What To Do About Butterflies & Worms
Although prime for growing, the warmer months can also bring with them butterflies. Although beautiful, beware - these attractive assassins lay sneaky eggs under the leaves of many of our favourite leafy greens.
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), and also managing them if they are already feasting in your Airgarden.
1. Spray your plants’ leaves with water and knock them right off their perch!
2. Spray some Yates Nature's Way to kill the worms
- Once a caterpillar eats treated foliage, it stops eating but may take up to 3-4 days to die and drop from the leaf.
- DO NOT spray when conditions are hot - the best time to apply is in late afternoon.
- Read the label and mix as instructed.
- Spray when caterpillars or their damage first appear. It is important to spray both sides of all foliage.
- Respraying at 5 – 7 day intervals may be needed as more caterpillars hatch or under rainy conditions.
3. Cover your edible crops with fine mesh or similar.
4. Plant smelly herbs to confuse them such as sage, dill and coriander.
5. Plant land cress (Barbarea Vulgaris) somewhere else in the garden.
This plant attracts the butterflies to lay their eggs, but they the caterpillars hatch they die from eating the leaves that are poisonous to them.
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 back foot. Happy Airgardening tribe!