breaking news

South Vienna woman accused of firing gun at Wayside Tavern incident

Attack vegetable pests early, often

Vegetable garden pests have already started to annoy me and many other vegetable gardeners.

My nemesis, the cabbage moth caterpillar, is already chewing away on my brussels sprouts and cabbage.

I have had pretty good luck in the past few years by spraying Bacillus thuringiensis or “Bt” on the plants as soon as I see the white moths flying around.

There are actually three different species of caterpillars that damage plants in the Cruciferae family. Plants in this family include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, mustard and others.

Some of these caterpillars have more than one generation per summer, so these pests are a problem all season long. Therefore, I keep up with the sprays on a weekly basis.

Bt, a pesticide, is very safe to use right up to harvest. It’s very safe to use but it’s only effective on the caterpillars in their young stages, which is why I keep spraying on a regular basis.

Once caterpillars get a little larger, they can be killed with most garden insecticides that are labeled for caterpillars. Make sure that the crop is listed on the label.

These critters are really good at laying their eggs in the deepest regions of the plant (in the growing tips and buds). The caterpillars are good at hiding down under foliage and also feeding on the underside.

When spraying, make sure you soak the crevices of cabbage and similar plants as well as the underside of the leaves.

Another common pest that recently appeared is the Japanese beetle. I found one on a shrub in a landscape last week so the rest are sure to be on their way.

Japanese beetle populations were quite spotty around the Miami Valley last year, with most of the reports indicating very mild populations.

Don’t let the recent winter temperatures fool you into thinking that these insects were killed by cold temperatures. They are capable of surviving our winters and we won’t know until later this summer the extent of the population.

If you have the plants that they feed on, now is the time to start scouting for them. If you find one or two of the early ones, hand pick and drop in a bucket of soapy water (or squash!).

Research indicates that these early arrivers are the scouts and are looking for a food source; once found, they send out the “y’all come.”

If populations get out of control in your landscape, there are sprays that are effective, but you have to keep up with them as long as the population is present. I have seen Japanese beetles feed up until late August in some years.

Favorite plants for Japanese beetles include roses, hibiscus, linden trees, grapes, raspberries, and many more landscape plants.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week
3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week

We’ve really got to hand it to this year’s Winter Restaurant Week participants. The menus that keep rolling out are top-notch, as well as a great value. It would be almost impossible to attempt to try every Restaurant Week menu.  So to ease your foodie anxieties and help you decide, we’ve selected three menus that we think sound...
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing

The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant can be life-altering, which makes it that much more important to conduct a home pregnancy test when it will provide the most accurate results. In fact, according to a local obstetrician, the timing of a home pregnancy test is much more vital than the type of pregnancy test a woman chooses from her local...
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests

Having surgery to treat obesity may seem like a drastic option, but a new study suggests it may actually be a safer route than more traditional options. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Clalit Research Institute in Israel, recently published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association...
Get fit: 3 mistakes to avoid while exercising

One of the greatest benefits of exercise is that it enables you to be more in tune with your body. During a workout you learn how your body reacts to different types of activity. Uncomfortable responses associated with exercise such as muscle soreness are normal, while other situations can be an indication of a more serious problem. Over-training and...
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton

Growing up in Dayton left an indelible imprint on Bill and Erma Bombeck – and they, in turn, now leave an enduring legacy in their hometown. Bill Bombeck died Jan. 12 in Phoenix, Ariz., and he soon will be buried alongside his wife in Dayton’s historic Woodland Cemetery. But the couple will live on in the hearts of many friends in the Dayton...
More Stories