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  1. #1
    Shadow Sovereign Sung Jin-Woo's Avatar
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    Default Garden advice (Dealing with pests)

    Okay, so I started up a garden this year for the first time. I got some raised beds, and had some help from my agricultural friend. I am taking a semi-organic approach and I seem to have encountered a few problems.

    How do I get rid of caterpillars?! They've eaten most of my bok choy! Then I seem to have gotten mold on one of my pumpkin plants. Or is pesticides the only option?

    I was just wondering what advice you have to prevent this, and I am willing to try anything at this point. Any advice is appreciated.
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    Congrats! Welcome to the most rewarding/frustrating hobby. Have you IDed the caterpillars?

    My cabbage plants haven't had too many caterpillars thankfully due to all the rain this summer. I usually just pick them off daily or keep them enclosed in a tight wire mesh if it's a bad year. Insecticide soaps aren't really meant for edible produce, so that's not really an option. If your plots are fenced and you're not squeamish about amphibians, toads are an easy seasonal option. I've never tried it, but knew people in college that herped for their own lumpy garden guards. An alternative is keeping a few bird feeders nearby, so the songbirds passively clean up for you. Hope that helps

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    Shadow Sovereign Sung Jin-Woo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tengri View Post
    Congrats! Welcome to the most rewarding/frustrating hobby. Have you IDed the caterpillars?

    My cabbage plants haven't had too many caterpillars thankfully due to all the rain this summer. I usually just pick them off daily or keep them enclosed in a tight wire mesh if it's a bad year. Insecticide soaps aren't really meant for edible produce, so that's not really an option. If your plots are fenced and you're not squeamish about amphibians, toads are an easy seasonal option. I've never tried it, but knew people in college that herped for their own lumpy garden guards. An alternative is keeping a few bird feeders nearby, so the songbirds passively clean up for you. Hope that helps
    I kinda went in with complete ignorance. I have no fences.

    I have identified them as 2-3 different species of cabbage butterly. I realize now I probably should have done my research on care xD.

    Getting frogs might work, but how do you contain them?
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  4. #4

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    Try a bacillus thuringiensis (BT) product for cabbage butterfly caterpillars that can easily be purchased on amazon and gardening shops. It's an organic, bacterial pesticide which is safe for humans and animals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yamimaru View Post
    I kinda went in with complete ignorance. I have no fences.

    I have identified them as 2-3 different species of cabbage butterly. I realize now I probably should have done my research on care xD.

    Getting frogs might work, but how do you contain them?
    Ah, no worries. Even if you're following guides, it's about fine-tuning your own yard and preferences. A roll of plastic garden mesh and tomato stakes are cheap at most garden centers. It will stall flightless insects because of the extra vertical trip up and down. (Plus keep rabbits and deer from ruining your bok choy)

    If the mesh is tight enough and you tack it at the bottom, the toads will contentedly stay put and eat anything they find. I've only had toads as pets, so I know they're very sedentary, but can't really say if it's a cure all. I'd recommend a combination of options. I shared crop plots at a co-op in school, any everyone had their own methods, so experiment and dive in

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    Asked one of the experts at the (Garden) work party today.

    Without anymore details she identified your pests as "Cabbage butterflies". Her advice was to cover your garden with something called "Row cover" in the spring when they would be likely to lay their eggs on the vegetables. No eggs in the spring, no caterpillars in the summer.

    It's a fair amount of work but effective.
    " Do something, even if it's wrong."

    " I don't wanna have to but I will, if that's what I'm supposed to do
    We don't wanna set up for the kill, but that's what I'm 'bout to do."
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    Shadow Sovereign Sung Jin-Woo's Avatar
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    I wanted to update my garden status as its past season. I managed to salvage 1/4 of my bok choy. I had produced 2 harbaneros and a kajillion chili peppers. About 20 sweet peppers. 40 stalks of green onions, and surprisingly asparagus grew in the first year, but it was eaten by squirrels. I produced about 20 cucumbers, which were pickled nicely. Not bad for 2 4x6 raised beds.
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