The Potager

The Potager

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The unveiling of the cole crops

The broccoli has grown large. So large that it has pushed the floating row cover off the ground.

It is time for plan B - or rather BT.

Bacillus Thuringiensis (or better known as BT) is an organic widely used means to control cabbage worms. It doesn't hurt the butterfly or prevent her from laying her eggs, but when the caterpillars emerge and start to feed - they die! Before they have a chance to do any real damage. And it is completely harmless to humans.

So I mixed some up today in my fancy new sprayer and off went the too small row cover.
The four surviving cabbage plants are huge - I am wondering if the Square Foot Gardening guide has the right spacing. They seem way too crowded. Out of the six I planted, two red and two white have made it.

All of the broccoli survived, but some just isn't doing as well as others. They are healthy looking but smaller and behind in development - maybe they didn't get as much sun and water because of how the row cover was gathered over them?
But the ones that are doing well have the cutest heads on them.
I'm thinking they will not get as big as the ones in the grocery stores (especially with the heat wave predicted the next few days), but I'm hoping I can figure out when to harvest them before they bolt.
The plants that were grown under the row cover are big and strong and healthy looking.
I'm so excited! I will buy more for next year and make sure I cover my eggplants in addition to the cole crops.
I did find a small amount of insect damage on a few of the cabbage leaves toward the perimeter of the row cover. I didn't see any cabbage worms, but I'm guessing I sprayed the BT just in time!

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
H. L. Mencken

I'm linking this up to  at An Oregon Cottage.


  1. Someday I might actually time my springtime planting so I have cool season crops--meanwhile I'll enjoy your successes!

  2. those old cabbage worms are a pain! did the bt work?
    enjoy your blog

  3. Love your garden! I had the best broccoli crop ever this year with no sign of cabbage worms and multiple side cuttings. If only I had planted more than 4 plants!