Monday, May 19, 2014

Netting Cabbages

I live on a block of gardeners who spray for every ailment known to mankind.  Bugs?  Spray 'em.  Weeds?  Spray 'em.  I, however, do not spray.  And overall, I don't have any pest problems.  I strongly believe that's because I also don't weed like a maniac.  The weeds offer hiding places for predator bugs, who prey on the nasties and devour them with relish.

It's a great partnership, really.

There is one pest, however, who is a serious bane in my garden.  The white cabbage moth seems to gleefully find every single one of my cabbages and eats holes in them overnight.  Well, the moth doesn't, but the millions of babies that hatch from the eggs they lay do.  I've decided that this year, I really would prefer to have non-holey cabbages to eat, as well as intact kale and perhaps a non-wormy brocolli or two.  I had planned on rounding up some fine mesh netting and making a moth-proof cage, but instead, I found an inexpensive pre-made tunnel model that will work great.  It comes in 10-foot lengths, with a little scruncher thingie on the end to close off the openings.  Since my beds are smaller, I simply cut the tunnel in half and hey presto, moth protection is at hand.  I'm hoping it will also keep a few other pests away, but I'm suspicious that flea beetles may still be able to hop through.  I've buried the sides and ends so perhaps they will stay out, but I think I'd need to round up some remay fabric to truly dissuade them from hopping in.  Those critters mostly seem to like my beans and potato leaves, anyway, so hopefully my cabbages will be safe.

Of course, there's always cutworms...

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