Sickly Seedlings

Last Saturday we pulled two seedlings, one cabbage and one cauilflower, that we felt were too sickly to survive.  We closely examined their roots and the surrounding dirt, looking for the cause, and in particular for cutworms.  The base of the stem of one of the seedlings did look like it had been partially eaten-through, which might be due to a cutworm; although, a real cutworm would have eaten entirely through the stem.  The other seedling had no rootlets -- the fine root hairs branching off the main root -- as if something had eaten them; although cutworms don't attack a seedling that way.  In both cases, we saw no cutworms or any other pest in the soil that could be responsible for the damage.  We were puzzled.

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