what is eating my plant…

not what... but who?

not what... but who?

I was out near The Curragh recently with really nice clients having a coffee… on the way out the door… I spotted Dolly having a go at the newest vegetarian options menu 😆

Humour aside, last year of course my cabbage plants had an absolute savaging by the insect world. Not being the biggest chemical fan in the world that I am… I inspected and it was pretty easy to see why the ‘law of diminishing returns’ had taken an entirely new meaning. Without getting into the entire lengthy discussion of insects and their habits…. for the moment I shall narrow amage of leave down to two types.

The first is by insects… [pauses] pests of plants – whose  mouth eating parts will only alow them to eat in between the veins of the plants leaves… the second type is bird damage who will eat through any part of the leaf including the vein.

operophtera brumata

operophtera brumata

In this case it is plain to see the Winter Moth Caterpillar [operophtera brumata] having an absolute feast.

To control these guys the answers are [excluding chemical warefare] pretty pre-historic. Assuming you do wish to end their life, it is by hand that is constantly recommended by almost all books… ie. they are to be removed by hand. The only other method it seems is to cover the planted area with a horticultural fleece to prevent them getting to the plant.

Whatever you do, whatever you choose to grow – remember not to get stressed and enjoy 🙂

2 replies
  1. Steph
    Steph says:

    Like me and my lovely basil I had coming along very nicely – white fly managed to make it into the house and start living on it 🙁 I’m about to have another go at the indoor herb thing – any advice on how to keep them awful feckers away?

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Steph,

    very funny thing but the little blighters never go for the rosemary…. always the good lush stuff.

    You’ll see the leaf curl on it before anything else. When it comes to food stuffs… the chemicals are no use. The key to remember is that they don’t stop its edibility [is that a word…].

    My own way is to keep it in a drafty spot. I crop from the centre first and then outwards. If it gets bad and the plant isn’t so fragile – the old way was washing up liquid and wash the leaves. If it gets *really* bad then I simply crop the whole thing [every leaf in sight] wash and throw it into a container and pop it in the freezer.

    If you are trying the herbs: the cheaters guide to looking eco freaky 😯 is large window box outside:
    parsley/ thyme/ rosemary/ chives/ sorrel

    let me know how you get on
    slan go foill

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