September 09, 2016

Get Outside: Fighting Whiteflies In The Garden

So it seems the weather just won’t cool off and as a result I simply can’t force myself to go out and do a stitch of work in my garden. It’s just too hot! Despite the heat, I am going to have to tackle a little maintenance this weekend for as I went out to snip some kale for dinner last night I was welcomed by a dreaded white cloud. My kale has been infested with whiteflies.

If you are unfamiliar with whiteflies then consider yourself lucky. Whiteflies are teeny tiny moth like critters that lay eggs on the underside of brassicas like kale and cabbage. They aren’t necessarily damaging to the plants themselves but they are really gross… and if you are planning on making a kale salad for dinner, you may want to think again. The pests lay tiny eggs on the underside of the leaves and they are so small and sticky that it is not really worth the effort to clean them off. At least not when kale grows like, well, kale.

I’ve done a little research and my first plan of attack is going to be the least aggressive and most natural. I have done some reading and have discovered that whiteflies loathe garlic. That’s right, garlic! The word on the street is that you can mash up a head of garlic, chop a bunch of  green onions and steep it all in boiling water for a spell. Next, strain the mixture and pop it in a spray bottle. Then all you have to do is spritz the leaves, being careful to get the undersides, and the nasty little buggers will find another place to live. It’s worth a try at least!

So, if you need me this weekend I will be out in the garden. Sweating in a swarm of sticky flies, armed with a spray bottle and reeking like garlic… vampires beware! All hail kale!