loosing 20% of fall tansplants to ?

retired20604(7 texas)August 7, 2005

Planted fall garden about 3 weeks ago. Have lost about 10 tomato plants. The leaves turn yellow at bottom of plant and/or wilt down. I discovered that about an inch to 3 inches below the soil line, the stem is as if it have been bent and the inside of stem is turning to mush, I had put toothpicks next to stem when planted. I have never seen a cutworm nor haave I seen their damage, but I would think there would be outside damage to the outside of the stem as if eated or something, plus I have always thought they ate the stem at the soil line, and as I said some of these stems are bad maybe 3 inches down. The mush damage is also maybe 1 to 2 inches in length. Any help would be appreciated, I have not had a good first year at this. thanks james

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