No matter how many years I garden, I'm sure there will be new things to learn. I earned a new insight yesterday.
First a little background: my brocolli seedlings have been disappearing seemingly from above and below ground. On some, healthy leaves are dropped or gone; on others, only a hole remains as though a mysterious underground creeper pulled the fresh seedling into its dark lair.
As of yesterday morning, two beautiful Sun Gold tomato seedlings, which were hardening off on my porch, were merely stems about 4-5 inches high. Self-seeded morning glories have also disappeared from my containers this year and previous summers. My first thought was to blame the pigeons that spend their days on the roof of my apartment building.
(this photo is not mine.)
Later in the day the likely answer occured: cutworms. On my porch!
Cutworms chew holes in leaves, just as flea beetles do. This explains why my first suspect in damage to my mustard was not visible. (I did not see the beetles on the plants.) They are better known for their ability to rapidly destroy tomato seedlings, as my Sun Golds exemplify. So, I never suspected them at first. I will have to do some prevention. It is time to declare war on cutworms.
Black cutworm corn damage
I'm growing corn this year, too, for the first time.
Advice on Growing Tomatoes from P Allen Smith's site