Hoophouse brassicas

Ugh, the weird early spring and heatwave of late May have done a number on the broccoli and cauliflower I had planted in the hoophouse, sigh.

Lessons learned.

1.  Put the row covers on at transplanting, even in the hoophouse.  The cabbage butterfly will find them and lay eggs, which will hatch into voracious green monsters caterpillars.  Sigh.  Adding the row cover later just makes it easier for them to hide, munch, and crap all over your plants.

2. Have brassicas ready for planting out in the hoophouse much sooner, as the weather gets too hot in late spring,  Aim for April or early May harvesting.  The hot weather led to bolting.

3. Check more frequently under the row cover for damage control.  Catching it early might have saved a few plants for me.  At least the hens will benefit from the plants and the caterpillars.

4.  Leave yourself enough time and energy to take care of the plants you have.  I need to give these guys a big drink and a shot of fish emulsion tonight.  They needed it last weekend, if not before.

5.Spring-hinged scissors make short work of the little bastards; one little snip cuts your problem in half.

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6 Responses to “Hoophouse brassicas”

  1. nancybond Says:

    Take some comfort in knowing they will be dinner for the chickens. :)

  2. Robin Says:

    I plant my tunnel broc in March so that it’s out before the cabbage butterflies and heat are a problem. They’re terrible this year. I think they’re having a family reunion. I wish they’d sent out the invitation with a note to BYOB (bring your own broccoli).

    • Ali Says:

      Ha ha, BYOB. Yes, they are terrible, it must be the weird spring weather, alternating hot spells with cool. I don’t even know what is normal anymore!

      Do you start the seeds inside or in the hoophouse?

  3. Kevin Says:

    Oh, those little monsters. I feel for ya. I’ve been searching and destroying every day for the past week and a half. Hard to see them at first glance, they blend in perfectly with kale and broccoli leaves. Putting the row cover back helped.

  4. Robin Says:

    I really, really, hate bugs. I checked outside today during a rain break and saw that my little seedlings have been munched off at the ground. So now I really, really, hate bugs and slugs. Why can’t they all live on somebody else’s property who doesn’t want to garden. Is that too much to ask for? lol

  5. Angela Moll Says:

    I am so sorry about your munched and bolting plants. Those caterpillars are so infuriating. They will turn into eggs eventually and you’ll be the one to get the last laugh!

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