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Growing new potatoes and cabbage this Spring

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:00 am    Post subject: Growing new potatoes and cabbage this Spring Reply with quote

A few years ago i planted new potatoes in the hope of been able to eat them in summer. The crop went bad because of all the slugs and snails that ate the potatoes under the ground. I would pickup a potatoes plant and the potatoes would be have eaten by the slugs.

Is there any way to stop them. I am going to have another go this year to beat them or should i just plant onions which are easy to grow.

Also when i plant cabbage they are eaten by the catepillars. The butterfly lays its egg on the cabbage and the catepillers eat the cabbage when they are born. any way to stop them easting my cabbage.

I thought maybe if i planted early they would be ready by early summer before the slugs and catepillars started eating my vegatables.

Thanks for any help cause this has been a problem for me 3 years in a row.
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Sean Ph'lib
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hallo there,
Slugs eating spuds is a big problem, especially with some varieties. But I have found, over the years, that as you increase the organic matter in the soil by yearly additions of manure, compost and leaf-mould, that it becomes less problematic. Also, try one of the Sarpo varieties - they are fairly resistant.

Cabbage is a different problem, and more easily solved. Spring cabbage is not bothered by them - you should have eaten most of it by the time the butterflies become active. Summer and winter cabbages can be devastated by caterpillars; I don't use any sprays in my garden, but I get 100 per cent control by covering the cabbages with eco-mesh the day I plant them out (first having made sure there are no eggs or caterpillars on the plants). Horticultural fleece would do the job, too, but I prefer eco-mesh because you can see the cabbages through it!

Last edited by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spot on with the netting Sean Ph'lib. It's a foolproof solution if placed over the cabbages in time.

evoke, GPI wrote a good piece on potatoes and slugs, click here How to manage the top two potato pests, Wireworm and Slugs. or just put the words potato and slug into the search box, as that is what brought it up for me. Here is an excerpt from the piece.

Management of the problem organically.
1. Avoid planting potatoes into heavy soil, which is favoured by slugs.

2. Avoid sowing potatoes into a site bordering grass, compost heaps or piles of organic waste, as all of these provide a base from which the slugs will carry out their midnight raids.

3. Dig over your soil once or twice before planting, this will bring slug eggs to the surface to be eaten by birds.

4. You can try planting potato varieties offering high resistance to slug attack such as Pentland Dell, or medium resistance such as King Edwards or Records.

5. Better still plant a variety that you can harvest early to prevent prolonged attack.

6. Avoid excessive watering of your crop, slug's love slithering on wet soil.

7. Turn old wet sacks and rotten boards to your advantage, by leaving them encircling your potato crop. Arrive each morning with a smile, a wheelbarrow and a spade to gleefully scrape off the slugs from beneath these damp covers.

Management of the problem chemically.
If all else fails you can apply slug pellets about and between your potato rows before the crop canopy meets across the drills. If you have a serious slug problem, applying pellets before the pests begin egg laying in early September can carry out a pre-emptive strike.

If you are looking for seed potatoes you may be able to source some here....Seed potatoes

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