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Caterpillars have eaten my sprout leaves - can they be saved?
If you are talking about Brussels sprouts, laggards from a summer crop can only be saved if the little worms left a good crown of leaves on the top. New plants for a spring crop can probably be saved if they can replace most of their foliage before winter--an extra feeding may be in order.
If you are talking about other sprouts, such as new seedlings of anything, only about one out of twenty seedlings will survive if there first pair of leaves are eaten.
1 Sep, 2010
We don't grow Brussels sprouts for a summer crop in the UK Tugb. Guest if the caterpillars have eaten the big leaves rather than the leaves of the sprouts, which will still be quite small right now, then there isn't a problem. You do need to remove them however by picking them off. Check the underside of all the leaves for eggs and get rid of those too. You can prevent further attacks by taking 2 whole bulbs of garlic and a couple of hot chilli peppers. Put into blender with some water, blend to a pulp add about .5 litre of water a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a tablespoon of washing up liquid (but only if you use environmentally friendly washing up liquid). Shake well and add to a spray bottle in a dilution of 1:10. The insects don't like the smell of the garlic and stay away.
2 Sep, 2010
Thanks, MG. I was thinking "USDA zone 8, most years", and "cool summers, compared to mine". I thought that there was a chance that you had varieties that would give a summer crop started in spring like some of the cooler areas in the States do, in addition to the the overwintering kinds we use. That's what I get for thinking! : D
West Sussex had temps in high 20s in June and July and a drought... not good for Brussels sprouts. But, so far as I know, they are always grown as a winter veggie in the UK and taste better once they've been frosted.
OK! Learning again!
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