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So mad right now! Probably at rabbits

Posted by sujiwan 6 MD (My Page) on
Wed, May 23, 12 at 18:36

I've been growing tomatoes in my veg garden for about 7 years now. THe garden is fenced and there is "rabbit fence" that runs along the perimeter as well.
I just got a phone call that 1/3 of my newly planted grown from seed tomatoes (each a different kind) was nipped off at soil level with the top of the tomato just laying there on the ground. Whatever did it, decimated my paste tomato bed.

I've never had this happen before. To peas or beans, yes, but never to tomatoes. My friend who looks after the gardens says he is sure it must be baby rabbits because he has never seen so many rabbits around as there are this year. Would rabbits chew off an entire bed of 16 plants and go do the same chomping here and there in other tomato beds?

I have never seen any cutworms in my garden...
Will a deeply planted tomato regenerate itself from the stem or am I sunk?
Is it too late to start tomatoes from seed again (Frost/freeze in early to mod October).

Sigh. I can't believe this. I gave away all my extras at the swap.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: So mad right now! Probably at rabbits

was nipped off at soil level with the top of the tomato just laying there on the ground.

I'd put my money on cutworms instead.

Will they come back? Maybe, some of them. It all depends on how strong the root ball is. But it will be slow. Rather than start new seeds I'd root cuttings off the remaining plants. That would put you at least 6 weeks ahead of new seeds.


RE: So mad right now! Probably at rabbits

It certainly sounds like cutworms. But either an army of them or your bunch are super-efficient.

But not seeing them isn't an argument against cutworms. I've never seen any lurking near the scene of a recent crime.

Yes, you can plant the stems. But plant them with some protection from cutworms.

Some people cut a soda straw into short lengths, slit each piece lengthwise, then slip a piece around each young stem. I use toilet paper rolls, cut in half, those halves slit lengthwise, then wrapped around the stem. Someone (I think it was Carolyn Male) places a twig next to the tomato stem; apparently cutworms expect a simple round stem, and when they circle the stem and bump into an obstacle, they give up in confusion.

Does the rabbit fence extend underground? If not, they can and will dig under the wire.

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