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Broccoli devastation

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Broccoli devastation

Post  Mikey Donuts on 6/25/2011, 6:04 am

Hi guys, my wife and I have recently discovered square foot gardening and have been having a great time with it. We've planted three 3x3 beds that are on raised platforms which sit about three feet off the ground with storage space underneath. Everything was going well until just a few minutes ago when I noticed my broccoli plants (about 7" tall) have a lot of leaf damage. I don't think it was any sort of regular ground based pests like rabbits, rats or slugs since the beds are so far off the ground. The only thing I can think of is birds. We've got lots of doves and crows in the area, maybe they are the culprits? Should I let the plants try and recover since there are uneaten portions of leaves?
Thanks very much in advance,
Mike

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  shawnlx86 on 6/25/2011, 7:33 am

cabbage worms:the moth lays eggs on underside of leaves, if you see a dark green gunk on leaves its their waste. look under leaves for the worms and eggs, their about the same color as leaves, they blend in well. if theres not too many, hand pick, if you find too many to deal with you might want to get a spray. my problem got way out of hand, i ordered some bonide captain jack's dead bug brew to use on my fall crop of broccoli, i just started indoors. good luck

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  Mikey Donuts on 6/25/2011, 11:35 am

Thanks for the response. I didn't see any green colored gunk under the leaves, but I did find these small white bugs underneath all of the broccoli (I still have some in pots) and cauliflower plants. They look like tiny moths and are probably 3mm across.


I killed as many of the bugs and their eggs as I could. Is there anything I can do besides spraying. I figure if I do that, I may as well just buy broccoli at the store....

My Broccoli went from healthy plants to this in about 18 hours:


Thanks again for any advice you have.
Mike

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  walshevak on 6/25/2011, 3:32 pm

Have you tried spraying with a few drops of dish soap in 2 liters of water. Some add several drops of garlic oil or some chile peppers. Search on the forum for some recipes for organic solutions including BT and Neem.

Kay

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  Mikey Donuts on 6/25/2011, 3:38 pm

I haven't tried the dish soap yet, but will definitely research that as well as BT. How long would it take cabbage moths to wreck the five broccoli plants? After some more research it looks like those little white insects are whiteflies. Keeping in mind all this happened in less than 24 hours and that I haven't found a single decent sized insect on any of the plants I think it was probably the birds. There were also uneaten remnants of leaves scattered throughout the raised bed area which I doubt would happen if caterpillars were the culprits. What do you guys think? I'll probably get some covers for the broccoli tomorrow.

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/25/2011, 3:41 pm

Looking in my book Good Bug Bad Bug they look like Whitefly, white moth like flies. You are most likely to notice them when there is a large number of them. They suggest removing leaves that are infested to keep the larva population down. And use yellow cards coated in non drying glue, to make your own mix petroleum jelly and household detergent in equal parts. It has to be on a yellow card or board to attract the flies.

That's what it looks like to me but bug problems are different throughout the US so they could be something different that just looks similar over there in the UK. :o)
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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  ModernDayBetty on 6/25/2011, 3:41 pm

@Mikey Donuts wrote:I haven't tried the dish soap yet, but will definitely research that as well as BT. How long would it take cabbage moths to wreck the five broccoli plants? After some more research it looks like those little white insects are whiteflies. Keeping in mind all this happened in less than 24 hours and that I haven't found a single decent sized insect on any of the plants I think it was probably the birds. There were also uneaten remnants of leaves scattered throughout the raised bed area which I doubt would happen if caterpillars were the culprits. What do you guys think? I'll probably get some covers for the broccoli tomorrow.

I was typing while you were posting, looks like you figured it out :o)
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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  walshevak on 6/25/2011, 3:56 pm

Some sort of lightweight row cover that still lets plenty of sunlight through will solve a lot of broccoli, cabbage and other cole crop bug problems. I used the nylon net that bridal veils are made from.

Kay, currently broadcasting from Vienna

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Re: Broccoli devastation

Post  Mikey Donuts on 6/26/2011, 3:18 am

Thanks so much everyone, I'm off to pick up some mesh this morning.

Mike

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