*Jaws music*…………well not quite a great white shark, but today my gardening friends we are talking about the scourge that is the Cabbage White (and it’s evil cousin the Small White).
Firstly can I just apologise for my lack of gardening updates. With the disaster in the spring of my seedlings being blown over, my August and September hasn’t yielded much fruits of my labours. My tomatoes are still very much green and my Aubergines are yet to appear. I think I have one little flower just starting to appear on my Aubergine, but with winter fast approaching I fear there will not be time for them to actually grow and develop. My courgettes – the ones that survived the great slug massacre – had an accident somehow. The plant sort of split in half the top bit with the actual courgettes completely severed. I did stick the top part in a pot in the hopes that somehow it might generate roots, but initially it perked up a little, then sort of shrivelled and died. The bottom half however regenerated and I have JUST picked my first courgettes.
They’re not going to win any prizes in the size stakes (next to some cucamelons for scale), but they are very nice and green so I imagine they will be extra healthy. Anyway hopefully my tomatoes will start to turn orange soon and I can share some yummy chutney recipes.
The other reason, that I must mention, that it has been quiet here is that my day job has somewhat overtaken my hobbies. I have to mention this because I have been working on a shiny new wordpress website, something I have no idea how to do! So I am very proud of my wordpress skillz. It was painfully slow to do and VERY frustrating but I got there in the end. Look at my shiny new website for my day job HEREEE ———-> http://www.bettybluesloungerie.com
Anyway back to the scourge that is the large cabbage white and small cabbage white. Let me introduce you to them.
These little guys, now deceased god rest their souls, are the large cabbage white caterpillars. These are the ones I am most used to, seen here on my broccoli from a few months ago. They are way easier to see than the ones we shall identify in a minute. And I thought I had ridded myself of the problem. But no, when I planted out my kale, they soon honed in on it and wreaked their havoc again. So I covered my kale with some insect netting to try and combat this problem.
See all tucked in nice and safe………………..or so I thought! What instead I had done was tuck in the small cabbage white caterpillars. So well tucked in they were, that they were incubated and multiplied and grew and got nice and fat and juicy. But they were unable to be preyed upon by birds or whatever else eats caterpillars because I had tucked them in nice and safely. So my eyes were assaulted with holey kale and LOADS of green furry little fellas. These little fellas:
It took me a while to track down who these little guys were. But my research found they were a cousin of the black and white cabbage white caterpillars, being the small cabbage white. Just as ravenous and destructive as their black and white friends but INFINITELY more difficult to spot and remove to squish. And these green mo fos seem to spread all over the kale. The large cabbage white seem to congregate together and work their way over the plant together. So if spotted you only need to rip off one leaf and you can easily dispatch of them in one go. These mo fos spread and hide in the folds of the same coloured kale. So therefore have to be picked off one by one and disposed of accordingly (usually the last thing they see is the bottom of my shoe). So plagued by these horrid little caterpillars, I have had to harvest all my kale sooner rather than wait until October/November when they are nice and big and bushy. In the process of harvesting, I checked each leaf before washing under the tap, washed them two times in a bowl of water, spinning in a salad spinner after each wash and then bagged up for the fridge and freezer. BUT STILL I FOUND MORE IN THE BAGS OF KALE. I actually found a caterpillar in a kale stew I made which totally put me of the previously delicious meal. Who knows I may even have eaten a few *blurgh*.
As I have alluded before, most met a grizzly but quick death being stamped upon. But when I was washing and sorting the kale I did try and save a few because there were so many. I merrily chucked them out of my kitchen window……………….. However I had forgotten that outside the kitchen window is our garden tap. Underneath the tap in a nice biiiiiig bowl of cool fresh water for the dogs. When I went outside to check they weren’t crawling back to my other plants. THEY HAD ALL LANDED IN THE DOG BOWL AND DROWNED! Hahahahahahahahaaaaa I found it hysterically funny having the dark sense of humour that I have. I had tried to save them, but in the process had subjected them to a cruel and slow death far worse than being stomped on quickly and efficiently. If that isn’t irony for you I don’t know what is!
Until next time, happy gardening!