Tag Archives: aphids

Cabbage Worms and Aphids

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I know what you are saying to yourself right about now, “Oh, I wish Scott & Kendra would invite me over for some cabbage soon, it’s looks so delicious.” Or you might be wondering, “Is it National Gross-Out Week on A Sonoma Garden?” Isn’t this awful?

If you ever wanted to know how to improve as a gardener I would say the first thing to do is to take regular early morning walks out in your garden. As the saying goes, ‘The best fertilizer a gardener can use is his own footsteps.’ Those early morning walks is when you’ll catch all the creepy crawlies that are harming your crops. I had been wondering what was eating our cabbage. I knew about the aphids, but I didn’t know about what was taking those big bites.

The other morning I was looking for something more creative to do with the boys than watch early morning cartoons so I bundled us all up and sent us outside. And these cabbage worms are what we found. Cabbage worms can grow up to about two inches long and are green with a slim yellow line down them. Apparently some sort of white butterfly found our cabbage and laid her eggs on the underside of the leaves which then hatched into these pesky critters.

You can get rid of cabbage worms by:

  • Applying BT (Bacilulus thuringiensis), which is a naturally occuring bacteria that is harmless to us, but deadly to the cabbage worms.
  • Applying a hot pepper spray (which you can make yourself with ground up 1/2 cup of hot peppers into 1 pint of water) every four to five days
  • Applying insecticidal soap which is a plant derived concoction that dries up the worm. Try this one:
    Bon-Neem Insecticidal Soap – Quart RTU

  • Or you can simply hand pick them

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We opted for the hand picking method. Thank goodness for little boys who have no qualms about picking them up. Our oldest decided that they needed a new home so he promply brought them into his room. I thought maybe they would be best kept in a jar rather than crawling free for all on his bed.
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Now we need to work on those aphids. This isn’t our first problem with aphids. We normally haven’t had too much of a problem from them, but this year they seem to really like our yard, remember the kale carnage?. Oh the horrors!

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Filed under Bad Bugs, Leafy Greens

Ladybugs, You’re Fired!

Kale and Aphids
Look at this carnage! Look at this aweful infestation! Oh, it’s terrible, isn’t it? We just got done saying how this was the most beautiful, healthy bunch of Red Russian Kale we’ve ever grown. It was lush and green and verdant. And we couldn’t wait to roast it and steam it and saute it. But instead the aphids got to it first and it was pulled out and given to the chickens.
Healthy Kale
What happened to all of those ladybugs, soldier beetles and friendly praying mantis‘? Where did they go? A quick look around at my flowerbeds spent blooms told me that I wasn’t doing my job to give them a happy home. My flowerbeds always look gorgeous in early spring but by August they are brown and wilted. So off to the nursery I went and planted a cart load of flowers hoping and praying that our beneficial friends return and keep those aphids at bay.

If you’d like to buy ladybugs you can do so here:
“9,000 Live Ladybug Beetles Hippodamia convergens – Medium Garden”

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Filed under Bad Bugs, Good Bugs, Leafy Greens