cartons or tin cans around new transplants.

Damping-off/Seedling Blight is caused by fungi that can survive in a wide range of conditions. Seedlings both fail to emerge or become stunted and collapse before the first leaves unfold. Sometimes plants survive but are left with a scar at soil level, known as ‘wirestem.’ Controls: avoid over watering; use sterilized pots and growing medium.