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Beware of these Butterflies Visiting Your Vegetable Garden

Friday, June 1st, 2012
By: Chef Marshall O'Brien

If you are growing kale, broccoli or other related green plants, I caution you to beware of little white/yellow butterflies frequenting your garden. 

These are actually called Cabbage Butterflies – or Pieris rapae – and they will lay eggs that hatch into worns that will devour your plants. 

 

To avoid them in my garden, I covered these plants with a light cloth to keep the eggs off.

In addition to covering with a cloth netting, my CSA farm had this to say about the issue: 

The worms are called cabbage loopers.  If you see white moths fluttering about your garden, these are laying eggs on your kale and when the worms hatch out they start eating holes in the leaves.  We spray a natural bacteria called BT that basically gives the worms the flu and they die.  It's not harmful to other insects, animals or humans.  The product is called "Dipel DF" and comes as a powder that you mix with water and then spray on the leaves once a week or so. 

The product comes in 1-pound quantities, but as long as you would keep the powder cool and out of water, it would last for many years and you could use it every year if need be." 

Are you having any trouble with these creatures? What have you done to avoid them and protect your veggies? 

 

 

 

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