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Need help with Kale problem


Does anyone know what haslaid masses of black eggs in my cavolo nero plants, please?

Sorry about the photo 

Do I wash them off?





  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740

    Can't see it very clearly, but could it be caterpillar poo?  Whatever it is, wash it off.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,614

    Does it have holes in the leaves and are there caterpillars?

  • AlxNicAlxNic Posts: 259

    Yes, lots of caterpillars - I was picking them off - so caterpillar poo makes sense.And holes in the leaves. I'm glad to hear it's not another pest

     I'm going to buy insect netting as the cabbage whites are very busy

    Thank you


  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,614

    I was going to buy insect netting too but the cost put me off, a cheaper alternative is scaffold debris netting but then again I would have to buy timber and construct some sort of support for it which would have to be removable to be able to weed so I just check the leaves every couple of days instead, another allotmenteer suggested spraying the brassicas with soapy water to keep the cabbage whites away so I have tried that and wait to see if it has the desired effect.

  • AlxNicAlxNic Posts: 259

    I don't have too many plants (4) as it's just a small patch for me in the back garden. I take your point about the weeding bit - also getting access for picking. I have sprayed them with soapy water in the past but maybe I need to do it more often. There were some pretty large caterpillars on them.

    Thanks for your help

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,614

    Don't forget to look for the single eggs of the small white and they have tiny green caterpillars which head straight for the growing centre leaves of the plant they can be hard to spot but very destructive if missed.

  • AlxNicAlxNic Posts: 259

    I've seen the tiny caterpillars , I suppose I thought they were just 'babies'. In the cavolo nero they usually lodge in  the curl of the outer edge of the leaf.

    My hungry gap kale looks like lace - just the ribs left - but I have some more seedlings growing. Both types winter well here (Devon), I think I'll just tie some insect netting over one of each type , individually, like a hair net and then I'll have at least two plants to see me through the winter.

    It's a daily job to keep the caterpillar numbers down

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,740

    Hmm, not sure that'll work - those butterflies will just land on the netting and lay their eggs on your kale through the netting image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AlxNicAlxNic Posts: 259

    I obviously have a lot to learn about insect behaviour.

    Thank you for preventing me wasting my time, Dove. I'll re-think,  and see what I can do with netting and canes.

  • Mel MMel M Posts: 347

    I use 4 canes around my tall (4/5 foot) Brussels Sprouts topped with plastic drink bottles and drape scaffold netting over the top. This keeps it clear of the plants. I use short canes topped with plastic bottles to support the fleece over my savoy cabbages. Works a treat.

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