Green is evil

on Friday, July 30, 2010

This is why gardeners and farmers hate those pretty white butterflies. They lay eggs all over brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc), which hatch into little tiny green caterpillars, which eat all the green leaves and become big green caterpillars. That'd all be fine and dandy if they weren't ruining the veggies in the meantime!

These two critters? Well let's just say a couple fish in the pond behind our yard got an afternoon snack. ;-)

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tarc817 said...

Hello! I just found these exact green caterpillars on my kale plants. Do you know any way to get rid of them??

Jeph said...

Once they're on there, you can hand pick them and dispose of them. I have a pond with fish behind my property - the fish love them. If you still have YOUNG plants (just putting in seedlings), you can put row cover over them (over hoops, or with enough slack so as the broccoli plants grow it'll keep lifting the fabric). Look for a white sheer fabric in garden centers. You might see it under the name Agribond (which you can buy in large spools online).

Once the caterpillars are in there and it's time to harvest, try dropping the broccoli heads in salt water for an hour - then when you cook the broccoli, hopefully you'll have already chased most of the caterpillars out.

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