Monday, September 3, 2012

Pest Managment

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Most gardens will have their fair share of pests. Whether it be rabbits, chipmunks, tomato horn worms or cabbage worms, one if not all of these critters may show up and it's good to know what to do to prevent garden devastation. Here in my garden we've had a few bouts with the cabbage worm. They love my kale. I tried first just hand picking them off, gross but effective. It's really important when noticing that you may have any kind of bug infestation to examine both sides of your plants leaves. Most bugs lay their eggs on the underside of the leaf, the critters hatch and them boom, garden devastation. Check out this video to see what I mean.
My remedy for this is tri-fold.
1. Examine your plants leaves, rub your fingers on both sides, this will kill larvae that may be hiding on the underside.
2. When you notice you may have an infestation spray your plants with a solution of 26 oz. of water ( typical small spray bottle size), 2 tablespoons kitchen soap (vegetable based with no *SSL Sodium Laurel Sulfate) and one teaspoon cayenne pepper. Spray your plants, both sides of the leaves once a day for 3 days straight examine and reapply if necessary. Do this in the early morning or late at night, not in the high heat of the afternoon.
3. Do not compost infested plants, and do not plant the same crop in the same place the next year. Wait 3 years and try again. We've opted to do kale in pots, this keeps the soil free of any cabbage worm larvae and hopefully will help the situation.
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