the march of the butterflies (and the worms that eat your produce)
much like the march of the penguins, the warmer months welcome the “march of the butterflies”. although beautiful, beware - these attractive assassins lay sneaky eggs under the leaves of many of our favourite brassicas, leafy greens and their moth friends do the same with our precious tomatoes!!!
back when i first started growing in my airgarden, i noticed these beautiful butterflies hovering around my kale plants, little did i know they were laying eggs that would ravage all of my hard work. there are some easy things we can do to keep these butterflies at bay.
there are 5 main ways to combat butterflies and moths from laying eggs (which turn into the cabbage worms) & also managing them if they are already feasting in your airgarden.
- spray your plants’ leaves with water and knock me and my mates right off our perch!
- spray some yates natures way to kill the worms (see table below for details).
- cover your edible crops with fine mesh or similar.
- this physically stops the butterflies from being able to lay eggs. we have a custom net on the way, but in the meantime here is a great net from bunnings: insect netting
- plant smelly herbs to confuse them such as sage, dill and coriander.
- plant land cress - barbarea vulgaris somewhere else in the garden. this plant attracts the butterflies to lay their eggs. when the caterpillars hatch, they die from eating the leaves that are poisonous to them.
What they Look Like
cabbage moth eggs
Solutions to Fix
cabbage moths that lay eggs on the underside of plants like kale, broccoli and rocket. and also tomato worms (budworms) who burrow into tomatoes and wreak havoc like their above mentioned cousins;
Damage they Do
so keep your eyes peeled, stay vigilant and have your defences at the ready. a little offence can keep the butterflies and their hungry offspring on the backfoot. happy airgardening tribe!!!