Organic, Non Pesticide Dust, for getting rid of Cabbage Worms, Slugs and Japanese Beetles.
Looks hopeless, and your tempted to grab the pesticides. DON'T, this works. And with your help, we will develop it to work on other kinds of infestations that don't inhabit my area.
It is difficult to get anything to stick onto the leaf of a cabbage or broccoli, and have it survive the rain.
Notice how the Vertical Eco Garden Dessert Dust becomes remnants of the water spots. It survives the rain. And also notice the new growth that has been abandoned. This is a good type of abandonment.
Here's the formula and where we are to date.
Diatomaceous earth ( sharp glassy silica particle) is a long time proven safe standard for getting rid of creepy crawly aunts, crickets and roaches etc. It irritates their joints. And it is easy to sprinkle it on a floor or around the base of a plant. But how to get it to stick to the leaf of a Brassica ? Not in the picture, use Talc. A generic baby, bath or shower powder will work for small crops. For bigger jobs, talk to the local coatings / paint co. They have one that is used for making flatting paste used to dull glossy finishes. They should be able to give you a good price or a resource. The small cup has pea gravel used to keep the ingredients dispersed.
The formula I used was 45 % talc, 45 % Diatomaceous Earth and only 10 % borax. Borax is also a long time favorite for repelling aunts and worms. But there is a precaution. More is not better.
Even with only 10 % borax, it burned this eggplant leaf. A previous formula having a mixture of all the ingredients at 1/3 each resulted in more severe burns. The current formula with borax at 10 % did not damage the brassicas, but because eggplants, tomatoes and beans etc.have a more textured leaf, more Desert Dust was absorbed. So, maybe cut the borax back a bit for those plants, and or use less early on as prevention. To date, the 10% borax got rid of worms, Japanese beetles and slugs.
Here are some precautions and directions for making the duster from a re-purposed can or container..
If you read the safety instructions on the container of Diatomaceous Earth, it will say to not get it into your eyes. I can testify to that. Even a little is irritating. So, after you make your duster per these directions, make sure your back is to the wind when you dust. With all the ingredients combined with the pea gravel, or something comparable, close and tape the lid thoroughly. Remember, the pea gravel has weight and you don't want to be the target of your own dust storm. After the lid is secured, shake the container. After the container is thoroughly shaken up, punch holes in the lid. Now your ready to dust, and taken from an old Irish homily, may the sun be on your face and the wind at your back. And remember, this is a non pesticide w o precautions of over-use. So, if the bugs come back, wack em again.