White Butterflies in the Veggie Garden


I am in Dunedin and succeeded in planting a variety of vegetables but my cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage crops were badly affected by white butterfly. How can I protect my crops from this insect without using any pesticide? Also, can I grow Okra and eggplant in Dunedin?


The white cabbage butterfly caterpillar can be controlled organically with application of Derris Dust, a plant derived insecticide that is harmless to humans. It’s particularly effective when the caterpillars are young and should be reapplied regularly, especially after lots of rain. Like any new plant, give it the best start by adding in plenty of Daltons Compost before planting. Crop rotating can also help break up the cycle of white butterfly attacks.

Eggplant is a summer vegetable and can be grown in Dunedin from late October to early November. It takes up to three to four months before the mature eggplant is ready to harvest. A sheltered site with very free draining soil is essential.

Okra is commonly regarded as a tropical vegetable and it can be grown in Dunedin, so long as you choose a site with very well drained soil, full sunlight and sheltered from cold southerly winds. Plant the seed in raised mounds once the soil has warmed (mid-November) and expect to wait 55-65 days before harvest. Okra grows best in extremely fertile soils, so apply Daltons Compost prior to planting and apply side dressings of Daltons Goldcote Vegetable and Herb Fertiliser throughout the growing period.