What could be eating my kale?

Kian00sh(6)June 13, 2014

I started growing kale in early spring and it was growing slowly but steadily, but now it looks like some critter has taken a liking to it. All of the leaves have been removed from several of the plants in one area of my garden. I had a squirrel problem early in the season that I thought I had managed to control with netting and bamboo stakes, but would squirrels eat kale? I've spotted a raccoon in the yard before and there are plenty of birds. Anyone else have this problem? If so, what could I do besides what I'm already doing to keep the pests away from my kale?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Others having the same problem? Yes, several discussions running here about the same problem with lots of advice offered. Some just a bit further down the page. :)

Assuming it isn't slugs and given all the garden pests you have listed then likely some sort of fencing will be needed. Otherwise there are many brands of spray-on mammal repellents you can try that will usually work for periods of time if you keep applying them.

But the key is to first ID exactly what is doing the damage by observation. Then you'll know what specific prevention is needed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Eating leaves discussions

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:43AM
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Look for a little green worm on the underside of leaves. Cabbage worms I believe. They get me every year too.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 1:33PM
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sandpapertongue(7a VA)

Yes, the cabbage white butterfly had been laying eggs on my kale like crazy. Every time i look, there are fresh eggs. The caterpillar is green and camouflages well. Here is a big guy that I didn't notice until this plant has been almost completely eaten. Do you notice any of those small white butterflies around? If so, I bet that's what it is.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:35AM
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Among vertebrate pests, rabbits are the most likely culprits where strong-tasting brassicas are involved. Deer, coons and rodents don't particularly like them unless there's nothing else to eat.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 2:18PM
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