Wanted: For Crimes Against My Brassicas!

So, the sun is finally making an appearance and warming the air (in my opinion a little too much at times), allowing the butterflies to come out without fear of drowning.  It is high Summer, the buddlejia is flowering, the sky is sometimes blue and the garden is brought to life by the droning of bees (although reportedly fewer than in previous years) and the fluttering of delicate wings looking for some nectar producing plants on which to land.  

Oh and the evil white butterflies that don’t stop long enough for me to take a picture, who are not looking for nectar.  No, they are looking for my young cavolo nero that I am growing for the winter.  They hunt round and round, stopping only briefly when they spot something in the brassica family that they can oviposit on (is that a verb – not sure?).  

Many an allotment is covered in netting to keep these devil insects at bay, but, should I use these in the garden – not very pretty!  I am resorting to regular checks of my plants.  This is where I may have the advantage over the allotment holders, I only have eight plants, and so a regular check is not so time consuming.  So far I have been evaded by two caterpillars who munched their way through the majority of two plants, but, in the main I have managed to remove most of the eggs.  If this doesn’t work this year I may have to resort to a shotgun next year!  I have included a couple of pictures below of the white butterfly that is out to get my brassicas (not the actual one, I have had to resort to a picture that  I took the other year) and the reason they are so naughty.

Garden Update

So, the courgette is dead, the beans are under attack, has it all gone wrong? Fortunately, no it hasn’t. I did a quick stocktake today and a few days with some sun and no rain has allowed the plants to put a bit of a growth spurt on and stick two fingers up to Mr Slug.

Courgette PlantThe courgette that was planted in the tub is still there and starting to grow, although it is destined to be lonely because the seed I planted to replace the aforementioned marrowy martyr did not manage to shrug off its seed case and has since withered and died.

Hildora, dwarf french beanThe beans, both types, are starting to really take off (this being one of the lessons I should have learnt from reading Monty Don’s My Roots where he states that there is no point planting beans out until June, point taken, mental note made for next year).

Flower Buds on TomatoThe tomatoes are doing well and the first flower buds have appeared on the Gardener’s Delight.

The potatoes are also growing well with the Charlottes and Shetland Blacks in the tubs earthed up as far as they can be. I will be interested to see which of these give the best combination of flavour and yield (along with Mimi) as we do not really want to grow quite so many next year.

The chillis and sweet peppers have in the main survived their potting on and are lined up, awaiting transfer to the front garden where they will get more sun. As ever, I have grown too many of these, so may have to give some away.

Today I also potted on the Cavolo Nero that I am growing for Winter harvesting. This is the first time I have grown any kind of kale and so am really growing by trial and error. I am not sure if they should be potted on, but they look a bit little and defenceless at the moment and so I am unwilling to pop them in the ground just yet.

Flower bud on the blackberryMain failures so far this year – radish, should have thinned them, salad leaves, Mr Slug strikes again.

Plant that came back from the dead – thornless blackberry, bought too early, left in a pot for too long, looked like it wasn’t going to survive, now coming into flower.