June Garden; dealing with Cabbageworms and Flea Beetles in your organic vegetable garden.
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When you have a blog that talks about gardening, you have a ton to write about in the spring, summer and fall, but sadly you don’t have a whole lot of time to write it. You are so busy keeping up with the weeding, cutting, planting, (did I say weeding), and harvesting, that you usually use up any free time you have out in the garden.
On top of the garden chores it has been a busy couple of weeks; I traveled with my family to watch my oldest row in California and the next weekend my youngest graduated from High School. A lot of accomplished for two wonderful and well deserving people. I am very proud of both!
Of course the garden could care less that I am busy and the weeds decided it was a perfect time to make a last dash effort to overtake the garden. Along with the weeds, the bugs have shown their ugly faces. The environment is perfect for them right now, warm with consistent rain, a bug’s tropical refuge. Find out more about companion planting for pests here.
I know I am not the only one with buggy problems. My friend shot me an email yesterday asking what the green worms were devouring the leaves on her kale, cauliflower and broccoli. Sadly I knew first hand what had started mining her leaves. The cabbageworms, cabbage loopers and diamondback moths are small green caterpillars that do a lot of damage on the leaves of cabbage family. Once you get them, they are a pain to get rid of. A sure sign you have them is the sight of the beautiful little white moths exuberantly flying around your garden flowers. Once you see them you know you will have or already have worms. I recommend picking off as many as you can by hand, and feeding them to your chickens. If you do not have a chicken on hand, make sure you throw these buggers in the trash. It is also recommended to use organic Spinosad insect spray, I choose not to use this it even though it is considered organic it is also a toxin and my garden is small enough for me to pick off by hand. You must then cover your plants with a light fabric to prevent re-infestation. You can find row cover fabric at hardware, plant stores and Amazon. If you compost, do **not** throw any infested plants in your compost pile, throw them away.
Another pest you may be dealing with is the flea beetle. I get them every year and this year once again they are enjoying my eggplant leaves. Though they don’t touch the vegetable, the strain that they put on the plant by eating small holes all over their leaves, causes the plant or stop growing or die. These guys are so small you can not pick them off, but you can spray your plants with an insecticidal soap, which is soap water and oil mix, you can find in hardware, plant stores and Amazon. You must also cover plants with fabric to keep the flea beetle off the plant.
Otherwise the garden is healthy and thriving, The lambs ear is in full bloom (find out more about growing here) and I am patiently awaiting the Daylilies and to start their daily display along with the phlox and Coneflowers, two of my favorite summer perennials.
The chickens are on lock down as I have a red tail hawk stalking them, it captured a full grown bunny yesterday. It is against the law to shoot birds of prey in the state of Ohio, so sadly I think the gals will only have supervised hours free ranging until I feel they are safe again. I captured the killer redhanded leaving my pond where he/she had feasted on several of my fish. As I am sure you have figured out I am not a big fan of the red tail hawk.
11 comments on “June Garden; dealing with Cabbageworms and Flea Beetles”
Your cabbage white moth is actually a butterfly.
I could so relate to your opening couple of paragraphs and love the hen photo 🙂 I’ve found the best method for the caterpillars here in Ireland is to net the whole bed. I mulch the soil first with a layer of newspaper then grass clippings to keep the weeds down then cover the entire bed with a net small enough the butterfly can’t get in, ensuring the leaves don’t touch it. The trick is to find the time to do it before the caterpillars begin to eat the greens!! Handy tip on the flea beetle, thanks
Dee, That is a great idea about the netting, thank you. I am really battling the flea beetles right now, it seems every year they come back. I have row covers over my Eggplant and Kale.
Thanks for stopping by.
Over from the blog hop. Glad to have found your site.
We’ve always struggled with getting rid of pests organically. We have a lot of Japanese Beetles too. This year the kids are raising Guineas – they are supposed to eat everything that crawls (without eating up the garden as well). Do you have any experience with them? It’s still too early to tell how they’ll do. Fingers crossed though.
VP of Farming,
I have had guineas in the past. They are beautiful birds, but there noise was too much. I really didn’t notice if they ate more bugs than the chickens. I tend to grab or knock the beetles into a cup and then I just dump them in front of the hens. They gobble them up. I do the same with the grubs, which the hens fight over.
I hope your guineas take care of business for you!
By the way, love your blog!
I just love reading your blog updates! I made your salmon recipe with the quinoa & chia seeds earlier this week. Ok, that was a serious YUM factor! Your recipes are wonderful and have re-inspired me to create some of my own recipes. I cooked with kale for the first time tonight. Savory mushroom, kale, sweet onion, fresh herbs over rice. Low cal and 1 gram of fat. Very filling.
Keep those updates coming 🙂
You go Julia, sounds delicious! I am working on a quinoa recipe for Ms. Mary Linde, I will be putting it up soon. Hope your clean eating is going well, and you are getting the results you were looking for. Have a wonderful weekend.
The Red Tail Hawk; one of the most profound Birds of Prey; along with the Osprey and Swallow Tail Kite.
My girlfriend and I enjoy watching them as they glide high above scopping out their next meal. I find it fasinating how they can dive bomb at speed and pluck a critter twice their weight and carry it off without a problem.
No doubt that that Hawk would love to have himself a taste chicken dinner; especially since the chickens are not smart enough to take caution and are easy targets.
MmmmmMmm…All this talk about chickens is making me hungry! 😉
Ron, Ron, Ron, Ron,
I am a very protective chickin’ mama, so no jokes about loss of life. Even if you are funny!
I agree!!! My girls will be no meal!!!
AMEN Joyce, AMEN! Nobody messes with our girls!