Protecting kale: tips on preventing kale diseases and pests

Protection of kale for the following year’s harvest begins after the fall harvest. Many insects that damage kale and spread disease overwinter in the plant remains left in the garden at the end of the season. Fall clean-up, which includes removing plant debris and turning over the soil to expose insects, goes a long way to preventing problems in the spring.

Protection of kale

Soil composting is another fall project aimed at controlling kale diseases. Most people know that compost is an excellent natural fertilizer, but did you know that it also helps the soil drain freely? Soil that can’t drain freely stays moist for too long, and many fungi grow in moist soil. By working the compost in the fall, it can combine with the soil to be ready to manage water more efficiently in the spring.

Cabbage pests also overwinter in garden waste and in the soil. Expose the insects to the harsh conditions of the soil surface by turning the soil over several times during the fall and winter.

Pest control in kale

Identifying and eliminating some of the most common kale pests can be very useful in your rapeseed plant protection program. Common garden pests affecting kale are

  • Aphids – Allow natural predatory insects to do as much of the work of controlling these insects as possible. If you must use an insecticide, use a soap or neem oil-based product. You may have to spray several times.
  • Flea beetles – A good fall cleanup and regular weeding are your best defense against these insects, which gnaw at leaves through small holes. If these cabbage pests still attack your plants, choose an insecticide labeled for use against flea beetles and make sure the label states that the product is safe to use on cabbage.
  • Caterpillars – You will probably notice that moths move around the plant before you see the caterpillars. In most cases, you can pick them up by hand. In severe cases, or if you cannot bear to touch the moths, you can use Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt).
  • White Wings – These small white flying insects rise in a cloud above the plant. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil and spray them every few days until they disappear.

Prevention of kale disease

The launch of a kale disease prevention program will help eliminate most of the kale diseases in the garden. Start protecting the cabbage by implementing these control measures :

  • Water the soil instead of the plant. Wet plants are more susceptible to disease than dry plants.
    Also, avoid splashing soil on plants when watering them.
  • Thoroughly clean tools before moving from one part of the garden to another. Don’t forget to clean your shoes! Pieces of soil that move from one part of the garden to another on the soles of your shoes can carry disease-causing organisms.
  • If you suspect your cabbage is infected with a disease, reduce your use of high nitrogen fertilizer until the problem is under control.
  • Copper-containing fungicides can help prevent infection or slow disease progression, but they do not cure disease. By using fungicides at an early stage, you may be able to stop the disease until after harvest.

Now that you know more about how to protect your plants from garden pests and diseases that affect kale, you can enjoy a new crop every year without any worries.

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