Sunday, June 30, 2013

Take THAT You Cabbage Moths!

Way back in May I blogged about the screened frames we were building in an effort to keep those little white cabbage moths from depositing their eggs (that turn into worms -- eeeuuww) on our Brussels sprout, cabbage and broccoli plants.

Last year we used Sue's method for keeping out those dratted insects.  (That would be Sue, vegetable and flower gardener extraordinaire of Sue's Garden Journal.)  She puts plastic hoops covered with Agribon over her raised beds.  I stole her idea (she was so generous in sharing how to do it with me) and, by Jupiter, it worked extremely well to keep the cabbage moths out of our brassicas.

The one catch was that Sue's raised beds are in sand which enables her to hold the Agribon cloth securely down on both sides and each end by covering the ends of the cloth with sand.  We have grass between our raised beds and after much trial and error (mostly error), found the only way we could secure the ends was by screwing a lath of wood through the Agribon to the side and ends of each raised bed.  But this was too much of a hassle to take off and then put back on again each time I wanted to get into the bed to pull weeds or check maturity of the crop.

This week we finally got the screening stapled onto the frames (BFORE the moths have appeared on the scene, thankfully) and they are now installed on the beds.


Here's a picture of three of the screened frames on the raised beds.  The taller ones are three feet high.  We made two of them for beds of Brussels sprouts, and one for a bed of broccoli.  The smaller one (in the middle above) is only two feet high and covers a bed of cabbage.


This is a closer look at one of the beds of Brussels sprouts.  The cages have screening over the top and all four sides.

Will they work as well as the Agribon did to keep our veggies worm-free?  I sure hope so.  Time will tell.  Stay tuned.

26 comments:

  1. WOW!
    Those are nice!
    I had to show Don right away--love the idea.
    Of course, I will never SEE ONE BUILT IN THIS LIFETIME.
    But, I suppose I could STEAL some. I know where they are--BWA HA HA!
    Just kidding. I know you are mailing me some as I write this. Right?
    LOL

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    1. Sue - Yep. Crating up a couple of the big ones as we speak.

      Now you KNOW you have ways of getting Don to do whatever your little heart desires, so you could have as many of these as you wanted! Hee-hee.

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  2. Those are really impressive. Are they very heavy? Will you be able to lift them over tall plants by yourself?

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    1. tpals - They're really not very heavy at all, but because they are 4' x 8' it takes one of us on either end to move them around. And, of course, it will be a little trickier when the broccoli and Brussels sprouts are full grown!

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  3. They are beautiful!! I was thinking along these lines for our blueberry bushes, but so far regular netting is working okay. I do know those birds still sit on top and peck through to what they can reach (boo). Your frames look ideal! Really, really nice work!

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    1. I'll Call You Jane - Thank you, ma'am! I don't know how we're so lucky but we've never had a problem with the birds taking our blueberries. Something like these screened frames would sure bamboozle those birdies of yours though!

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  4. Wow, those look good! I am such a stickler for things looking neat & those really do. Wonder if they would work to keep leaf miners off my tomatoes?

    Thanks for the link.

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    1. DFW - I would think they would keep the adult egg laying leaf miners off your tomatoes. Leaf miners, ugh . . . that's a little bugger we don't have up here!

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  5. Wow, I think I would have made them framed like a greenhouse where you could walk in the middle for weeding and picking. But then I just would not like to have to move those every time I wanted veggies for dinner.

    BTW my thermom says 112 right now on it's way down from 113 ........... as I wilt back to whatever it was I was doing.

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  6. Tombstone Livestock - Ideally, someday I'd love to have a bigger screened in frame out in the field garden. Like you say, with a door that you could open and walk into. On my wish list is also a huge hoop house covering about a quarter of the field garden (dream on) just to give that little extra bit of warmth and protection to peppers, tomatoes, squash, etc.

    I'm sitting here all showered and ready for bed but I think I'm getting sweaty just hearing about your temperatures!

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    1. The Weekend Homesteader - Garsh, I'm humbled! Thank you.

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  8. OMG! Those are perfect! Leave it to you and Papa Pea to come up with terrific ideas that also look good. You're not related to a certain east-coaster with minions, are you? I am planning something similar (and, I am sure, not as nicely made) to put on my cold frame. Will be anxious to know how they work.

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    1. Susan - Nope, not related to a certain east-coaster (and don't think I would want to be!). This idea was born out of sheer necessity and the fact that I want to womit when I find a worm on my plate.

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  9. Totally stealing/liberating this idea for next years spring planting here! was able to (knock on wood) get a broccoli harvest bug free this year..which tells me I'm in for it the next. Wonderful idea. Thank you for the great pic's

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    1. Katidids - Other than by using the Agribon last year, I've NEVER been able to grow broccoli without those dadgum, blasted worms in it. YUCK! Feel free to liberate this idea for use in your garden.

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  10. Great idea, and very nice construction too!

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    1. Nancy - Thank you! Sure hope they do what we want them to do!

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  11. Those are great! Take that, wormies!!

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    1. LindaCO - Thanks, Linda. Those cabbage moths are gonna have to work hard to get at my brassicas now. (Sure hope they fail.!)

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  12. You should have made one side on a hinge so you wouldn't have to lift them off to get at the plants. You would only have to lift up the side to get into the beds and then prop up the side or make some other way to keep the side from crashing down on you while you harvest or weed.

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  13. Sparkless - I may come to think I should have done just that. The thing is I've never actually stepped on the soil in any of the raised beds. That way the soil doesn't get compacted and, I believe, makes a much better growing medium for the plants especially the root crops. I mulched all the beds we put the screened frames on so weeds would be deterred. And I'll only have to access the veggies to harvest them so I'm hoping I don't have to take the frames off and put them back on many times. That's the theory anyway. I'll let you know if it proves to be a good one! :o)

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  14. Wonderful idea! We had an entire crop of gorgeous Anaheim chilies and Red Peppers get attacked by Sphinx moths our here in California. I vowed I would never plant night shade plants again after all that mess, but this is encouraging. Thank you for posting :)

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    1. Laura - You're very welcome! Gives me the willies just thinking about your attack by the sphinx moths!!

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