Question How to keep cabbage moth of vegetables?

Mark

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Mark

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@OskarDoLittle I should say that sometimes cabbage moth will hit and devastate good healthy vegetables regardless of how well prepared you are with soil, fertiliser, and care... All food gardeners get unlucky from time to time with an infestation of pests so don't be too concerned that you are doing the wrong thing and that's why your plants are getting hit.

There are some ways we can help deter or limit cabbage moth damage have a look at this short post it was written by my brother in-law who has studied garden pests http://www.selfsufficientme.com/fru...te-butterfly-bad-bug-to-have-in-garden-pest-1

Also, as I was saying I very rarely use any chemical control measures to combat cabbage moth or other vegetable pests but if a large cluster breaks out and it's not possible to control by hand I will use pyrethrum (sparingly and not when bees are around) or Dipel to control caterpillars.

Pests do have a tendency to attack plants that are: old (at the end of the lifecycle); struggling; or over fertilised and grown leggy or too fast. So striking a good balance in the vegetable patch does help to keep pests down.

So to does daily inspections on the plants and early detection so the caterpillars can be picked off or squashed by hand.

Let's add more tips and info along the way as people interact with this thread.
 

OskarDoLittle

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Thanks for the link to the article Mark. Funny because it reminded me what I always called cabbage moths as a kid, but actually I've not seen any of them near the veggies...only a much smaller moth that's grey/brown with no spot. The caterpillars do look right though. Perhaps it's a different moth! I notice the article mentions chilli spray...this would be an option for me, could have ready made seasoned fruit and veg!
 

ClissAT

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I use Yates? Dipel the bio-insecticide. It's called various other names like Bac T for Bacillus Thuringienisis.
The instructions say to spray every few weeks & after overhead watering or rain.
But honestly after spraying a few times when young, the brassicas don't seem to need it again.
I wouldn't call mine very healthy considering the crap soil they grow in despite all the goodies I add.
That seems to be enough for a few months until producing.
Also I don't grow blocks of anything these days. There is always a combo of plants of various ages, types & heights in every bed. Of course that doesn't prevent white flutterbys from seeing what they need but they seem to just lay a single egg under each leaf & move on. If I see it happen I just rub the egg away or I may leave it there if the plant is not yet producing so I can feed the grub to the chooks.

But when the flutterbys are in plague proportions, I just go round & pick the grubs off for the cluckles.
One way or the other everyone gets something out of the plants.
I usually get a reasonable head of whatever the variety is then there are all the side shoots that produce for months & the leaves for the cluckles.

As for those triphid brukales you have there Mark, those leaves would make excellent kale chips.
Also shredded & lightly streamed or fried for greens.

If deep frying is too much oil for your diet, you can place the leaves on an oven tray with another ontop to flatten the leaf & into the oven on high for several minutes. They come out all crispy anyway but not oily. Might take a few goes to get the knack. With great care you can put them in the microwave also to crispen them too.
 

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So to my amazement, the last few days I've noticed no new major outbreaks - happy to live with small amounts of damage, and now the flowers seem to finally be coming. I thought it was interesting mark that you keep your mustards in the "mongrel" patch (I think that's what you called it)...they're big plants by the time they flower aren't they?! I really was hoping to make my own mustards, but given the amount of room they take up and the pests they seem to attract (and that only my white mustard, which is mildest...and I prefer hot mustards) I'm thinking this might not be the "something" I'm destined to be self sufficient in! Now I've spent so much time babying them through, I'll see what happens with this lot though - but wow, I've been very tempted to rip 'em out and put something else in, and just use them for mulch.
ClissAT thanks for all the tips. I think I made a big mistake planting out a whole bed of brassicas. Problem is that they don't seem to "play well" with other plants! So I need to check what I can plant them alongside with nutrient wise.
Any tips anyone?
 

Mark

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I thought it was interesting mark that you keep your mustards in the "mongrel" patch (I think that's what you called it)...they're big plants by the time they flower aren't they?!
Yep they can get 4 feet high sometimes! :eek:

Let them go to seed and then grind the seeds up into a paste with some oil - that's the go ;) I've only done this on a small scale but I want to give it a crack on a larger scale to make a full jar one day...
 

Letsgokate

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This isn't mind but was shared on a FB page. I don't know if it works. I've also read that putting egg shells around the veggie bed can help too.

Australian Butterfly Conservation have created an A4 page of "Cabbage White decoys". Print this page, onto card if you can, and cut them out and attach them in prominent places around your cabbage patch. The egg-laying females should avoid this male decoy and fly away. It's a great natural way to control this imported pest without harming Australia's native butterflies.

Cabbage moth decoy's.jpg
 

ClissAT

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I use something similar.
I make the butterflies out of white yoghurt containers so they already have the bend along the centreline. I use texta pen to make the male markings.
Then I make 2 holes to hang them with thin white string or cotton from sticks made from shrub prunings about 1.3m long so the b'utterflies' 'dance' around the tops of the plants in the breeze.
 

ClissAT

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May or maynot have worked. Hard to be sure any one thing works.
The things that really work are exclusion netting & being vigilant to remove eggs from under every leaf &/or every grub as they appear.
My chooks know my bending stance when getting a grub from a plant.
They are there before I call!
 

Mark

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I see cabbage moth mainly in mid spring (this time of year) and summer so for our place mid-autumn to mid-spring is the only window for growing most brassica crops.
 

OskarDoLittle

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I'd have to say that mustard is really not your friend as far as caterpillars go! Having waited months for mine to flower (caterpillars decimated all the new flowering buds) when I finally got enough flowers to generate what should have been a reasonable amount of seed, the plants became unable to bear their own weight, and most of the large branches snapped off...I was peed off enough to just pull all the remaining plants out. No more caterpillar problem. I've had a few genuine cabbage moths loitering around the cucumber and lettuce, but nothing like the plague proportions I had in autumn. I also realised that earlier this year, the moths that were laying were little brown ones, not real cabbage moths. Their larvae were tiny, (a few mm) so I couldn't find them until they'd already chewed through a lot of foliage and grown to a reasonable size.
So it looks like store bought mustard for me until I'm brave enough to try it again. (Probably in an area of the garden remote from other plants!)
 

ClissAT

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Yes they love mustards of all varieties.
I used mustard as a sacrificial plant to protect my broccoli, etc with limited success.
Chooks love mustard leaves & seed too by the way.
In the end I think the only way to be sure to be sure is exclusion netting.
Bird netting I think will do the trick. Either the white knitted or the black extruded.
The extruded is far lighter but catches on everything so could be harder to manage unless stretched over a frame.
Maybe a light timber frame garden bed sized & 1m high with the netting sewn or stapled on would work & with careful handling should last many years.
I envisage it could be rolled onto its long side for ease of attention to the crop then rolled back over the crop to rest on the bed. The netting would not impede watering.
However, in a bad season butterflies will drop eggs while on the wing so there is the possibility of still getting the occasional grub.
That sized bird netting will not stop the small brown flutterbies though.
 

Mark

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I'm seeing plenty of white butterflies but not much damage... only have a few kale chewed so far and I have to say my mustard made it... sorry for gloating :p

Edit: I'm not sure exactly why my greens don't ever get hit very hard but I do think it's a combination of things such as birds and good insects, right time to plant, sacrificial plants (as ClissAT mentioned), good plant health, and luck.
 
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Letsgokate

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I've just bought some Vege Net off eBay. I believe this is from the manufacturer. It's the best price I could find, Green Harvest is more expensive. Keeps out fruit fly other insects, including the cabbage moth :)

It's comes in several different lengths and width I got 6m wide by 20m. Can be cut to size, throw over veggie beds, doesn't need a frame as it's light weight and veggies can just push it up. Can also be used to make bags, on a frame etc.

From today 4th Nov 2016, until 14th Nov 2016 eBay has 10% off Home and Garden when you spend $75 or more. Code C10HOME
 

OskarDoLittle

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I'm seeing plenty of white butterflies but not much damage... only have a few kale chewed so far and I have to say my mustard made it... sorry for gloating :p

Mwahahaha...gloat away!:censored: (Kidding)
There's always that heart sink moment when you realise something you invested quite a bit of time into its actually a monumental fail! But hey, it's all about the learning...i've also "learnt" that red onions cope better than browns at my place, and my neighbour's rapid growing hedge is going to block out a large amount of my afternoon sun - potentially making the patch a bit useless in winter due to the orientation of other buildings. The privacy and birds they attract are nice though, so I'll live with that. One of the hassels of being on a suburban block where the boundary fence is never far enough away. When the rest of the crops are finished i'll look at rigging some sort of netting... i think one of my water dragons has decided he likes gem squash...ate the whole of the seeded centre out - a bit like a jack-o-lantern! Still to check the cctv footage in case it was actually a possum, but I'd have expected more damage in that case.
Also, my mango flowered very early this year...then got hit by ?fungal infection (maybe anthracnose) so i cut it back to to the unaffected bits, and it now flowered again...gotta be happy about that!
 
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ClissAT

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Oskar as I was reading your post re the shade from the hedge I remembered my Mother's barrow which becomes mine today.
No other family member wanted it but I saw the benefit of being able to roll my little garden bed around to get or not get sun in each season.
So maybe old barrows or sturdy old wooden clothes trolleys would work a treat to grow winter crops in which could be moved to center of courtyard for example to get the most sun.
Also, the plants being well up off the ground, they escape much of the shade too.
 

Mark

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Looks tops!

I've had to spray my brukale due to its long maturity into late spring it's become a target for cabbage butterfly... not ideal at all!

I'm not seeing any pests on my capsicum, cucumbers, or jalapeños as yet so I'm going to pick them young before they get hit :)
 
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