Tomato plant stems cut off 18 inches above ground

Question From: S. Schlichter - San Mateo, California, United States
Q: I'm pretty sure I have cutworms that have attacked some bean plants. I've sprayed and put cardboard collars on which so far has stopped their attack. However I have 3 tomato plants that have 45 degree cuts on their stems one of which is at a point 1 1/2 ft high on the plant. These large stems cut off are nowhere to be found. This happened over night. Any thought of what it could be? These plants are not near the affected beans.

A: My only thought could be raccoons. If you have sprayed the plants with any organic stuff that has fish, kelp or other stuff they consider tasty, they will eat it. This has happended to me, Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.

Comment: I'll put out a trail cam to see if it can spot a racoon or rabbit. First time I tried this I got nothing, but no plants were attacked that night. Cutworms still are active on my beans. I've put on some spray, and cornmeal around the plant, and have tp rolls as collars on some, but they still have gotten some plants. Any good ideas to get rid of them? Thanks.

Response: Steve, I would spray the plants with AzaMax. It's an organic product that is OMRI listed. Made of azadiractin from the Neem tree, it's an anti feedent not a poison. Not cheap, but it works. The paper rolls protect the plants, but the worms persist. They will be back next spring. Get rid of them now. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy