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Thread: Pests on my Curly Kale

  1. #1
    iwatkins is offline Seedling
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    Default Pests on my Curly Kale

    I've grown Curly Kale for the first time this year and although I managed to keep it pretty clear of caterpillars due to some 2mm netting, whitefly have been an utter nightmare making it unusable for the most part.

    I was hoping the frost would have killed the little beggars off but looking at the plants more closely today the undersides of the leaves are still covered with grey beings.....

    Pests on my Curly Kale-wp_20180106_003.compressed.jpg

    Is it worth bothering trying to do anything or should I just dig them up and dispose of them in the least humane manner possible?

  2. #2
    Norfolkgrey's Avatar
    Norfolkgrey is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Do any of them fly up? They look like mealy aphid https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=656

    I have issues with whitefly and tend to spray in aug/sept with homegrown herbs and garlic soaked in oil then diluted in water. This year I will try growing shoo fly flowers with them as a companion plant. Unfortunately that doesn't help much this time of year. If you have leaves with just a few on you could soak them in salt water to remove them before cooking in your usual way.

  3. #3
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    I think it's worth trying to get rid of them. I believe they're brassica aphid (RHS calls them Mealy cabbage aphid) rather than whitefly. We had them bad earlier in the year, we found it best to just take off the badly infected leaves and destroy them and then brush off / crush any remaining. Our kale came back fighting (although it's a bit dormant now).
    Mr Bones and bario1 like this.

  4. #4
    bario1's Avatar
    bario1 is offline Work in progress...
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    I agree, the plants will bounce back. Take off and compost any leaves like that and wait. The colonies die off naturally in the end.
    Mr Bones likes this.
    He-Pep!

  5. #5
    mrsbusy is offline Sprouter
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    slightly off the subject - I bought 2 lots of healthy looking organic broccoli from A**i intended for xmas eve feast; one lot was fine but fortunately - and before cooking- we noticed one lot was shockingly infested with aphids which were really well camaflouged (can't spell it!!) now I don't mind eating a few bugs in my greens but this was something else. Besides which my daughter was helping me so I couldn't pretend they weren't there. We tried soaking in salt water, hot water, rinsing under the tap but nothing would shift them! did think the hens would appreciate both bugs and broccoli but they would not touch either.

  6. #6
    Deano's "Diggin It"'s Avatar
    Deano's "Diggin It" is offline Early Fruiter
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    Ya know what! I have grown "Curly Kale" up here in Yorkshire for years, un-netted and never had a problem!

    But must admit, in my early adult years I did move in with family in Peterborough, well "Crowland" to be honest, and with it being mainly flat agricultural ground, was amazed at how plagued the place would be with black n white fly come early summer, and don't miss it one iota!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad"

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