Monday, 7 May 2007

Forlorn hope?

I enjoy growing my own vegetables. It is not enough to be self-sufficient but there is a lot of satisfaction in it. To be cooking dinner and go out to the garden and grab a handful of fresh herbs gives me some sort of sense of participation in the world.

Of course there is the small matter of planting and weeding but weeding has diminished since I took mulching to heart. Mind you, since mulching became serious (due to a general lack of water and water restrictions that say you can only hand water and only between 6am and 8am Wednesdays and Sundays) there have not been as many return plant visits - the annual reappearance of parsley and silverbeet from previous years dropped seeds has pretty much stopped.

Over recent years I have tried growing cabbage, with mixed success. They are prone to mildew, aphids and cabbage moth grubs. Last week, full of hope, I planted some cabbage seedlings. Savoys, those nice crinkly ones, and some red cabbage.

Before I had finished planting in the first punnet of seedlings, there were cabbage moths fluttering around the already planted ones. How do the know? Where do they come from? The neighbours don't grow vegetables. Do the moths hang out in the crab apple tree just waiting for me to plant cabbages? Grrr. Maybe I'll buy me a butterfly net. OK, moth net.

On to the internet: GOOGLE: "how to handle cabbage moths". Found a warm and fuzzy 'organic' site that suggested that the environmentally responsible way to handle cabbage moths is to spread broken egg shells around the cabbage seedlings and the short sighted and seriously territorial moths will say "Uh-oh, this is someone else's plot, better move on. Sorry to bother you ladies!"

I think the organic folk have been smoking their cabbage leaves.

My moths would look at the eggshells and say "Look! An airport!"


  1. I completely agree with you about the fresh herbs, Lee. I love picking bunches of mine and throwing them into my cooking. I've got rosemary, marjoram, oregano, basil, mint and lemon mint, sage, chives, curly-leaf and Italian parsley growing abundantly. In amongst them are couple of pineapple plants, about three plants of rhubarb, some garlic, four birds'eye chilli bushes and thankfully, with the price of tomatoes at present, a few cherry tomato bushes that are bearing lots of luscious tomatoes. Also there're a couple of potato plants amongst all of the above. I just let everything take care of itsself and its neighbours. My form of gardening is throw out the tomatoes into my plot when they get a bit over-ripe and come what ma! ;) Same with pumpkins seeds and capsicums...I don't think I'll ever become a TV-gardener! ;)

  2. I do see people here spreading broken egg shells onto their vegetable garden; I used to wonder why. Maybe it works after all Lee..No harm trying!

  3. I cant grow vegies- or much of anything else. And living with the Garden Vandal, who sees all plants as weeds, it is very hard to keep my few herbs alive!
    But those 'white butterflies', as we used to call them, still come to the garden. I think they even eat the succulents.

  4. Netting.

    Then, as they taxi up to the precious cabbages ... don your"Mothman" suit, grab your weapon and POUNCE.

    You could also try singing to them.

  5. An hour ago, I was strolling through the schoolyard's butterfly habitat...a sign said butterflies fly by day, moths fly at night. What if you kept a smudgepot burning? Like a moth to a flame?

  6. never heard of eggshells to chase cabbage butterflys, but sharp, broken eggshells do help for crawly things, particularly slugs. but I also give them to my roses because I was told "roses like coffee grounds and egg shells" and it's a lazy form of composting, LOL!

  7. cabbage and brussel sprouts... I could never get the bugs under control without major pesticides... then I wouldnt want to eat them...knowing what was sprayed. I gave up and just bought organic from then on! lol

    I have citrus trees, bananas and herbs here. I may do some tomatoes as well... Its fairly easy here in FL as I have a sprinkler system... if I go away I know things will still be alive when I return. Up in Philly I had to hire a kid to water while I was on holiday... and you never knew what you would return to! lol

    Happy Wednesday!


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