Monday, June 2, 2008

June 2, 2008

Well, I decided this morning that I needed to do something QUICK to save my garden. What started out weeks ago as one hole in two leaves of my beans has quickly become the monster that ate NY...  What did it was almost overnight it looks like someone used a shotgun with buckshot on my broccoli and cauliflower leaves.  I was mortified. 

So I called Sky Nursery and explained my problem to a veggie expert.  He said I likely had moth larva and needed either BT or a product with Spinosad.  Both apparently are organic products that have dormant parasites that will grow when ingested and kill the bug from the inside.  It's safe for kids.  That's a good thing with a 2 year old that has decided to start sticking things into his mouth.  And it won't harm other plants, which is good for SFG intensive gardening.  Based on the second person I talked to at the store, I went with the Spinosad one because apparently BT works best if you spray the critter. I've never seen the bug. 

I got home, watered and then sprayed the heck out of everything leafy.  By the time I sprayed they'd hit my mature radish leaves.  GRRR they're devouring my garden one leaf at a time!  I know I'm not supposed to expect immediate results, but I sure hope it works fast or I'll have nothing left!

Oh and I also sprayed my spinach as the label says it also works for leaf miners.  It's worth a shot.  I'll let you know if it works.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. If you haven't already, I suggest you thoroughly search your plants for caterpillars, beetles, weevils, slugs, or whatever. Caterpillars in particular, although hard to spot, can be found and killed. You might also come out as late at night as possible with a flashlight to check for same. Or very early in the morning. Weevils are particularly nasty. They hide nearby, come out at night, and do significant damage before returning into hiding.

  2. Eeek that's awful - haven't seen anything like that on my plants yet - though the tomatoes are looking kind of scary. Hope it works fast!!
    ~plantgirl of
    Plantgirl's Square Foot Garden Blog

  3. I thoroughly searched my plants and beds for anything non-plantlike and found nada. I searched in the day and after dark.

    Hopefully the weevils are prone to parasites also if that's what they are.

  4. Did you look on the back side of the broccoli leaves? I had the same problem last year. The little catipillars/larva (not sure what they are) can be smaller than mechanical pencil lead. And they are green! But they grow very fast when they are eating a lot.

    I've never bought any pesticides but seem to be able to control them by gently turning over every leaf on the plant and inspecting very carefully, especially near the holes. Then I just squish the buggers with my fingers, right on the plant. That seems to make the holes stop getting bigger. You'll know in a couple days if you got them all because the damage will either stop or keep on truckin.

    Now this year I have an entirely different problem. I think I planted my plants to close together and the slugs and snails are hiding in the lettuce during the day and crawling onto my broccoli at night. You can tell because the leaves get eaten all the way to the edges instead of having shot gun holes. Also the slimy trails are a good indicator! The type of leaf damage is as different as cats and dogs.

  5. Wow I was looking at my photos from last year and realized I was way behind on my green bean planting. Darn.

    But I was surprised to see how much everything grew between June 4th and June 21st last year. Watch out! Things should go fast the next few weeks.

    This reminds me that I need to setup my pumpkin, green bean, and tomato trellises.

  6. Upon further inspection last night, they were caterpillars/larva!

    I found three large (size of ear wigs) ones on my broccoli last night and another two this morning. I also found 3 or 4 of the very small pencil lead sized ones. Argh. That explains the sad looking broccoli we have.

    Oh and most were on the under side of the leaves but there were a few on the tops too.

  7. Great that you found them! Now you can do something about them!