Tag Archives: broccoli

How to Protect Cabbage Plants from Predators

Before I begin I would like to mention that this will work to protect all of your brassica family plants from those white cabbage butterflies. As you will see in the video, I am not only using this method to protect my kale, and broccoli plants as well. The thing that you need to keep in mind is how tall the plant is that you are protecting.

Last year I put a row of broccoli across the back of the bed (left to right in the video) and it ended up pushing up both ends of the netting. This year I am remedying this by planting the broccoli directly under the tallest part of the frame. This should keep everything in place, as well as protected.

This is a very simple way to protect your cabbages and other brassicas, but it is by no means the only way. Many gardeners have had lots of luck with “hiding” their plants in between others of a different family. This is done not only by planting a cabbage or two in between many other types of plants, but also by spreading them through the whole garden. This keeps the predators, like those bloody white butterflies, confused as to where the plants they want are.

I tried this in the past and it never worked out for me, but I also, until last year only had a few little gardening plots around the yard. I think this lead to my problem, as I didn’t have much for other vegetables, and perennials to hide the cabbages and broccoli between. I am hoping that this will be my go-to method once I have more space set up for planting, but for now, I am very happy with the method in the video.

Another method that can help you out is companion planting. I tried planting dill near my cabbages a few years ago, and I have to say, I did have less damage to the cabbage than in years prior. I think if I had more dill, or other aromatic herbs, and had it and my cabbage spread through the yard, I would have done even better.

The method shown below is simple, give it a watch, and give it a try. You don’t need a fancy small greenhouse frame like I used, you can use anything from some PVC bent over the bed, to a fancy wooden frame that took you three days to build. The important part of the project is that the netting covers the entire crop and that the holes are too small for the cabbage butterflies to get through.

Thanks for watching, reading, and remember to keep on gardening!

April 24 Garden Update

Hello everyone! First off I would like to apologize for my recent absence from the site, some things have changed in my life and I have been finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write. Some things have changed around the gardens even with how busy I have been. Part of the reason I haven’t had time to sit and write, is because many of my evenings are filled with either extra work, or fiddling with things around the gardens and greenhouse.

The Greenhouse Floor

Those things include finally putting in a good looking floor for the greenhouse, and adding in the raised bed on the North side. I will do a complete write-up on it soon, but let me just say that it was a real pain in the back lifting that greenhouse while we leveled the sides. Most people would have just propped it up instead of holding the whole damned thing off of the ground while their friend shoveled… Apparently we are not most people, because neither of us thought to do it until much later!

Greenhouse 2015

The new floor and the raised bed are great new improvements to the greenhouse.

Peppers, Tomatoes, and Herbs Oh My!

On February 15 I started my peppers, tomatoes, basil, and lemon balm. This year I am trying two types of tomatoes, the Better Boy that I have been growing for the past three years, and a Roma as well, since I would like to try making some homemade sauces. For peppers I planted bell, habanero, jalapeno, and Chile peppers. I think my bell pepper seeds must have been too old though, as I had no germination from them, while the rest of the seeds showed nearly 100% germination.

Peppers Tomatoes Herbs

The Tomatoes have suffered a bit from over-watering as per usual, but everything else is going pretty well, all of those plants are loving the extra heat during the day in the greenhouse.

After I transplanted them on March 15, I have a lemon balm, basil, 2 Jalapeno, a habenero, a Chile pepper, a roma, a better boy, and a mystery tomato that I lost the tag to and tried a little experiment with it in the greenhouse. The experiment was basically to see if I could keep the tomato (and some others) warm enough at night in the greenhouse through slightly freezing temperatures with just a heating mat. It seems to have worked great, except for the day that I forgot to shut it off, and uncover the plants… I lost all of my extras except for one tomato, and two basils which are still just barely hanging on.

The Rejects April 24

Two Basil and either a Roma or Better Boy Tomato plant that are the only survivors of having the heat mat left on in an already hot day in the greenhouse.

Ready, Set, Onions!

Next, for the first time I bought and planted onion sets instead of buying the already growing plants from a garden centre. I planted 70 sets (35 white and 35 red) with 66 of those going into one of the new 4’x 4’ garden areas I put in last June, and 2 of each going into the greenhouse. The ones in the greenhouse are just to see how well they would grow in there, I probably could have used the space for something else, but I tucked them into the corner of the raised bed, so they shouldn’t be too much in the way.

Onion Sets

66 Onion sets ready to be planted outside, and I planted another 4 inside the greenhouse. That should be enough.

Those were all planted on April 11, not many have come up in the raised bed yet, but the ones that were already growing slightly when I planted them are getting bigger, and the ones in the greenhouse just sprouted yesterday, so I am not too worried.

Berries, Melons, and the Cabbage Family

On April 14, I planted six each of sugar baby watermelon, Minnesota midget variety cantaloupe, red cabbage, green cabbage, and broccoli. I also planted 42 white alpine strawberries. In the ten days since, all of the watermelon, cabbage, and broccoli have sprouted, as well as a cantaloupe, but none of the strawberries have. I have just been setting the tray out in the greenhouse in the mornings and then setting them under the lights inside for the night. It seems to be working well, and it not only lets me shut off the grow light during the day, but it also gives me more room to start more plants. The next batch of plants will be planted any day now, and will be in the greenhouse full time, with a heat mat under them in the evenings.

10 Day Old Seedlings April 24

Pretty good growth for only 10 days. I already have to transplant the watermelons soon. From left to right are strawberries (haven’t sprouted yet), broccoli, green cabbage, watermelon, red cabbage, and cantaloupe.

Yesterday, and if you follow me on Instagram you already know, I put out my newly made strawberry planter and planted some bare root strawberries in it and spread wood chips around it. What you might not know is that I also bought four blueberry plants to replace the ones I lost last winter because I never found a place to plant them and left them in the pots on the deck.

Strawberries April 23

The strawberry planter turned out pretty well for saying I didn’t have an actual plan, and it was made from an old pallet. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I had some extra spray paint laying around though.

Blueberries April 24

I bought 2 Chippewan and 2 Polaris Blueberry plants at Canadian Tire on April 23rd. This year I have a spot picked out for them already so they won’t end up dying on the deck again.

Bonus Entry

Speaking of plants left out on the deck… I bought a rhubarb plant last spring, with hopes of eating some strawberry rhubarb pie once it, and the strawberries I planted last year (none of which survived the winter again) were ready. Just like with the blueberries, I could not find a place to plant it, and before I could it was absolutely destroyed by hail and died.

Or so I thought. Early April sometime, the little leaves started poking out of the soil in the pot again, and I already have a spot all picked out for it this time. I will be putting it in the ground within the next week, where it can thrive without me worrying about it. I mean if it can last all winter in that little pot on the deck, it can survive anything where I’m going to put it.

Rhubarb April 24

Back from the dead. Lucky for it (and for me), I was too lazy to empty the pot after I thought it had died last summer.

That’s all for this update, I am hoping they come quicker now that I have things figured out a little better, but I make no promises to that end. As always, you can follow along with my on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or Google Plus, all of which have links in my author profile box below or up in the sidebar to the right.