I've tried to grow brassicas for the past two years and have pretty much failed. It's those dreadful white cabbage moths. And as I've mentioned on a few occasions here, I'm lazy. So I didn't do too much to save them. I did scatter about some eggshells which was supposed to trick the territorial moths into thinking they had a lot of competition and lay their eggs elsewhere. Didn't work. What I mostly did was got very cross when I saw lots of those little caterpillars all over the cauliflower leaves and I squished them. But I'm a bit squeamish. So I wasn't a very diligent squisher. And I squished them with my gardening gloves on or between two leaves because I didn't want to get caterpillar squish on my soft city fingers.
I attempted to persuade the Monkey Boys to help me squish them but they were also too squeamish. What's the point of having Monkey Boys if they won't help you do erky jobs like squishing garden creepy crawlies that are eating your potential dinner? I thought all little boys liked doing that sort of thing? When I was a little girl I distinctly remember the boy from the tennis club happily pulling wings off flies to our squeals of horror. And I remember Michael Walsh from grade 2 removing the goldfish from the tank and squishing it dry. Actually, maybe he wasn't the one who squished the goldfish but he definitely did spit on his hands before he had to hold mine in the compulsory, tummy-pain-inducing, Friday morning bush dancing class. I tried to avoid boys for much of my childhood. And some of my adulthood if truth be known! Anyway, I digress...
... I have to do something about those moths and their munching caterpillar offspring if we are to enjoy some winter veg. Because I am determined to give brassicas one last good go. It is now autumn (my second least favourite season) and I have a couple of trays of seedlings I've managed to grow inside ready to soon be planted in my new veggie patch (yep I dug up a new patch when we relocated the kids' slide for the chook house).
I'm thinking of planting all the brassicas together and covering them with a big mosquito net that I've been storing under my bed for just such a purpose. But Jackie French reckons it's not a good idea to plant them altogether - a magnet for pests she says. She suggests mixing them with lots of other companion plants and flowers that'll be distracting. Hmm that starts to make my crop rotating plans even more confusing. However she also suggest that you let a couple of the brassicas go to seed because the pests will feed and lay eggs on them because they're lazy too. That sounds more my style.