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Drain Tile Saves Garden Plants From Cutworms
Mike Toppen of Burnips, Mich., got tired of watching cutworms destroy vegetable seedlings in his garden year after year. He didn't want to use harsh pesticides, so he came up with a low-cost solution that makes use of common drain tile.
  "I bought a 100-ft. length of 3-in. dia. corrugated black plastic drain tile and used a bandsaw to cut it into 4-in. sections, which I place around each plant in my garden," says Toppen. "The tile forms a physical barrier that blocks cutworms from reaching the plants. I've used this idea for the past 5 years on my tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, broccoli, and so forth. It really works well - I hardly lost any plants this year at all. Before I tried this idea, I often had to replant 2 to 3 times to get a good stand. Once the plants ĉoutgrow' the drain tile, I remove the tile and store it for the next year."
  Another benefit is the plants are easier to water. "I push soil up around the outside of the tile to form a berm that keeps water from leaking out under the tile. That way I can go down the rows using a sprinkler can to water just the plants and not the weeds between the rows," notes Toppen.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mike Toppen, P.O. Box 138, Burnips, Mich. 49314 (ph 269 673-5597; fordsrule@btc-bci.com).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4