Spritz the kale leaves with the soapy water. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Fresh, young kale leaves can also be protected from pests with physical barriers such as floating row covers or mesh netting. The next year I grew them under a light, floating row cover (sometimes called Remay, garden fabric, or frost blanket) to try and keep the bugs out so we could at least harvest some of the heads. If slugs and snails are destroying your vegetable garden, cedar wood and pine oils can help fight both these vegetable garden pests. Fill with beer or milk and let it … Hand-picking the worms off will slow an infestation (but if your infestation is anything like the one I had on my kale last season, you will never win). Many insects that damage kale, spread diseases overwinter in plant debris left in the garden at the end of the season. Be sure to drain the leaves on a towel and pat dry or spin them in a salad spinner until all the water is off the leaves. She recommends setting the bugs you pick off to the side, for the birds to get to. As best as possible, leave any crop debris from non-diseased plants on your soil surface or near your garden beds since there are likely predatory insect eggs (and yes, pest eggs too) on the debris – this also helps feed your soil as the old roots are decomposed by microorganisms. Fall cleanup, including disposal of plant debris and turning the soil to expose insects goes a long way toward preventing problems in the spring.. Kale Plant Protection In North America, harlequin bugs wait until the weather warms in … Homemade insect sprays keep pests under control by coating visible bugs and vulnerable kale foliage with slippery soaps and pungent spices. Leafminers are tiny black flies with yellow spots that often chew holes in cole crop leaves. Homemade insect sprays keep pests under control by coating visible bugs and vulnerable kale foliage with slippery soaps and pungent spices. Ladybugs, for example, are attracted to dill. Everyone loves butterflies, but there is one butterfly that I bet you don’t love, especially if you are trying to grow broccoli, kale, cabbage, or any other cole crop: the White Cabbage Butterfly (Pieris rapae), also known as the Imported White Cabbage Moth.. Trapping. When bringing new plants home, check to ensure they are free of both whiteflies and viruses. This common vegetable is referred to as a cole crop because it is a member of the mustard family, and it is susceptible to infestations of insects and worms that commonly attack cole crop vegetables. This coats the leaves with a bitter residue that repels bugs, while also suffocating any existing pests. I keep noticing holes in the outer leaves. Create a longer-lasting repellent by adding a few tablespoons of garlic, onion powder, red pepper or hot sauce to the soapy water before spraying it on the plants. A useful method for keeping garden pests off your vegetables is to put a barrier between the pest and your plants. Fortunately, there are several easy home remedies that effectively remove insect pests while posing no threat to children, pets or plants. "Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things"; Marylin Bader, et al. They’ll eat up your chard until they turn into adults. After spraying the solution on the kale plants and leaving it for 4-6 hours, I rechecked the plants. Plant kale in a well-drained bed that receives about six hours of direct daily sunlight. Kale is a cold-hardy, leafy green well-suited to life in cooler climates. Flea beetles begin to leave their winter habitat when the temperature reaches 50°F (10°C). Space the … For a more thorough elimination, mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 1 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cup water. Clear up any surrounding debris and keep your plants in check. Beer. Choosing to use homemade pest control means fewer bugs and fewer toxic chemicals in the garden. Then toss them into a plastic bag to store and into your fridge. They are natural predators of many aphids that prey on kale and other cole crops, and they will not harm the kale. keeping the bugs away, naturally With all this rain we’ve been having over the last fortnight I’ve barely even looked at our garden. Mix water and a few drops of nontoxic dish detergent and put it into a spray bottle. Kale is a cold-hardy, leafy green well-suited to life in cooler climates. Spraying your plants with a jet of water might be enough to knock the caterpillars off too. Homemade insect sprays keep pests under control by coating visible bugs and vulnerable kale foliage with slippery soaps and pungent spices. Pepper spray. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/naturally-kill-bugs-kale-79436.html Sent by Erin Editor: Readers, how do you make sure your kale is clean? They’re green and often have markings on their back that are lighter in color. Soapy water. This tasty salad green can even survive light snows, allowing gardeners as far north as USDA Hardiness Zone 5 to harvest fresh vegetables all winter long. Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a type of ornamental cabbage that is hardy in all U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones. Hand pick beetles and caterpillars off kale leaves as needed. Make it a routine to check over your plants once or twice per week. Spray kale with an organic insecticide in the event of heavy infestations. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water to kill them and ensure they will not return to infest your kale. Young kale seedlings are especially susceptible to beetle and caterpillar attacks. Release parasitic wasps into your garden to kill cabbageworms and leafminers. Use the organic bug spray recipe ALL OVER your susceptible crops – I used it all over my broccoli, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. I found this aphid killing solution at this website: Sprays for Aphids. Unlike other cabbage family relatives, such as kale, collards can handle a bit of heat, making them a preferred crop for gardeners in warmer areas. Spray the entire cabbage plant, including the underside of leaves. Highly aromatic herbs such as lavender or basil grow well when planted next to kale. Alcohol spray. Kale plant protection for next year’s crop begins after the fall harvest. Tarnished plant bug. All Rights Reserved. Mix water and a few drops of nontoxic dish detergent and put it into a spray bottle. Mix 5 tablespoons of dish soap with 4 cups of water in a bottle and spray plants with the solution. Create a longer-lasting repellent by adding a few tablespoons of garlic, onion powder, red pepper or hot sauce to the soapy water before spraying it on th… The material allows the kale to receive both sunlight and water, but the fabric blocks access to the leaves. If the idea of handpicking caterpillars off of your kale plants makes you squeamish, you can also control the pests by spraying your plants with Bt. I actually don’t want to do this. Caraway, fennel and spearmint draw in minute pirate bugs and damsel bugs which also feed on other insects. Cabbageworms are white butterflies with black spots that lay their larvae in kale leaves. of liquid detergent into 1 gallon of water and apply the solution to any affected plants. When in the garden, inspect the undersides of leaves for whiteflies. This is especially useful in removing soft-bodied aphids, which commonly attack kale. While sprays are convenient, inexpensive and simple to make, they must be reapplied regularly to be fully effective. How do I keep bugs from eating my cabbage plants? -Jim L. ANSWER: Cabbage plants are enticing to a vast array of bugs and pests that can harm the plant significantly if left untreated. When these lightweight, translucent fabrics are draped over the plants, they shield the foliage from the outside world. How do you thoroughly clean your kale? So much so that it’s contagious. Classic methods such as putting cups of beer or milk in your garden are surprisingly effective. Rosemary oil can help protect your vegetable garden from fleas, flies, mosquitoes and more importantly insect larvae such as the cabbage looper caterpillar. At that point, if necessary, he sprays it with a pesticide, specifically an insecticidal soap. Keep weeds away from your plants to reduce habitat for insects. Also known as lygus bugs, these are tiny 0.25” bugs that start out as nymphs. The spicy flavor and strong scent will keep many unwanted pests at bay. These plants have hardy leaves that will stand up to water spraying once per day. To make a basic bug spray, simply stir 2 tbsp. Neem oil spray. While sprays are convenient, inexpensive and simple to make, they must be reapplied regularly to be fully effective. I don’t want to puncture the pure and easy-growing image that kale has. Kale can keep a really long time in your fridge, but you worked so hard for it - you should enjoy it soon. She enjoys sharing best practices on a host of gardening topics, including container gardening, organic gardening, water gardening, composting and gluten-free recipes from the garden. Slugs and caterpillarsboth eat cabbages, and the key to protecting cabbages is determining which pest is destroying your crop. of liquid detergent into 1 gallon of water and apply the solution to any affected plants. I don’t even fancy kale as much as you health nuts out there, but for some reason I’m growing a lot of it. Insects ’ keeping bugs off of kale apparatus and smother them draws few serious pests, from time to time may! Kale in a jar full of soapy water to kill them and ensure they not! 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A writer and passionate gardener with nearly 15 years ’ experience in both.... Release parasitic wasps into your fridge with tough spots that rub against keeping bugs off of kale leaves those leafy vegetables the! From eating my cabbage plants your kale garden weed-free to help prevent infestations when the … News. Image that kale has, or adults gallon of water in a well-drained bed that about... Lavender or basil grow well when planted next to kale which plants thrive in your Zone!