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Things that Tried to Thwart me

Cabbage Caterpillars | www.myfoododyssey.com

Ants, birds, biting insects, blackfly, cabbage caterpillars, cats, cows, crickets, dogs, frost, heat, moles, moss, pea maggots, rain, weeds. Since the start of the growing season a catalogue of hindrances has tried to come between me and my vegetables. The latest to appear are caterpillars on my brassicas – my beautiful cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts.

The white cabbages and the sprout leaves were the worst affected, while the curly kale and the dark green savoy cabbage got off quite lightly. I am picking the creepy looking blighters off as I find them and getting them as far away from my cabbages as possible. While a few leaves have been totally destroyed, I think I may have stepped in just in time to save the crop. I’m getting pretty tired now – hopefully that’s the last thwarter of the season!

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Cabbage Caterpillar | www.myfoododyssey.com

Cabbage Caterpillars | www.myfoododyssey.com

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Just..no, no, no. I had a spate of Japanese Beetles earlier this summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 30, 2015
  2. We managed to net ours this year but in the past, once you pick off all the caterpillars in time, the plants should recover. Just a tireless job that can make you slightly squeamish if there are too many!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 22, 2015
    • Thanks Dee. I’m too late for netting this year but I definitely think I’ll do that next year. In the meantime it’s pick, pick, pick! Thankfully I’m not squeamish. I’ve even found myself wondering whether or not they’re edible!

      Like

      August 22, 2015
      • def not edible. if I remember correctly, even chicken would not touch them. netting is a good advise, or there’s also a traditional way to scare of butterflies which produce those caterpillars off in putting white egg shells on sticks or even white plastic forks all around the cabbage.Supposedly that thwarts the real butterflies off as cabbage thus appears to be already occupied by other ‘butterflies’.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 23, 2015
      • Thanks Asta. I hadn’t heard that tip about the eggshells. I have plenty of those, so I’ll give that a try.

        Like

        August 23, 2015
  3. humblelittlehomestead #

    I also recommend neem oil. Here they sell a lot of sprays with neem already diluted in them. I personally haven’t had much luck with those. I buy the pure, undiluted neem oil and mix it with water and a little dish soap as an emulsifier. It isn’t sold around here where we live, so I have to order it online. I get it from Amazon.com. Are you able to shop amazon where you are?

    Liked by 1 person

    August 21, 2015
    • Rima #

      I ordered my first neem oil online as well

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
      • I just found an organic one on Amazon in the UK (I can’t order liquids from the US), so I’ve ordered a litre. I hope it arrives soon – those caterpillars are getting nice and fat on my beautiful cabbages!

        Like

        August 21, 2015
  4. sbdagape #

    I bought a sprayer yesterday and just finished spraying my plants a few minutes ago after Rima’s input and some other reading. June, I brought the neem from the US so we can scavange Lithuania and keep each other posted on it’s whereabouts. I used 1 gallon of water to 1 tablespoon of neem and 1 tsp of an eco soap (no chemicals). I read the soap was great for Aphids and the neem is for everything else. We’ll see how it works. My squash is now under assault by a fungus, so I’m hoping the neem will rescue the plants. As for your ants, I read that ants go after “aphid milk” so maybe this is related to your ant problem? If so, maybe spraying with soap will help. Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2015
    • Thanks Susan. I have some castile soap so I’ll try that. I’ll keep you posted on my neem hunt!

      Like

      August 20, 2015
    • Rima #

      The neem oil needs to be sprayed after the bees finish working for the day, its toxic to the bees while wet but its safe next morning once dry, I hope you sprayed at night. The same with sulfur mixture.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
    • Rima #

      Neem oil mixture kills aphids, no need for soap, I would not mix neem oil with anything else, to avoid unwanted reactions, just like it should not be used together with sulfur

      Liked by 1 person

      August 21, 2015
    • Susan, I found neem oil online in a few places in LT, one of which is in Kaunas. (See here: http://www.ajurvedavisiems.lt/index.php?action=produktai&id=279) However, it seems a bit pricey so I looked on Amazon.co.uk. I found a litre of organic oil for £15. I’ve just ordered one – hopefully that will keep me going for a while!

      Like

      August 21, 2015
  5. Rima #

    Derived from the Neem seed, Neem oil is an excellent all purpose insecticide, miticide, fungicide for organic gardening, it can be used on virtually any plant, including roses, flowers, vegetables, herbs, spices, houseplants, trees, turf and shrubs. Kills all stages of insects – eggs, larvae and adults. Makes a great dormant spray.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2015
    • Sounds awesome – I definitely have to find me some of that.

      Like

      August 20, 2015
  6. Rima #

    you don’t need pesticides, try Neem Oil, organic stuff, used for thousands of years for organic gardening prior pesticides, Sulfur might help too

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2015
    • Thanks Rima. We’re strictly organic and pesticide-free here on our little homestead – we use natural remedies only. I’ve heard a few people talk about neem oil but wasn’t sure I could get it here in Lithuania. I’ll ask in one of the bigger garden centres. Is it useful for all bugs? Do you know does it work on ants? Up until about a week ago I was doing ok with bugs – my main bug problem was with ants. Then the caterpillars arrived! Someone else mentioned ash, which I guess would be a source of sulphur. I’m off out to raid my šašlykinė (bbq) for some ash before these little critters eat all my cabbages!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2015
    • sbdagape #

      Actually that’s what I did- a little bit of neem oil and some Dr. Bronner’s castille soap. It seems to have worked. But in my reading I was surprised to learn that the use of Bacillus Thuringiensis is considered “organic” pesticide. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that- blows holes in the worm gut. What about my gut? Any feedback would be appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2015
    • Rima #

      I use Neem oil only, and some Sulfur too, they must be used separately and some time apart, better to use Sulfur first, after using Neem Oil you can’t use sulfur for couple of weeks, do to some sticking/burning reaction. I mix one of them in the sprayer and spray, works well and almost immediately. My vegetable garden is small and currently not looking great, due to tomatoes plight, the neem oil would’ve helped with plight, but I chose not to put too much work into my garden this year…

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2015
      • sbdagape #

        Thanks, Rima. Great info. I think I’ll be much more assertive with my neem oil next season.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2015
      • Did you get neem oil here, Susan? Where did you find it and what’s it called? Thanks a mil!

        Like

        August 20, 2015
      • Rima, what do you mix in the sprayer with the neem oil? Is it just some liquid soap or does it need something else, too? Thanks – I’m getting lots of great tips here!

        Like

        August 20, 2015
    • Rima #

      I mix neem oil with water only in a pump it up sprayer, it has directions on it

      Like

      August 21, 2015
  7. sbdagape #

    Ugh. I’ve been dealing with them too. Came right after the heat wave. I find my chickens love them. It’s tough not to resort to the pesticides, though. I lost about half my cabbage but the kale still looks edible, although holey. Keep the faith, girl. It’s almost harvest time!

    Like

    August 20, 2015

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