My brassica are under attack!

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by fruit fly, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. fruit fly

    fruit fly Junior Member

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    Gday,
    I have just noticed my Cauliflower,Broccoli,Cabbage seedlings are being eaten alive by little green caterpillars.
    They have eggs on the underside of there leaves.I think maybe caused by the White Cabbage moth?
    Anybody had any exprience or any advice how to combat this enemy?
    thanks heaps
    fruit fly
     
  2. Hamishmac

    Hamishmac Junior Member

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    Hi fruit fly,

    You've just found the reason that I've all but given up on bassicas here in SE Qld...beautiful one day, decimated the next :( .

    Affected plants can recover if not too small, but yields are way down and the crop looks far from tasty or appealing. Some just die as the central growth point turns into a stinky mess.

    I've tried: hosing off the eggs, trimming off affected parts, physical squishing, hiding brassicas among other plants, a sacrificial crop elsewhere, chilli spray and Dipel, ie everything non-toxic I could think of short of netting off or shadecloth. All helped a bit, but took so much time and hassle that I just gave up on brassicas.

    A virtual Nobel Prize in Permaculture for a reliable, non-toxic, cost-effective SE Qld solution is on offer.

    Best of luck.

    Hamish
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    g'day f/f,

    we don't know where abouts you are?

    but it is a little early in the season for brassicas here in qld, though i will be planting mine in the next 2 weeks time, i will be covering mine with mossy net until the cabbage moth has gone for the new season. also i have some remedies posted on our remedies page on our site, yo may like to try them? w also do early morning safaris,as when the grubs first hatch they are all in one spot on single leaves the is whne we cut away that section of leaf and throw it into the middle of the yard where the sun will cook them.

    len
     
  4. fruit fly

    fruit fly Junior Member

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    Thanks for the replies fella's,
    i live in the New England northern NSW. This was my first go at a winter garden so I wasnt sure when to sow brassica.
    Will they still germinate when the heavy frost start's(already had one in the area)?
    Also are the moths as active in the winter months(I hope not!)
    My only defence so far is to rub the eggs & grubs off the leaves but its a bit disheartning when more moths are already landing on the plants behind me that ive just freshly cleaned :evil:
    Will replant an give the ideas that are above a shot & if I come up with a noble prize winner of an idea for the problem I be sure to post it.
    thanks again :D
    fruit fly
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    unless you get a diffrent moth?? ours stop when the cooler months arrive prob' around april onward. if covering is out of teh question yu coud try making effigies of teh moths out of white plastic icecream containers hang these from cane stakes over and about the garden use fishing line so they move in the breeze.

    len
     
  6. shirl-baby

    shirl-baby Junior Member

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    I have covered my brocillies, kale and silver beet in a two dollar mozzie net from the op shop, just put 6 tomatoe stakes in and and there you go no need for pesticides and the bugs and hoppers cant get through, i should get one season out of it anyway and its even cheaper than pesticides. I planted the seedlings out two weeks ago and they are booming, worth a try, mine works. :D
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    I think a cabbage white moth butterfly can smell any Brassicas spp. from 1,000K away.
    You only have to open the seed packet and they start sharpening their knives

    The OLD Organic Gardener's Way of dealing with them was to put any sick, dead ones (look like black, deflated-little-balloons) into a bucket of warm water with some sugar. This was left for a while, then they would then spray this over the cabbages.
    The smelly fermenting mix did not win many converts to Organics in the early days.

    Of course we know now, that what they were growing in the bucket, was a culture of Bacillus thuringiensis deadly to CWM caterpillars + some others and kills some mosquitoes too.
    You can buy this at any garden shop as Dipel. usually one sachet is enough and there are 4-6 sachets in the packet.
    You could try putting a packet in a bucket of warm water (add some agar too?) and grow your own.
    It is a safe, naturally-occurring, bacteria That is very specific to caterpillars.
    https://www.ca.uky.edu/brei/glossary/BTOXIN.HTM

    [​IMG]
    https://www.odec.ca/projects/2005/erla5m ... l/how.html

    The bit of DNA that makes the poison in the bacteria has been added to some GM crops like cotton.
    I don't have a big problem with this as I don't have to eat cotton and it does save the environment from mega-litres of pesticide.
    [​IMG]
    https://www.bio.ic.ac.uk/research/djwright/

    Brassicas are one of the best anti-cancer plants around, so don't give up.

    OLD Organic Gardener's Way
    While on the subject one guy had a cheep, cure-all method for most bugs.
    He would collect a lot of them, put them in his blender with water, then spray this on his garden. (I don't know what the household-cook thought of the blender being used in this way.!)
    It brings new meaning to my favourite despair.com quote:_
    "Have you ever thought that the only meaning to your existence
    may be as a warning to others?"
     
  8. fruit fly

    fruit fly Junior Member

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    Re: My brassica are under attack!

    Thanks again everyone for the replies,
    i reckon the best defence may be a combination of all the above ideas when trying to combat such a stunch opponant
    covering with a mozie net, diple,and lens cabbage moth effigies(that one's a classic :lol: )

    cheers friut fly
     

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