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A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

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A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/5/2010, 1:35 am

Hi,

I've been noticing some holes in some of my veggies and didn't think to much about it. Today I went out to the garden and there are quite a bit more holes. What's eating my broccoli? They are also eating the swiss chard.



Also, can I start harvesting my swiss chard now, it's not as big as I see it in the grocery store but I read online that I can harvest at 4 - 6 weeks and I planted it in early September. What do you think? I'd say it's about 10 - 12 inches tall. It's kind of hard to pin point in the picture. the purple stuff in the background is lettuce and in the foreground is spinach.



Thanks for your input and sorry for the newbie questions.

Miss Mousie

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  duhh on 11/5/2010, 2:42 am

Not sure what is eating your plants. Try looking under the leaves to see if there are any worms or anything hanging out. I began noticing some holes in some of my leaves and found some green worms hiding out under some of the squash leaves. I find it best to go out at night with a flashlight or early morning to catch them. Someone else might have better advice, but this is where I read about checking the undersides of leaves for pests.

Your chard should be good to harvest. I usually will just pick the bigger ones on the outside. You can let it get bigger if you like, but I like it a bit smaller. I love chard because it grows so fast and there is so much of it!

Hope this helpped a little!

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  dixie on 11/5/2010, 6:56 am

Rule #1: Never say you are sorry for posting a gardening question.Very Happy

My guess is that you have cabbage worms. Like DUHH said, look on the bottom of the leaves & just squish them, or spray with Bacillus thuringiensis. I can never find it locally & will have to order some for Spring. I've only had a few worms on my fall crop, but here is what happened this Spring. I've never grown chard before, but yours is very pretty.

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Hole-y broccoli, Batman!

Post  ander217 on 11/5/2010, 7:25 am

Yep, I'd agree with the others that you've probably got green cabbage worms. Have you seen any white moths with one black spot on each wing flying around lately? They are the culprits that lay the eggs which hatch into the worms.

The worms are hard to see until you accustom your eyes to looking for them. They are the same color as the leaves and may be on the top or underside of the leaves, or stretched out along the stems, and they camouflage themselves very well.

Grasshoppers sometimes eat holes in leaves, so if you don't find any worms you might see if you scare up any grasshoppers when you walk through your garden.

With my swiss chard I can hardly wait to harvest the first leaves, and I'll pick them even smaller than yours at first. After a few weeks I get tired of it and stop picking it regularly, and by mid-summer my plants have the huge leaves such as you see in the store.

ander217

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  middlemamma on 11/5/2010, 1:09 pm

PLEASE!!! Post your noob questions!!! We ALL learn something from each other even new folks!! I still consider myself NEW around here....and I am infamous for all my great noob questions/// Rolling Eyes

NO WORRIES!!! Everyone here loves to talk SFG and growing things and help out...ask away!!

middlemamma
 
 

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/5/2010, 1:28 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. I was looking on the internet for answers and ran across something that said that you can sprinkle white flour on your veggies and the cabbage worms will eat it and get bloated and die. I think that's a similar concept to what the BT does, or am I wrong?

To be quite honest, this method of gardening is so easy that I haven't been out to my garden in days. We've had some rain so I haven't had to water and there are really no weeds to pull so I haven't seen any moths or anything because I haven't been out. Yesterday though I did see lots of bees and bumble bees. The weather in California has been weird lately. It rains and turns cold then it warms up and feels like summer.

Dixie, so sorry about your cabbage, how devastating. Those little monsters ruined your cabbage. I hope mine don't end up like that. I guess I better go out on worm patrol later today.

Thanks for welcoming my newbie questions. I'm sure I will have more but I will also try to read more of the forum so I can learn from all of you.

Thanks!! happy hi

Miss Mousie

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/5/2010, 4:19 pm

I just went to the garden to find out the names of the lettuce I have planted and I decided to look for the cabbage worms and at first I didn't see them........then there they were. A lot smaller than I was thinking. I killed 3 of the little devils but didn't look for more. I will look later in the afternoon when I go out to water.

I also saw that one of my cabbages has a black mildew. I guess now I have to learn what that is and how to get rid of it. I thought I'd gotten off easy because for the first few weeks nothing touched my garden, now I've got pests!!!! affraid

Oh, and I did see one small grasshopper too........is this a bad sign?

Miss Mousie

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One small grasshopper

Post  ander217 on 11/5/2010, 6:24 pm

@Miss Mousie wrote:Oh, and I did see one small grasshopper too........is this a bad sign?

One small grasshopper, no. Many small grasshoppers, yes. They sit on the leaves and eat holes in them. I can live with a few holes. But when they start playing connect the dots, I have a problem.

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  camprn on 11/5/2010, 6:40 pm

@ander217 wrote:when they start playing connect the dots, I have a problem.
funny post

camprn

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/5/2010, 9:14 pm

So I went out and watered the garden and did a more though check on the cabbage worms. I found about 7 more or so. I squashed them all. Some were in a kind of cocoon thing but I could still see they were little green worms. Funny I found most of them on the broccoli and some on the cauliflower but none on the cabbage. I hope they don't get down inside and eat from the inside out. I have a garden spider living in one cabbage so he/she will hopefully take care of some pests. Also, upon closer inspection, something has eaten the heck out of some of my swiss chard. I wonder if the cabbage worms eat that too or if its something else. I guess you have to get down on the level of your garden and crawl around to see what's really going on it there.

Miss Mousie

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  camprn on 11/5/2010, 10:01 pm

I am having a surprising problem similar to yours, I found a few cabbage worms & a dozen or more cutworms. It's pretty late in the season here for them, but I found them in the bed under the hoop absolutely destroying radish, spinach, arugula, and shockingly the onion tops. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/6/2010, 11:57 pm

I looked up cut worms.........they look evil. Sorry about your infestation. Hope you can get rid of them.

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  outsideasy on 11/7/2010, 11:14 am

Hi MM, my wife and I are new SFG gardeners and we have told our story of your same scenario you may read if you wish by searching insects, then more insects by me and a big long story by my wife of our whole project under Modesto, Central Valley, CA. We had an extreme infestation of cut worms and inch worms that almost devastated our new little community garden until we took drastic action. Your new armor to fight with should be BT for your cut worm and cabbage worm and all worm problems. Neem Oil also helps to rid aphids and some mold and bacterial problems. BT and Neem is the team.
Good Luck and may the better man win
Al

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  Miss Mousie on 11/7/2010, 8:13 pm

Wow Al! I loved the stories from you and your wife about the community garden and the war with the cutworms and other pests. I will have to pick up some neem oil and BT. I shudder to think of the work I will have doing pest control once I enlarge my garden next spring. We do have bats here so hopefully they can keep down the moths like I read in one of the posts, perhaps I should put some bat boxes closer to the garden. This brings up an issue though, we are planning on putting a chicken wire top on the garden "cage" by spring. I'm thinking this may not be a smart idea. I wanted to keep birds from eating tomatoes but the bats won't be able to get in either. Anyone have an opinion on totally enclosing the garden cage? I'm successful in keeping the deer out, in fact I often look out the back windows and see them just outside the garden looking in at all of my lush veggies (tee hee) rock on I've also noticed several gopher holes that end right under the chicken wire on the floor of the garden (try again you little varmints).

Well, thanks Al for leading me to your posts about insects, I'll have to try your ideas and see what works. I'm also loving that you guys started the community garden in your mobile home park. What a wonderful idea and I'm sure people are loving it. It's great that the management is on board too.

By the way, we are almost neighbors, I live up the hill in Mariposa. Different winters but the same hot summers.

Miss Mousie

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

Post  outsideasy on 11/8/2010, 10:37 am

Thank You Sandy, for your nice comments and reading our story, we won the cut worm war for now and our bug zapper will stay on at night, now we just have to keep the snails out. I don't have any experience with deer but some of us are considering netting to keep the moths off the plants all together.
All the Best
Al

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Re: A couple of noob questions.......sorry.

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