One of the most annoying garden critters we fight in the cool weather is the cabbage looper. A green inch worm looking bug that loves leafy plants. They can be very damaging but they are also easy to control. You need to scout the garden to identify the problem before they get out of hand. The weapon of choice is Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Bt is available in both liquid and powder called Dipel Dust. It is not noted on the label but I have found that liquid Bt works better if it’s used with a sticking agent (surfactant). I have used both a non-ionic surfactant called “Spreader Sticker” and liquid molasses for this task. Both work well but I prefer the Spreader Sticker as the liquid molasses has a tendency to gum up the sprayer. Do not use soap or detergent for this task. If you decide to go with Dipel Dust you don’t have to deal with any of that. But it’s very hard to get the powder to stick to the bottom of a leaf.
Did you have issues with squash bugs, squash vine bores, cucumber beetles or root nematodes this past spring? Taking a page from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”, attack them when they are at their weakest. That would be in dormancy. The weapon to use is beneficial nematodes. These microscopic, subterranean worms act as parasites on non-beneficial pests. Since the larva of the bad guys are in a dormant state in the soil, they are easy prey for the nematodes. Nematodes are mixed with water and poured through a provided sieve. For garden applications I use a clean watering can, although you can use pump-up or hose-end sprayers. They are applied on damp ground as the sun is setting. Water the area thoroughly after application. The nematodes we carry will cover a quarter of an acre or the large size that covers half of an acre. As always read and follow the label direction.
Stop by Wells Brothers for all your garden and lawn supplies. Whether you’re going to the organic or synthetic route, we’ve go the knowledge and products you need for a beautiful lawn and garden.