cabbage

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songbird wrote:

Why?
D
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

dislike poisons in general. don't trust that this one only affects the bug in question. don't like repeated applications as that is expensive and also can breed resistance.
if there is resistance i'd have to continue to monitor and hand pick along with the repeated spraying -- just doesn't seem to gain much in the end. i don't mind hand-picking, just that i ignored them for a while (we had regulr rains for the past six weeks) as they were growing well and i had other things to do. when watering yesterday i noticed they were being chewed on...
now that i know i have to include it in the daily routine we'll see how it goes.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

Yes

No they never give up except when it is too cold, yes they can have many generations per season depending on how long your warm season is.

The worms will only attack the outside but still will cause quite a bit of waste.

Where you can't find them.

By far the simplest solution if you don't want to spray is netting. Use polymer netting that is used on fruit trees, the mesh is about 2cm (1in) and the butterflies cannot get through. No butterlfies means no eggs, no eggs no grubs. Youy can make hoops out of polypipe to stand the net off the cabbage. The same applies to any brassica that the cabbage butterfly eats.
David
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David Hare-Scott wrote:

...

i may take a butterfly net with me as sometimes i can get fairly close enough to the butterflies.

i'm not seeing any reference which says that they will cocoon and hatch out again more than once a season. i do see references which say that they lay eggs all season and are fairly cold hardy.

that's ok. we just want organic/non-sprayed cabbage. if they have to cut around damage during processing that is fairly normal anyways.

hehe. probably some of them, but if they don't crawl far before spinning there's not much place for them to go in this particular patch. if they will use the underside of rocks then i can likely find some of them (and the raccoons will find some of them too).

if i can protect the heads using old stockings that would be much more preferable (less material used and less fuss and bother overall). just not experienced enough with cabbage yet to know how they work/grow/habit, etc.
my mistake was ignoring the plants to begin with, they looked good from a distance and i didn't need to water them for quite some time. with the white butterflies floating around i should have kept a closer eye on them.
as they say, yet another growth experience... next batch will get a daily inspection now that i see what the worms can do.
thanks, :)
songbird
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says...

http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/content/cabbage-white-butterfly
The problem is their pupation on wild hosts.
You can get them in the garden, but the wild mustards in the district are a little harder to find.
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phorbin wrote:

and here's another example of how farming in the current form creates problems for gardeners and organic growers...
right now the farmers spray their fields with herbicides. the drift kills off ground cover in the neighboring ditches, creeks, roadsides, etc (increasing erosion and pollution) and the wild mustards take over bare spots fairly quickly.
there is no shortage of hosts around here for these critters.
songbird
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the picking of worms rapidly tapered off after the first week. i find a worm here or there now, but nothing like before.
the second flight of butterflies is on. i'm now finding many specks on the bottom of the leaves and figure they are likely to be eggs from these butterflies.
i'll keep my eyes peeled the next few days when i can get back outside to look for eggs again.
i'm just knocking them off onto the ground or bottom leaves. i'm not sure how effective that will be. perhaps much better to use sticky tape or to brush them into soapy water. we'll see how it goes.
songbird
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I just roll them between finger and thumb as I pick them. A little caterpiller juice never hurt anyone. (At least that's my hope.)
--
Drew Lawson | And to those who lack the courage
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Drew Lawson wrote:

the eggs are very tiny, i suppose i could try to mash them with my fingers but they are pretty small and fall off when i touch them.
the worms i drown in soapy water.
songbird
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If I see the eggs, I rub them a bit in hopes that they smush. I am not sure that they do.
But at this stage of life, I don't do well spotting tiny eggs near ground level unless I crawl. I spend enough time on my knees dealing with the creaping thistles, I'm not doing that for cabbage worm eggs.
Next year I may add cabbage to the broccoli. Either way, I am strongly considering row covers for next year, as long as it is a reusable material.

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Drew Lawson wrote:

yeah, it's a challenge, i only get the ones up higher and those i can get to easily. others i hope the wasps will get when they hatch.
in today's inspection (after being away for several days) the eggs are not as many, a few small worms and not much else, nor much new damage, even with many butterflies about i think the wasps have now caught up with the population of worms hatching. i don't know if the wasps or ants get the eggs or what feeds on those, but there were many fewer than i expected. perhaps ladybugs.

i hope you can find someting durable and not too expensive.
songbird
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Drew Lawson wrote:

Polymer mesh used for netting fruit trees is cheap and will last quite a few seasons especially if not put under stress. You could make hoops out of polypipe to stand it off the plants or just drape it over. You can water and inspect through the mesh and just lift it to harvest. I find this a very simple solution to cabbage butterflies.
David
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On Saturday, August 10, 2013 9:59:16 PM UTC-6, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Been using derris dust for over 50 years...good control of cabbage worms and the derris dust has not harmed me one iota. Why put up with these pests when it is so easy to dust the cabbages?
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Derris dust is a poisinous preparation of crushed roots from the Derris plant. Other plants also contain the active ingredient ,called Rotenone, and are sometimes used. Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance in many plants. In the past it was considered to be relatively safe however new research suggests that this may not be the case. Rotenone is extremely toxic to fish so Derris dust should never be used near waterways,etc.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotenone#Parkinson.27s_disease> In 2010, a study was published detailing the progression of Parkinson's-like symptoms in mice following chronic intragastric ingestion of low doses of rotenone. The concentrations in the central nervous system were below detectable limits, yet still induced PD pathology.
In 2011, a US National Institutes of Health study showed a link between rotenone use and Parkinson's disease in farm workers.
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Roy wrote:

Why kill so many invertebrates indescriminately when a bit of net will selectively keep out the butterflies and prevent them laying? Why keep applying dust every time it rains or you water (if watering overhead) when the net will work the entire growing season with no effort required? Old habits die hard but give it a try. I am not so dogmatic as to say never use insecticides but when it saves money, effort and collateral damage it's a very easy decision.
David
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...
The original post was looking for alternatives to poison.

My grandfather used it. He never thought anything of it until it made a grandson sick.

Why fight them when a simple method to exclude them will do?
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Roy wrote: ...

we've had this conversation before Roy. it may not have harmed you. it may harm others or it may harm other creatures i wish not to harm.
it seems to be going ok for now just by hand-picking and observing. as i won't be the person chopping and turning these cabbages into saurkraut i won't likely know what the final results will look like. i'll have to remember to ask.
cabbage worm excrement is likely about as edible as saurkraut, but i'm sure most of it washes off anyways. really, i'd not worry about that problem any more than i worry about a bit of dirt on a strawberry or some cheeses.
songbird
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David Hare-Scott said:

I tried row covers for a while. The problem was, under cover the earwigs** and slugs went wild (especially the earwigs). The covers protected them from predators. The lack of air circulation lead to fungus problems (especially for cucumbers).
So now I grow kholrabi in the spring (because it matters not if the leaves get a bit tattered) and bok choi in the fall and forget about heading types of cabbage at home. No more pretty looking heads laced through with worms or earwigs and their excrement.
**BTW, this is a BANNER YEAR for earwigs. They may have ruined my fence charger. It was PACKED FULL of earwigs. Good thing I had a backup. The groundhogs have been feeding on mulberry leaves that keep shooting up along the neighbor's fence. The shock wire is the only thing that keeps them going over the garden fence.
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