I've got a serious problem with cucumbers at the moment. They've been planted out in my tunnel about 2 weeks, then I noticed some keeling over.
Initially I thought it was root rot, but on closer inspection I noticed the stems above ground were getting chewed through just above ground level. All the vascular tissue is gone, leaving just four 'stringby bits' on the four corners of the stem. Obviously plant keels over pretty quick.
I couldn't quite believe it was woodlice but having seen them crawling all over the stems I know they are the cause of this. Never experienced it before and I do have a lot of woodlice around, every year.
In terms of sorting the problem (and stopping it happening to the replacement plants I'll have to put in later), I'm not sure what to do. I've read about putting traps to collect all the woodlice up and disposing of them, but I think I may just have too many insects to do that with and am not convinced it will work effectively.
I noticed one book said to stop them crawling up pots or benches you can smear grease around the base - is it too mad an idea to smear some grease around the bottom inch or so of the plants?! It seems such a localised problem that a barrier/preventative method would be the most successful. When the plants have got away and the stems toughened up I'm sure it won't be a problem.
Any hard won advice I would very much appreciate as it's a bit of a headache right now...