PESTS IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Pests in the veggie garden are many and varied. We have had some problems with a moth grub attacking our chillies, capsicum and tomatoes. These have caused enough damage for us to take action and begin spraying with Dipel bio-insecticide.
If you use Dipel you must spray once a week for at least 5 weeks for it to be effective.
Most other pests have not caused major damage but we do use some snail pellets (there are literally thousands of small snails in this area) and we have used tomato dust.
Where possible we try to use sprays that are not heavily reliant on chemicals and we mix up garlic, chilli and lemon with water to discourage some of the more common pests.
Another weapon in our arsenal is pyrethrum spray-on insect killer. We did try to grow our own pyrethrum daisies around the veggie beds to make a more permanent deterrent but they just didn't grow very well.
The reason we don't want to rely too heavily on chemical pesticides is that, besides being bad for us to eat, they are indiscriminate killers and destroy all the useful insects like ladybirds that help keep the pests in check.
As time goes on we are finding that insect pests can take a large toll on our veggies. Our weapons against them have now extended to White oil and Confidor.
In almost 5 years of growing vegetables we are gradually working out which crops to avoid growing. Cabbage white butterflies are common in Perth and their caterpillars DESTROY any plant in the cabbage family. They are very difficult to keep under control during the summer months so we have simply stopped growing crops that attract them to the garden.
Companion planting is a well known technique of planting certain types of plants together to help protect from pests etc. One planting we have discovered is Vietnamese mint (laksa plant) and kayle. Planted on its own kayle will end up looking like this :
Planted next to Vietnamese mint it will do much better :
Another plant that is useful to grow in your veggie patch is pyrethrum daisy. These are slow growers from seed but once established can be propagated and spread through out the garden. Well that was the theory, in practice it hasn't worked very well and we only have one plant that is still growing.