Have you noticed holes in the leaves of your broccoli, cabbage, kale, and/or collard plants? Are you wondering what could be eating your veggies?
The culprits are likely caterpillars! These caterpillars, also known as loopers, are big fans of vegetables in the brassica family (that includes your broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower) and they are especially problematic this year.
How do you rid your garden of these pests?
Step One: Remove by Hand
Have students check the undersides of the plant leaves and physically remove all of the caterpillars they find. For fun, have students collect the caterpillars and put them into a cup, counting as they go. Once the cup is full or you can’t find anymore on the leaves, dispose of the cup, so the caterpillars can’t crawl back into your garden beds. We recommend checking your garden for pests about twice a week.
Step Two: Apply Dipel Dust
Dipel Dust is a natural biological insecticide. This is a very safe and effective method and the caterpillars will be gone in no time. Apply the dust by shaking it onto the leaves of the plants after you water and after it rains.
We sell Dipel Dust for $4.50 per bottle at KCCG, so let your Schoolyard Gardens contact know if you need some of this dust to protect your veggies!
By staying ahead of these pests, you can still enjoy a bountiful Fall harvest!