today's harvest and pest id

Cynthiann(7)April 27, 2014

I harvested some spinach and Red Russian kale for green smoothies along with some radishes. This is my first time growing radishes and I don't care for eating them straight raw. Maybe I'll like them better cooked. Only radishes I've had before was kimchi radish but that's made with Korean radishes and I'm still waiting on the ones I'm growing to get bigger.

When harvesting I found some aphids on some of my kale but there was also some ladybugs there at work. I also found these caterpillars.

Is that a cabbage worm/looper? Is there a difference between a cabbage worm and a cabbage looper? Only time I seen them before is last spring when they bore right through my cabbage heads. Last year I was hesistant to spray anything on my cabbage but since didn't harvest any cabbage last year, I bought some bt this time which I just put on all my cole crops.

Here's a pic of my bed that I harvested the kale from. There's some tomato plants in there. I threw a bunch of seeds of different greens in there (kale, chard, spinach, lettuce and radish) so that they are a living mulch for the tomatoes. I got the idea from Dawn talking about it before. For now I have lots of baby greens for green smoothies. I plan to thin it out in a month and leave a few kale and chard plants and then mulch it with wood mulch.

Cynthia

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chickencoupe

That looks deliciously gorgeous, to me. Red Russian is my favourite, especially following cold snaps. I've been eating radishes right out of the garden, but small ones the size of dimes that were planted with the carrots (as suggested by Dawn).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 7:37PM
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wbonesteel(7)

Our kale and chard didn't do a thing, this year. Still out there, still tiny as can be... The arugula, spinach and mustard greens still look and taste good, though. Arugula is a bit strong for my tastes, but I like it in small amounts.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:23PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Cynthia,

Congrats on the harvest.

To me, the body looks more like the shape of the Imported Cabbage Worm. It's hard to tell though. When you look at it up close, if it looks sort of velvety or hairy, it likely is an ICW. If it isn't velvety or hairy and instead is more smooth, it likely if a cabbage looper. A quick way to know is to watch its movement. If it is a cabbage looper, it will make the characteristic looping movement, sort of like the way an inch worm moves. Loopers move like this because their midsection lacks legs. Imported cabbage worms move like a common caterpillar does.

If you are seeing the larvae, you undoubtedly have the moths around. I've been seeing the ugly brown moths of the cabbage looper for about a month, but haven't had much damage on any of the plants yer. I've been seeing the Cabbage White butterflies, whose larvae are the Imported Cabbage Worms, for a couple of weeks now. Also haven't seen any damage to the plants yet. I expect the wild birds we fed all winter are in the garden every morning eating caterpillars, which is okay with me. Also, I keep a yellow cat litter bucket filled with alfalfa tea or molasses tea near the cole crops and a lot of the cabbage looper moths seem to drown in it. What a tragedy that is.

Our kale, cabbage, broccoli and chard are doing great, but the heat may get them earlier than we'd like. It was 88 degrees here today and all the leafy crops, including the lettuce, staged a protest, went on strike, and demanded cooler weather....which they will get (especially at night) in a couple of days. The peas didn't seem to mind the heat---they bloomed today after looking stalled for ages. I'm starting to think our cool-season crops had better hurry up. They're running out of cool weather.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:51PM
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Cynthiann(7)

Here's another harvest of green onions and cilantro. They are all going into a dehydrator. I hope having dehydrated cilantro is my solution to making it with salsa in the summer when tomatoes are finally ripening and the cilantro plants are gone.

ChickenCoupe, this is the first time I've grown RR kale but I remember reading about how it gets sweeter after a frost like a lot of other cool season veggies. I'm looking forward to that in the fall.

wbonesteel, I've never had arugula before but I did just transplant some into another bed so I will soon find out. I hope its a good addition to a salad.

Dawn, I don't remember if it was hairy or smooth but I didn't see it doing the looping movement and I have seen lots of white moths flying around so I'm guessing it is the imported cabbage worm. If they decimate my cabbages again this year, I'm going to start growing them only in the fall.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 9:41PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Cynthia, I always have imported cabbage worms in spring and fall. I think I only see the loopers in the spring though. Bt is the solution. I used to hand-pick the caterpillars but that gets old pretty fast.

We have enough native plants that they feed on that apparently they can make it through the summer here and into the fall. Also, I grow ornamental cabbages and kales in late winter/spring and in fall/early winter, so without Bt, they wouldn't be very ornamental.

The white butterflies are, unfortunately, one of the first butterflies I see in late winter. This year I was seeing them flying around long before I had any brassicas in the ground.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:34AM
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chickencoupe

I grew Arugula, once. I thought it a tremendously pretty plant! I put some in a pot and hung it indoors by a window. A bit peppery in flavor and good as an extra in salad.

Your cilantro is a beautiful healthy green!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 2:37PM
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oldbusy1

Instead of drying cilantro , I'd chop and freeze. I think it would still taste fresh that way. I don't care for it so I have no idea how to make it taste good.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 8:33PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I do agree with Busy1 about chopping and freezing the cilantro. When you dry cilantro, its flavor changes and....not in a good way.

I can tolerate cilantro in small amounts and do use it when I can salsa, but Tim adores the stuff. When he makes pico de gallo, if I don't watch him with an eagle eye and try to enforce my "not too much cilantro" rule, he'll put in 10 times as much cilantro as the recipe calls for.

I never got around to planting cilantro this year, but it didn't matter. It spouted in both the garden and the compost pile, so we have fresh cilantro until it gets hot enough for it to go to seed.

Sometimes I plant papalo for the summer months. It is a good cilantro substitute, tasting very similar.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:57AM
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Cynthiann(7)

I don't like eating a lot of cilantro either but I think a little bit adds a nice flavor to salsa. I also use it to make the dressing for Mexican bean salad.

I did dehydrate that bunch of cilantro. I didn't know dehydrating it changed the flavor so I will freeze it next time. I just bought my dehydrator, so dehydrating anything is all new to me. I did plant a lot of cilantro so I will still have plenty to harvest. Next year I will look it trying to grow papalo.

About the cabbage worms being around until fall, I guess I was thinking about what I read about loopers not being around in the fall. So it looks like I will always need to use bt it I want to grow any cole crops.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Mine stick around until fall because they're finding something to live on over the summer after my brassicas all have been harvested. You might have better luck than I do, or fewer pests. I'm in a very rural area with lots of wildlife management land fairly close by and Red River bottom land, teeming with wild everything, nearby. If you are in a more civilized area, you might not have as much trouble with brassica pests in the fall. I don't have them every fall, just most falls.

An option other than Bt would be to use one of the lightweight floating row covers made to keep insects off the plants.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:54PM
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amunk01

Cynthia, i couldnt help but giggle when i saw your post. Apparently we were doing the exact same thing today! We were sharing garden picts between sisters when i took this today, so i guess ill share with the rest of my gardening "family" ðÂÂÂ
Alexis

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:31AM
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