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Friday, April 23, 2010

Gardening woes

~I’ve been working on a post about dealing with burnout that I was going to post today but it’s just not quite right yet. 
As I went for my morning tour of the garden, I found out that some buggers are feasting on my plants.  I knew that I would be searching the net today for a solution so I’m sharing what I’ve found.  If you have any good advice on this topic, please share it with me!  Thanks!~

First, it was the mysterious holes in the soil.  (I still haven’t figured that one out either.)

Now, there are these holes:

DSCN3032 Why didn’t I see these when I was weeding in the garden last night?  Ugh!  I knew to look on the bottom of the leaf and my suspicions were confirmed.

DSCN3036Can you see those little green worms?

Those are cabbage worms or cabbage loopers.  They are the larval form of the Cabbage White butterfly.  More information can be found here.

So I’ve been searching for info and here’s what I’ve found:

1.  To prevent infestation, use a floating row cover.  Ok, a little late for that one.  One article suggests using nylon stockings to cover the head of the cabbage until harvest.  This prevents the worms from burrowing into the cabbage head.

2.  Pick the little buggers off and smash them.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!  I started to do this earlier this morning but I was grossed out.  (And I want to be a homesteader! LOL)  I think I’ll see if my kids want to do this one for me! 

3.  Purchase bacillus thuringiensis (BT) for  a serious infestation.  I’ve not heard of this before but one article said that this is an organic method of elimination.  I also saw where someone suggested Neem Oil.

4.  Dust your cabbage with flour.  The worms will eat the flour, swell up and burst.  Nice visual, huh?  Whoever said that gardening is serene and peaceable never had to fight little buggers eating holes in his or her food.  More suggestions in this forum.

5.  Spray your plants with can milk or powdered milk.  I’m seriously considering doing this.  I have some canned milk in the pantry.  What can it hurt?  This link is to the article that names various types of methods to fight the cabbage worm.  This suggestion is actually in the comments to the article.  Another commenter suggested dusting with diatematious earth.  Of course, be sure not to breathe it in.

So, I guess I’d better pull on my gloves and get to smashing! 

Blech!!  :0)

2 comments:

  1. I know that it is not the best but we use 7 dust. it is a chemical and I am sure there are better more organic ways, I am just not aware of any. we just sprinke a wee littl on the leaves and not on the plant itself. I have heard that flour works too? good luck. let me know what you find out.

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  2. I do start my cole crops under row cover and it really does help, but as they get bigger the moths still find them and I get loopers each year. I use diam. earth mostly. I also just live with some holes in the leaves...that's what I put up with to stay organic. ;-) Thanks for linking to the Tuesday Garden Party!

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