NET YOUR BRASSICAS

The Bay Chronicle - - SITUATIONS VACANT -

There are many ap­proaches to beat­ing cab­bage white but­ter­flies at their game lay­ing eggs on your cab­bages, cauli, broc­coli and kale, but none are per­fect, save net­ting. You can’t go wrong with a well placed, well timed, un­breach­able net that’s fine enough to keep white but­ter­flies off the leaves of your bras­sica col­lec­tion. You need to make sure the net is lifted clear of the plants; use hoops of wire, alka­thene or bam­boo to pre­vent the nets from touch­ing the leaves you are try­ing to pro­tect. When you’ve suc­cess­fully net­ted your brassicas away from the sort of harm hun­gry cater­pil­lars can do, don’t cease your in­spec­tions – some cun­ning white will be sure to get in some­how, and you have to get to the rogue eggs it’ll leave be­hind be­fore they hatch and start chew­ing. Vig­i­lance is paramount! – Robert Guy­ton Cater­ing for frosts be­cause you’ve noted a yearly pat­tern can save a whole crop from loss. Take es­pe­cial note of the pres­ence of bees and other pol­li­nat­ing in­sects and see if you can de­ter­mine where they came from and how they got to your gar­den. If there’s a prob­lem with poor pol­li­na­tion, you could for­mu­late a plan for bet­ter re­sults next year, by for ex­am­ple, talk­ing to a bee keeper and ar­rang­ing some tem­po­rary hives for your neigh­bour­hood. – Robert Guy­ton

value greater than their beauty to your gar­den. Trees such as kowhai, kak­abeak, tree lucerne and labur­num do as all legumes do – cap­ture ni­tro­gen from the at­mos­phere and store it in your soil for shar­ing later on. Legumes (and re­mem­ber that peas and beans are in­cluded in this fam­ily) feed the plants around them, some­times when they ex­pire, as with an­nu­als, but of­ten grad­u­ally as their roots re-form. A bonus with most legu­mi­nous trees and shrubs is that kereru will travel big dis­tances to feast on their leaf tips and flow­ers, their favourite be­ing the broom and gorse so dis­liked in the agri­cul­tural world. I don’t sug­gest you plant those, but legumes like them would do very nicely in­deed.

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