Welcome to our garden! We are Meghan & Mackenzie, a Research Associate and a Research Assistant from the Niagara College Agriculture & Environment Research and Innovation Centre. In May of 2016, we started a project in conjunction with White Oaks to turn about 4,000 square feet of scrubby, rocky, roadside turf into a lush, sustainable garden capable of supplying a small farm-to-table restaurant. Impossible? Watch and find out!
Whether you are growing organically or conventionally, pest control is a major concern when it comes to maintaining the health of your plants. Pests can be anything from a minor nuisance to a major blight on your crop, and they can affect both the quality and quantity of your harvest. Knowing what pests you are likely to encounter and how to control them is vital skill to being a successful grower. With this in mind, we thought it would be best to offer a short listing of the pests we have encountered the most in our garden at White Oaks, and how we dealt with them.
Cabbage Loopers; Most butterflies are very beneficial to your garden as pollinators, and can be very beautiful, however there is a member of the butterfly family that is a scourge upon cabbage/kale growers throughout Ontario. Pieris rapae or the small white is a species of butterfly originally native throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa, that was accidentally introduced to North America, Australia, and New Zealand, earning it the name Imported Cabbage Looper.
Aphids are what is called a soft-bodied insect, meaning they don’t have a hard exoskeleton like most insects do. This means that aphids are very susceptible to sprays like insecticidal soaps and alcohols. We had a small infestation of aphids on one of our tomato plants which with dealt with by mixing a small amount of rubbing alcohol into insecticidal soap and spraying the mixture onto the aphids. If using this method try to spray early in the morning without intense sunlight, or on an overcast day, as the alcohol will cause your plants to dry out a little, and that combined with a full day of harsh sunlight could cause damage to your crop.