My friend Debbie suggested it might be cutworm, so I did a bit of research. Cutworms are the larvae of various species of month. They mostly live in the soil and come out at night to feed. Their highly destructive feeding method is to first cut the plant down by eating through the stem. Once on the ground the cutworm will keep coming back to have a little nibble. This method however does give them away. Finding seedlings flat on the ground, like a wood cutter has been through, is a tell tale sign of their presents. I did notice one of our seedling in this vertical manner, but mostly one day they are there, the next gone.
Based on the wiggly lines left on the inside of the plastic seedling cover, dear Watson, I conclude our suspect has one foot, and a very slimy one at that. But during the daylight hours none can be found.
So instead of hunting them down I thought it more civilised to shout them a round of drinks and challenge them to a game of 'drink you under the seedling table'. Bottoms up snails and slugs.
Look what we got here... a bit pissed are we? Come on it's only 8pm, the nights still young.
Determined to not be put behind buy this little incident, I nipped to the hardware store and purchased some seedling to get spring planting started. Yes it is disappointing, especially as everything around here seems to be getting eaten lately, but we just try, try again. The key is to try something a bit differently. With the next round of seedlings I am first going to grow them in bulk in a large container before transplanting into separate pots. This way there will be more plants than required. I continue to learn a gardener must always plan for loss. And not get to down about it.
Have you found beer to be an effective snail and slug killer? And what’s your opinion on the use of snail bait?