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Protecting your brassicas without chemicals


Protecting your brassicas without chemicals
Brassica — better known as bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale — are all members of the Crucifer family of plants.

If you have grown these plants in your garden, you can hardly wait to munch on the first bunch of broccoli or crunchy leaves of kale.

As days pass, you might see big holes and chewed edges of plants or they may even be missing! Woodchucks and bunnies like these plants even more than you.

Both critters do major damage in very short order.

While scouting your garden, you may see green caterpillars (they are the same green color as the leaves) munching on your plants. The caterpillars are the larva of the Pieris rapae a.k.a. the cabbage butterfly — that is the innocent looking small mostly white butterfly you see fluttering about.

This is all very discouraging.

The caterpillars can be controlled chemically but this may not be something you are not willing to do. Also, spraying a Brassica plant can be a problem because the spray tends to roll right off.

Woodchuck and bunny control is a whole other article. As far as wildlife is concerned, if the attraction is removed, the critters will also move along.

After years of gardening I have found a non-chemical fix for all of this.

Covering your plants with cicada netting creates a physical barrier to block the woodchucks and bunnies from eating your plants and keeps the cabbage butterfly from laying its eggs.

You might have heard the saying “An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.” Cicada netting is plastic netting with a ¼-inch grid. You may have to order it from a supplier. Be sure that it is at least 12 feet wide.

Here is what I do.

First create a row of support hoops for the netting. You will need two 12 inch lengths of ½ inch rebar and a 10-foot piece of flexible ½-inch PVC pipe per hoop. To make a hoop, first place the rebar across from one another on either side of the row and push it into the ground as least half way. I make the distance between the rebar about 4 feet. I place the hoops about 10 feet apart.

On each end place a 10-foot piece of PVC pipe on the rebar to make a hoop. The 10-foot length makes for a high enough hoop to work under. Make enough hoops to cover the row. Then cover with the netting and secure the bottom. I used the landscape staples, but rocks, bricks, whatever you have around will do.

Since none of the Brassica plants need to be pollinated, the netting only needs to be removed for weeding and harvesting. (Weed cloth prior to planting can also be a good addition to this project.) The hoops also make a great support for shade cloth to protect these cool weather crops from the summer heat and then later they can support row covers to extend the season. I hope that you will give this a try.

Note: The cicada netting is great for bird protection of small fruits. It can be laid directly on top of blue berries or strawberries.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County is always happy to help with your garden questions. Find your own answers on our website (cliquez ici pour suivre le lien) and click Home & Garden on the menu or call us at 315-736-3394, ext. 100. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and check out our Youtube channel for great gardening talks.
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Message déposé le 09.07.2020 à 11:17 - Commentaires (0)




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Novokart launches folding bike, Ireland embraces cycling.
FRP Raw Materials
I have to sleep with a quilt, Buffy Breeze keeps me cool
Brompton Bicycle’s UK online sales soar fivefold during lockdown
Don't let your garden wilt in July's heat
Protecting your brassicas without chemicals


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