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I went away for two weeks and grasshoppers took up residence in my veggie patch, stripping the greens bare. Who Knows an effective cure please. I googled and the lay up to 200 eggs at a time.
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I just used chilli and water and a squirt of dishwashing detergent. The recipe is from Green Harvest:
"Blend together half a cup of fresh chillies with 2 cups of water. Add a dash of dishwashing liquid to improve sticking. If you have no chillies substitute with 2 tablespoons of Tabasco sauce. Always spray a small section of the plant to check for leaf burn. Check in 24 hours and if there is no damage spray all the plants you want to protect. Leaf burn with any spray is more likely to occur during hot weather."
There is a whole lot of info at http://www.greenharvest.com.au/PestControlOrganic/Information/Grass.... I haven't tried the yellow bucket filled with water and molasses idea but it is a cheap organic option that could be worth trying? I also note that they said neem only works on small hoppers ....which is probably why the neem was working before but not now Phil? Maybe the 2 weeks you were away allowed the small ones to grow into big ones and now the neem doesn't work. Seems that with every one of these ideas, you have to keep it up. Any break in your ability to monitor and treat on a daily basis allows the hoppers to win. Netting a patch when planting seed seems the only sure fire way to protect leafy greens.
Hi Phil - yes the chilli spray is home made......and it was effective....but you have monitor daily and be vigilant spraying any new growth and when it rains. That all just became a chore to me - so I gave up. So it was with great interest that I watched Sophie from Gardening Australia last night.......She says it's all just timing - here is her latest story http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4218201.htm.
Prior to going away I was spraying neem oil fortnightly on my kale and other greens. This kept the insects at bay but when I went away there was a lot of rain which apparently encourages the grasshoppers to hatch. The hoppers don't seem phased by the neem oil now. I have been catching them by hand huge amounts and picking the caterpillars off too. I have also tried a spray with pyrithrium early morning. I am trying root veg where the kale was and relocating new kale and broccoli seedlings in a rotation. Also trying Jerry Coleby-Williams recommendation landcress amongst the brassica. Do you find the chilli spray effective? Is this home made?
I am going try Neem Oil.....spray it onto the soil in winter and spring. I am told this helps keep the eggs under control. Once they hatch, it's really hard ......unless you are out there spraying a chilli/water mix over the foliage regularly (including every time it rains!!). I feel a really mean but I have also started swotting any grasshoppers I see out and about. :-(
How do you exclude grasshoppers but not bees and other beneficial insects?
Salad Mallow does not seem to be eaten by them
I put a net over one of my vegie patches this year. There were a few that got in there before I put the net on so they bred, but I was able to catch quite a few and keep the population under control.
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