Spongegirl
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Why is it always the broccoli...I'm in tears again!

Greetings from Kentucky...
Man this is one wet Spring. It has rained every day now for the last week and it isnt quitting until Thursday. Still, I go to look at the garden every day to survey the growth of lettuce, onions, garlic, asparagus, peas, peas, shallots, blueberries, potatoes, peas, and broccoli. Out of all of those things to munch why is the broccoli the only predatory target? Besides the peas, it's the one veggie that I want the most of. It has to be some catepillar. Nothing else in the garden is being eaten on. As bad as I don't want to, I am gonna have to spray something. I had a whole tray of broccoli plants and I am down to just a few. Some of them still have the stems and I see some new growth so I guess that's good, but some of them have the stems completely eaten.
I guess for the next couple of hours I am gonna search the forum for ideas of natural things to spray. I do have some neem oil that I could use but I don't have any experience in using it on veggie plants. Have any of you ever used neem on your plants and how do you apply it? It's so thick.
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SPierce
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Re: Why is it always the broccoli...I'm in tears again!

Spongegirl wrote:Greetings from Kentucky...
Man this is one wet Spring. It has rained every day now for the last week and it isnt quitting until Thursday. Still, I go to look at the garden every day to survey the growth of lettuce, onions, garlic, asparagus, peas, peas, shallots, blueberries, potatoes, peas, and broccoli. Out of all of those things to munch why is the broccoli the only predatory target? Besides the peas, it's the one veggie that I want the most of. It has to be some catepillar. Nothing else in the garden is being eaten on. As bad as I don't want to, I am gonna have to spray something. I had a whole tray of broccoli plants and I am down to just a few. Some of them still have the stems and I see some new growth so I guess that's good, but some of them have the stems completely eaten.
I guess for the next couple of hours I am gonna search the forum for ideas of natural things to spray. I do have some neem oil that I could use but I don't have any experience in using it on veggie plants. Have any of you ever used neem on your plants and how do you apply it? It's so thick.
Aw, I'm sorry your broccolli's are getting eaten! I had similar last year. Do you maybe have any onions you can plant around them to help repel insects? Are they slugs/snails? Try going out at night with a flashlight and see if you can catch anything!

Re: neem oil, there's a wonderful thread over here on it. Maybe it has the application info? https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=925

Spongegirl
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yep!

planted the broccoli in various places around the garden and one particular spot is in a bed of onions; still, no good! There is actually different onions, garlic, and leeks everywhere. I am wondering if it is slugs or snails.
I am also reading the neem thread right now but still haven't found any suggestions on how to apply it. The neem I have is really thick and it seems like it will get clogged in any sprayer. Also, does neem even mix with water? Is diluting it even effective? With all the rain we are having right now, I think it would be best used as it is thick to stay put on the leaves. I am not going to chance it one more day. I am just gonna go out there and attempt to spray with a spray bottly. If it clogs, then I will use a little brush or something. I hate the idea of going out with a flashlight, but I'll do whatever it takes to protect my crops. I need my broccoli. I'll report back.
Do you think it is too late in the season already to start some more from seed?
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garden5
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I'm sorry to hear about your broccoli. Do you have any idea what time it was eaten? If it was at night, it very well could be slugs. Identifying the culprit is necessary before you can put up some type of repellent.
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Spongegirl
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pretty sure it was at night...

I go to the garden many times a day to check things out. I'm pretty sure it has always been at night. With all this rain we are having, I was thinking it would have been difficult for moths or anything flying to be out there laying eggs. Do you think that sounds right? So is your guess slugs and snails. Do they only attack at night? I did find a snail on the side of an aquarium I have out there. I have never dealt with snails or slugs in the garden before. Will the neem control them? I am still searching for application of the neem. Mine is the thick essential oil kind that needs to be warmed up to even move. I also have some powdered neem that has no smell at all. I wonder what effect it would have if it was put in the soil. Hmmmm.
Thanks for helping, yall! I'm bout to go on a slug hunt!
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

gumbo2176
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I find it's usually slugs or snails when new plants get their stems eaten. Snails and slugs sometimes leave their slime trail and it is pretty easy to see if the ground is not getting rained on much.

Like others have said, check at night with a flashlight to see if you can find the offensive little critter=========then enjoy your revenge. :x

ruggr10
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Last year, since my veggies are all in raised beds I put table salt all along the top of the beds since the snails and slugs come from my little stream bed. That seemed to work for about 3 weeks before I poured it again.

Cook in SC
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Try putting out little plates of beer near all the plants. If it is slugs, they will go straight to the beer instead of the brocolli. Then they will drink themselves to death. If it is an insect, try making a garlic/pepper spray. Puree several garlic cloves and hot peppers with some water in the blender. Then strain it and spray the liquid on the leaves. I hope that you can get rid of the pest and get some brocolli. Good luck!
I have never had a bad day gardening, just some that were better than others.

Spongegirl
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diluted it...

well, I just came from the garden. I just love it out there. Anyways, I didn't find much info here or on the web as far as application goes except "use it". So I got a spray bottle and just put a couple of capfuls of the 100% Neem Essential Oil and filled the bottle with warm water. It ended up being fairly thick and seemed to mix well with water and sprayed just fine without clogging the bottle. I still have about 15 plants and several more stems left. So I guess I am going to have a lot of broccoli. Not a years worth which is what I was hoping for, but I'll try again in the fall. Maybe by that time my BF will have the "green house" built for me and I can grow some into December.
There is a lot of wind today so maybe with some luck the mix will dry a good coat on the plants before the rain starts again.
OOOOOO! What do I see out my window? Could that be sunshine? It's been so long I hardly recognize it. LOL!

Another question...do slugs and snails do the damage at night? in moist conditions? dry conditions? I have alot to learn...thanks everyone!
Have patience, have patience
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When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

orgoveg
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I'm having exactly the same problem. With all the rain, it's useless to put beer cups out. I went out the last couple of nights and collected about 20 slugs. I think the diatomaceous earth works too slowly and the rain just washes it away. I just keep putting more seeds in. It's not too late yet.

You do dilute the neem oil with water. A table spoon mixed with a spray bottle of water is fine. However, I've never used it on seedlings as it blocks some sunlight and clogs their pores.

Edit: It looks like I just missed you by a few minutes. I'd be interested to hear how your seedlings fare with the neem. Sounds like you still have some good sprouts, after all? Great! Good luck.

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applestar
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I've never used neem oil. Is it like other oils and you need to be careful of using it in the sun and heat? I think it's the " clogging pores" effect or maybe the oils intensify the heat (like suntan oil) -- which can damage or kill mature plants? I would think even more care would be needed for seedlings.

Any kind of oil spray can clog breathing holes of insects and kill them. I would be concerned about accidentally spraying beneficials.

Lastly how does neem oil function -- poison on ingestion, repellant, contact? I haven't heard that it would work for slugs, does it? Does it really work as a preventative? Didn't I hear that it smells or tastes terrible? (I've a vague recollection that this is why I haven't tried it)

Spongegirl
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reading...searching...reading...searching...
whew! so much info and conflicting opinions to go through. Neem doesn't repel slugs and snails and yes it does repel them.
I understand it to repel because of the taste to the bug but maybe not.

I wondered the same thing as far as sunburn goes, yet the thread doesnt speak of the burn from what I've read so far.

I don't know if my plants are still seedlings or not; many have many leaves and are pretty sturdy. I'll still report back.

With all the lettuce that is in my garden, if a snail or slug is the problem, why is the lettuce completely untouched? The only thing being munched is the broccoli. And it is the whole plant being devoured, not just holes in the leaves. And some of them had plastic sleeves made from Figi water bottles around them. Does it still sound like snails and slugs? If it is not raining after dark I am going out with a light for sure.

SLUGS...YUCK!!!!!
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

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applestar
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One year, mice ate my broccoli starts in the garage. I was upset because I was growing the broccoli for my kids and the $&#% mice didn't touch the cabbage that I was growing for myself. :evil:

Outside in my garden, #1 suspect would be rabbits and #2 would be groungHOGs.

Spongegirl
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oh my goodness...

ok, someone tell me why on Earth did I not just spray a couple of the plants just to be sure that I was doing the right thing?! After less than what, like 30 minutes, it's not a good report. Some of the leaves are wilted like soggy wilted, not burnt. Some of the leaves are ok but others are done for.

Good grief, why is there no information on actually applying Neem. All I can find is information that members say to use it. I am going to jump to the end of the thread on Neem and see if I can find any bad results. I am also going to type 'do not apply neem to leaves' in the search and see if anything comes up.
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

cynthia_h
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"The" thread on neem oil? I just did a Search of the forum and got 753 hits on the phrase "neem oil."

Here are a couple of threads that I know have detailed info in them. They may also have links to other threads here at THG.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=925

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=188002

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=154549

Cynthia H.
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Spongegirl
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don't spray Neem on young broccoli...

I did read the neem thread before I sprayed. I did not read every page but i did read many of them. I would not call it detailed information though. Most of the advice I have read on here just says to use it. I didnt find anything about how to use it or really anything on direct personal experience with it. I even searched the web for information and came up with nothing until this morning.

Neem is sold by many companies for many different uses. I happend to have bought it as 100% Neem Essential Oil. It comes with no instructions. If people buy their Neem from a garden center it will have instructions and is ready made.
My experience yesterday, with what I have, has not been reported here, from what I have read.

Now, it's become a scientific experimental challenge that I hope to carry out for the rest of the season so everyone will know. I think that my Neem was too concentrated, and I think the broccoli is too young even though it is 2 months old.

I am also wondering if in applying Neem just to the soil of delicate plants it will absorb into the plant and make it yucky to the bugs. Also, will I be able to taste it in the broccoli? How often does it need to be applied? Is the powder Neem effective at all? Those are the things I call "detailed".

My plants are not dead this morning. I did go out last night with a flash light and saw nothing. Maybe I didn't wait long enough. The leaves are still just as wilted, no more, no less, as they were yesterday. Those leaves that were affected will die; they will not bounce back from the wilting. Nothing ate on my plants last night.

I will use the beer suggestion as soon as the rain stops. I will have broccoli even if I have to build a bed above the ground and cover it with a dome. LOL!

Thanks for helping and reading my troubles!
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

gardenbean
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You know that happened to one of my broccoli plants but didn't know what bug or worm was attacking it. But I do know that broccoli is part of the cabbage family and not having a ton of money to purcharse Neem oil, I went ahead and tried a something a "old timer" told me once.

Get one cup of flour and 2 to 3 tbps. of caynenee pepper and sprinkle over the plants, which I did. It works. It really does!! How or why I am not sure, but hey who cares if it saves a your plants. :)
(However, like anything in nature some plants will be eaten by whatever, I guess it's just the give and take about gardening)
Learning as I go and surprising myself when it all comes together......

WinglessAngel
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I have to chime in on this one, lol, seeing as my plants are getting attacked as well, but no broccoli, they're cauliflowers (there's a pt promise) but if u can't tell if it's a bug or slug eating your plants, go outside when u have time and relax in your garden and WATCH your plants, i know sounds strange but my fiance did it as my cauliflower plants were seemingly getting eaten over night. funny thing happened, who knew chippy munks liked cauliflower plants?! she would come out from the shed munch away and then go back in he said, she didn't care that he was about 4 feet from her, she was just happy as a clam in mud eating my veggie plants! i may have to get some cayenne pepper and try the flour mixed with it lol, maybe she wont eat them after that, but with all this rain im worried it will just get washed away. i'll try it and see. but since cauliflower and broccoli are in the same family maybe that's whats happening to you? idk just a thought lol and i thought i would share my chippy munk story lol

gardenbean
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Been told the flour mixture makes the cabbage worms and bugs explode when it expands in their bodies and the pepper is strong for some types of critters I would think :lol:
Learning as I go and surprising myself when it all comes together......

WinglessAngel
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lol just got back from wally world on a grocery/supply trip and wouldn't u know it, they did not have any cayenne pepper? geez, maybe i'll try mixing up my own pepper mix or something and using it lol

orgoveg
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I'm certainly no expert with neem oil, but I have used it quite a bit so I'll give you my thoughts.

Neem is a powerful tool for the organic gardener but it should be used with caution. I don't like using it as a preventative, but that is its primary use. I only use it when I see a problem and it is only effective if it is used at the first sign of a problem. It can do more harm than good sometimes (as I mentioned before, it blocks some sunlight and it clogs pores). I only use it on big, strong plants. After an application, most plants will show some wilting. That is usually temporary but too much can kill the strongest of plants.

It will not kill every disease or every insect. It is effective for a broad range of both. I've never bothered to write down which specific diseases and pests it is effective for. I can't tell one disease from another. I just try it first and then try something else if it doesn't work.

You never want to use neem oil more frequently than once a week. I never use it more often than once every 2 weeks. Even if you apply it just before a rain, do not apply it again until the proper time. Since it is an oil, the water doesn't wash much of it away. I've read that neem does have a shelf life of one year. I never use a whole bottle. Still, I get a new bottle of neem concentrate every year and you don't know how long it has been since it was collected and bottled. You might buy it at the department store and get stuff that has been sitting for quite awhile.

The label for the brand that I buy (Green Light Neem Concentrate) advises mixing 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. It is 70% neem oil and 30% other ingredients (it does have the OMRI seal).

Yes, it does have an odor but I don't find it offensive. Yes, you will smell or taste it on your vegetables if you have applied it just before harvest. I wouldn't apply it within a couple weeks before harvest. If you must do so, washing the harvest with soap will do the trick.

Again, I really don't possess any expertise on this subject. I'm just relaying some experience. It's a great tool, but it doesn't cure every problem.

Spongegirl
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here's how to mix a spray bottle of Neem...

thank you, thank you, thank you Orgoveg! Exactly what I was hoping for. And thanks for this awesome thread to everybody who chimed in. I think there is some great posts on this one.

So funny! I also looked for cayenne pepper at the store. It's not in the spice section. Maybe it is somewhere else. Maybe it is only in liquid form like with the condiments. I didnt think of that until just now.

There was some really good suggestions here: the beer, the flour mix...I also forgot something I did last year-I juiced jalepeno peppers, strained the pulp and sprayed my garden with one of those gallon sprayers. I did that often. I don't know how effective it was but I didn't have problems last year. Seems like everything was balanced.

I also did find the correct mix of a Neem spray:
in a 1/4 gallon spray bottle mix 1 1/2 tbsp of soap with 1/2 tsp neem. Spray the plant as well as the soil. If it is in a container, spray the container as well.

My problem with the wilted leaves was that I overdosed it with the Neem.

Great thread everyone. Now I don't feel that I have to "scientifically" experiment with my broccoli to figure it out! LOL! I will have broccoli.
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

cynthia_h
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It will still be necessary to make sure that insects are attacking the broccoli. If snails, slugs, or other creatures are eating it, the neem won't be effective against them.

Also, to avoid killing pollinators, please be sure to apply neem towards the end of the day, when bees, butterflies, and other pollinators have finished their rounds.

Best of luck with the broccoli--and all of your other veggies. :)

Cynthia

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