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Kale holes

Hi, I’ve just started veg growing and my kale has got lots of holes. Could anyone advise me please on what is eating it and how best to deal with it, because I want to eat it! It’s also started on my Brussels too. I can’t see any caterpillars, but there are some sort of eggs on the underside of the leaves as see in the pic below. I’d appreciate any advice please. Thank you 



  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146
    It could be snail or catapillar, I tried growing kale  last year but had problem with catapillars. But I think this is snail, try slug and snail pellets around the base. 
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,721
    edited July 2018
    I think you have three problems there, those "eggs" are aphids, if you zoom in you can see the legs, they are not causing the holes however.
    If you look JUST above your thumb on the underside you can see an egg, I think it's a small white butterfly egg, it may be causing the damage but it looks more like cabbage moth damage to me.
  • JudithSJudithS Posts: 7
    Ah thanks, yes I’ve now seen a lot of white butterflies around the kale and a green caterpillar. Can you reccomend anything I can do to save the kale, i suspect it’s beyond help now as it’s gettjng more full of holes by the day, but I’d like to try and save the Brussels if I can! Thanks 
  • seyfadesseyfades Posts: 146
    Remove the caterpillars and squeeze them, get a fine mesh and cover the plant. You could also  try neem oil spray solution, I think soap and water solution also work for the eggs. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Yes, kale,broccoli, the greens, you need to cover with fine mesh, making sure its well away from the plants. I have broccoli, I have potted on, sitting on a potting bench near my conservatory, suddenly saw loads of cabbage white around the other day, never saw any land on or near the plants, yet there were plenty of eggs! Now placed them inside a larger pot and metted the top
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,998
    I've run short of space so I've had to plant four Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants among the sweetcorn, so no chance of netting them.  I'm inspecting the backs of the leaves daily and removing butterfly eggs.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JudithSJudithS Posts: 7
    Ah thanks all, I’ll try the mesh and soapy water, new to veg growing so learning fast! 
  • debs64debs64 Posts: 5,048
    I spent a fortune on wire netting to keep the pigeons off my cabbages and now they are covered with butterflies! Next year I will mostly be growing flowers on my allotment I think! 
  • JudithSJudithS Posts: 7
    Yes they’ve eaten more of the kale than I have! 
  • I make wire netting enclosures then cover the top with fine mesh netting for all my cabbage,kale and broccoli plants as long as you raise the netting as the plants grow it should keep the  butterflies at bay if the netting touches the leaves then the butterflies might be able to reach the leaves. Definitely keeps the pigeons at bay too. If I plant large good quality seedlings I don't have to.use many slug pellets.
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