It’s kinda hard to see in this picture:
But the stem is cut just above the soil.
What happens, is, you come out in the morning, and those pretty little seedlings you just put in are cut down.
Nice healthy plant. Laying next to, but removed from, it’s roots.
The culprit: Cutworm.
It’s a little worm hanging out in the soil. It crawls up your little seedlings and takes a bite, and when the plants are this small, it’s enough to chop them down.
Build a fortress around your seedlings.
I used newspaper.
Other good options are: toilet paper rolls, soup cans (bottom removed), small yogurt containers (bottom removed).
After protecting each of my seedlings with newspaper I didn’t lose any more transplants. Before then, it was like 1 or 2 every morning. Enough to decimate a small scale gardener.
Log this as organic pest management.