Irish Gardeners Forum Home
 FAQFAQ   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
Custom Search
   
Weather Report /
Moon Phase for Ireland

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Irish Weeds & Pests and Diseases of the garden.

Don't let Caterpillars Conquer your garden.


 
Most Recent Posts oops
Last post: Margo
funny
Last post: Margo
2016 Vegetable quizz.
Last post: Margo
Skimmia seed wanted
Last post: Brendankearns
 
Visit TheGardenShop.ie
Author Message
James Kilkelly
Rank: Site Admin


Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Don't let Caterpillars Conquer your garden. Reply with quote

Don't let Caterpillars Conquer your garden.
by GPI

Butterflies, especially the colourfully marked types are very pretty to watch as the undulate through the summer breezes but there are certain varieties that can cause losses in your vegetable garden.

. The cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae), photo / picture / image.

The cabbage white butterfly
The main culprit is the cabbage white butterfly which is mostly attracted to a chemical emitted from the leaves of brassicas. The brassica group covers such vegetables as cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. The butterfly lands on these plants and in itself is harmless but the eggs it deposits are the problem, or what eventually emerges from these eggs. Emerging quite soon after are the dreaded caterpillars which are hairy and about 3 to 4 cm long.

. . The eggs and the emerging caterpillars, photo / picture / image.

Caterpillars
Caterpillars are the larvae or the young of the butterfly; this is the main feeding and growth stage of the butterflies' life cycle. As most vegetable growers know caterpillars are very hungry and a small handful can turn a head of cabbage into a skeleton within a day or two. Infested leaves are quite toxic to animals and humans even if washed thoroughly.

Control methods
So how can you battle against the caterpillars, well there are various chemical and organic methods. The chemical methods are available in all good garden centres in the form of sprays, dusts and bug guns with names too numerous to mention.

With cabbage, broccoli etc being food crops that you may grow at home organically to avoid chemicals you should try to tackle the menace organically. Cover your plants with sheer netting whilst the butterflies are around, if they cannot touch the plants then they cannot lay their eggs on them. Ensure the netting allows sufficient sunlight through to enable growth.

Companion plants
Try planting tomatoes and celery as companion plants close by as their scents tend to cancel out the scent emitted by brassicas therefore deterring cabbage white butterflies. Finally if all else fails try sending your cat or cats on holiday during the summer, you'll be surprised how many songbirds start to visit your garden. Songbirds just love caterpillars.

Any queries or comments on Don't let Caterpillars Conquer your garden, please post below.

_________________
Gardening books.

http://www.allotments.ie/ Ireland's allotments.
On Twitter... http://twitter.com/Allotments

Garden Consultation & Design.

Try my Garden Design home study course!
.
.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Irish Weeds & Pests and Diseases of the garden. All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2006 - 2016 IrishGardeners.com (part of GardenPlansIreland.com)