brassica pest

mcleesterJuly 22, 2013

I have something eating my brassica. They have totally skeletonized the leaves. They did it in about 3 days. They have eaten the broccoli, cauliflower, and collards.

Any thoughts on what to do with the plants/bugs? Should I pull up the plants and kill the bugs to prevent other infestations or problems next year?

Given the state of the plants (see next post), I don't think they are going to be saved this year.

Any ideas of how to prevent these in the future?

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The destroyed plants...beyond saving? At least I got one harvest out of the collards.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 8:33PM
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Wow! You must've had quite an infestation. Trim up all the really bad leaves and dispose of -- you may still be able to get something out of them. The broccoli and cauli may be done, due to the fact that they put out so many leaves before heading and they use those leaves to generate the heads. But the collards could definitely be saved, maybe... since they'll keep on generating leaves as long as you don't clip the innermost leaves.

In the meantime, go get some BT and spray once a week for a few weeks. it will clear up your problem in no time. Totally safe, available at ANY garden center. Not sure about Walmart though.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:06PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That's a Cross-Striped Cabbage worm. Save the Bt....that's for very early infestations when the caterpillars are very young. Yes, it's "safe " but still should not be used unless it's necessary and the caterpillars are babes.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:34PM
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Thanks for the info, Kevin and Rhizo. I will clean up all the leaves and dispose of them. As I read more, it seems that brassicas are susceptible to a lot of pests. Perhaps next year, I'll use the BT early. It seems like it's approved for organic gardening...pretty cool. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:16PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Next year, plant then loosely cover with row cover which will protect the plants from the moths that lay the eggs which soon become caterpillars.

Be certain to secure the edges of the row cover, though, as any determined moths can enter through gaps.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 2:00AM
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