Friday, 12 December 2008

Cabbage moths, butterflies, whatever.


This here is a cabbage moth. Or cabbage butterfly. Or cabbage butterflymoth.

The 'experts' seem vague on the terminology. I prefer to think of them as moths.

I like butterflies.

But I get lots of them fluttering around the garden and, I grant you, they look very pretty.

Except...the little blighters lay eggs on my cabbages and Chinese greens; the next thing I know I have multilegged green stomachs devouring my garden.

Now, on one of these oh-so-green gardening sites, someone gentle soul suggested spreading broken eggshells around the cabbages because the moths are short-sighted and socially considerate and, if they think some moth got there first, they will stay away.


The favourite hiding place in my garden at the moment is the broad beans; the flowers bear some considerable resemblance to both moths and broken egg shells.

I have been using derris dust but I am told this is environmentally dodgy. I believe there is a bacterial soup you can use and I will investigate that.


In the mean time...

I play moth tennis with a plastic sieve.

Low impact on the environment, high impact on the moth.


  1. While I was busy 'reading' your bookcase, you must have posted this!
    I have noticed those blighters in my garden, & they seem so desperate, they eat mint, nasturtiums, & any other herbs they fancy! I will just have to get a sieve!

    Your garden looks wonderful, all your herbs & greens.
    Do the Tamarillos do well in Melbourne?

  2. I had a tamarillo that did really well and then just died. Apparently they do that. The one I have in place of it is growing rapidly but probably wont fruit this season.

  3. Lee - off to Bunnings with you! Why is it I can NEVER get my husband to go shopping but if I say "bunnings" the car is out the garage pronto!
    Anyway - off to Bunnings and get these yellow long plastic stick things with sticky on them - Oooh the white fly (our tomatoes are riddled with them) and other pests are in their millions all dead and stuck there.Mmmm, Make a good horror movie come to think of it.

  4. Oooo...that's a new thought! I will investigate. Thank you.

  5. Have you considered counselling the moths? Or the cabbages; either will do.

  6. I eat moths and butterflys, but don't tell mum:) You could hire me. As you know, I'm looking for a way to make money for mum. I'd keep the blighters at bay. I'm rather partial to crickets too.

  7. Henry!! You'll get a mouth full of 'dust'.

  8. Lee - I don't mind dust. I'm a dog. We dogs eat ANYTHING:)

  9. I keep a spray bottle with a mixture made from water, dish soap, and hot pepper powder. It's supposed to be good for keeping tomato slugs away but I find that almost any bug avoids the plants I've sprayed. Of course, it washes off in the rain or when you water the garden so it's a never-ending job.

  10. I love going to Bunnings, I've found some great things there.
    Its a shame those pretty little moths are so destructive, no-one likes herbs and greens with caterpillar holes eaten in them.
    Your garden looks lovely Lee, all I can suggest is maybe planting sage and mint amongst the cabbages, they are supposed to act as a deterrent.♥
    Thanks for adding your name to my followers list. ♥

  11. Hey Lee - what dust! We are getting LOTS of rain and its fantastic!
    So Henry - Ms Rose says "Put your raincoat on boyfriend , its raining in Lees garden!"

  12. Yes, yes, yes! It is raining, and good rain too. Also purple snow, but that is another post.

    The dust I was referring to is 'moth dust'.

  13. When my brother and I were kids my father (who grew vegetables for market) would get us chasing and killing the 'cabbage white butterflies' at a penny a time, or perhaps it was for 5 or for 10. They were a lot more plentiful then.

    Moths carry their wings flat, don't they, and butterlies raised up over their backs?

  14. Come on over, I'll give you 10¢ a moth!

  15. I am thinking that these are being a goodly source of nutrition. Why is it being that you are not eating them? This is my question.

  16. A dislike of a mouth full of moth dust?

  17. i'm wondering if my cat would like chasing moth? hmm...

  18. Oh thanks Lee. But I have a good pension now, and I don't think I'm fast enough on my feet any more! I would probably just fall over with my nose in the cabbages!

  19. A hanging theive gatherth no moths.


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