Oh the despair of those pesky white butter flies! The emotions they stir in all of us as we visit our patch. 3 days can be a very long time in garden speak one day everything looks rosy and then next visit almost unrecognizably plants that resemble Swiss cheese appear.
So this year I started out with the best plan ever, I spread the word on bug net, talked about our best organic options, and planted my brassicas. First lot of brussel sprouts went into the metre square garden with the bug net fitted cover, all done in an hour and weeks later not a bug insight …phew!
Then another garden bed was planted with a mix of cabbage and bok choi. It was a couple of days before I got the net over the plants, but I felt confident all was well in the cabbage patch until…..
This week when I turned up at work to see the new swiss cheese breed of cabbage.
To be honest I didn’t really have to think long and hard about how this happened.
Number 1: I planted the plants and left them uncovered for 3 days.
Number 2: I didn’t check the underside of the leaf to look for the small white egg that is always laid under the leaf.
Number 3: I didn’t dust with Dieatmacious Earth or fish fertilizer until a few weeks after they were planted.
Yip… still learning the hard way!
I don’t think we ever stop learning really.
Remaining philosophical, I have administered a generous dose of Diatomaceous Earth to slow the crawling bugs down. I have administered a generous amount of foliar feed by way of liquid fish fertilizer and then this afternoon when I get a minute I will attempt to hand pick off the remaining bug(…gars)!
A little more about Diatomaceous Earth.
This product has a multitude of uses, I use it in a dry from and dust it generously over my brassicas. Diatomaceous Earth is a fossil shell flour so it will kill any soft shell bug/insect that comes in contact with the flour and it wont cause any harm to your pets. I like it because of its natural nature and its many uses
Even the chooks get a good dusting along with, in and around their nesting boxes and it certainly keeps the mites at bay.
Prevention is better than cure so make very sure you check on the under leaf of all your brassica plants before you cover them up. It is a good idea to dunk the plants head first in a watered down solution of fish fertilizer as the white butterfly won’t land on them at all. This needs to be applied weekly as a foliar feed and preventative.