Happy New Year Everyone! I have been taking it easy the past few days due to my back giving me some grief. But today I felt o.k. to be up and about and decided to take a peak at what is left in my garden. Despite being officially winter the weather has been mild, which has extended the growing season.
This is great since the spring was so rainy my garden was not looking like it was going to be successful. So I spent a little of the afternoon removing the last of my Brussel sprouts and one kohlrabi. This led to trimming and cleaning the sprouts to get them ready for freezing. This reminded me a of Pinterest fail I encountered this summer in my garden.
I have been inundated with the white cabbage moth in past growing seasons and really needed to figure out a way to protect my cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. So I found a video by the Rusted Gardener pinned on Pinterest in which the gardener used tulle to cover his plants. Since I have a large garden instead of a container garden, I used 5 yards of tulle to cover multiple rows of plants. I edged the tulle in duct tape and also added washers along the length to weigh the tulle down. I used small tomato cages at the end of the rows to hold up the tulle over the plants. I just clipped the tulle to the cages. This worked great until it rained. With the changes in weather the duct tape fell off the tulle and the edges were no longer weighted. So in the end I did end up with moths getting to my plants, but the plants at least had some time to become established before I had to deal with the resulting cabbage worms.
Since the Brussel sprouts get tall and bushy they ended up uncovered. The leaves started to look a little rough from the moth and their offspring so I resorted to spraying the plants with an insecticidal soap after testing it on a couple of the leaves. Since there has been a few days where the weather has dipped below freezing, I used the broad leaves on the plant to protect the sprouts just by gently pulling them down and securing to the base of the stalk with a rubber band.
So for next year I need to find a way to weigh down the edges of the tulle that does not use duct tape. I am considering building wood frames for the end of the rows and possibly stapling the tulle taunt and down. But that leaves me pondering how I would get into them without pulling them all apart. I have a few months to think about it, or look to Pinterest again for another experiment to try. 😉