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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Yellowstriped Armyworm Toplef10Yellowstriped Armyworm 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Yellowstriped Armyworm I22gcj10Yellowstriped Armyworm 14dhcg10

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Yellowstriped Armyworm

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Post  LilBittyBean 8/11/2019, 6:11 pm

Was thinning out my direct-sown cabbage, broccoli, and some other greens in the SFG yesterday. Spotted a very small caterpillar,  which I later verified as a yellowstriped armyworm. Dispatched it and looked for more. None found, but that means nothing.  Mad

Immediately procured and put down some Bt. No other armyworms spotted today. Again, I know there must be more.

Label says to apply every 7 days. Anything else I should put down to help out? Just planted my garden and am not ready to lose it!

I'm awfully worried about killing my beneficial insects. I have not seen very many bees (hoping my bee balm flowers soon) or beneficial wasps around.

Thanks! Yellowstriped Armyworm 998388915
LilBittyBean
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Post  mollyhespra 8/11/2019, 8:03 pm

I actually had to look that critter up! And then my second thought was that I've found those in the garden before but never in any significant numbers. Do they happen in plague- proportions in your area?
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Post  OhioGardener 8/11/2019, 8:25 pm

@LilBittyBean wrote:Was thinning out my direct-sown cabbage, broccoli, and some other greens in the SFG yesterday. Spotted a very small caterpillar,  which I later verified as a yellowstriped armyworm. Dispatched it and looked for more. None found, but that means nothing.  Mad

Immediately procured and put down some Bt. No other armyworms spotted today. Again, I know there must be more.

Label says to apply every 7 days. Anything else I should put down to help out? Just planted my garden and am not ready to lose it!

I'm awfully worried about killing my beneficial insects. I have not seen very many bees (hoping my bee balm flowers soon) or beneficial wasps around.

Thanks! Yellowstriped Armyworm 998388915

I have never had a problem with the armyworm on any of my brassica plants, but recently I went out one morning to discover every leaf on my Curly Kale had been destroyed overnight. When I looked for the culprit, I found a hundred or so Cross-Striped Cabbage Worms enjoying what was left of the leaves. I cut off the damaged leaves and submerged them in a bucket of water, and then sprayed the plants and soil around them with Bt. No more damage after that.

The good thing is that Bt is not only non-toxic to us, but it is non-toxic to most beneficial insects (Monarch, Swallowtail, etc., caterpillars being the exception). It does not affect bees, wasps, etc..  Bt is recommended to sprayed every 5 - 7 days, or after a rain. That will control the pest caterpillars very well.

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Post  LilBittyBean 8/11/2019, 9:31 pm

@mollyhespra wrote:I actually had to look that critter up! And then my second thought was that I've found those in the garden before but never in any significant numbers. Do they happen in plague- proportions in your area?

Hi Molly! I recall my dad dealing with them in large numbers many years ago. Mowed down his plants fairly quickly one season. 

Perhaps they are more common here in the South than they are in other areas.
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Post  LilBittyBean 8/11/2019, 9:38 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:
I have never had a problem with the armyworm on any of my brassica plants, but recently I went out one morning to discover every leaf on my Curly Kale had been destroyed overnight. When I looked for the culprit, I found a hundred or so Cross-Striped Cabbage Worms enjoying what was left of the leaves. I cut off the damaged leaves and submerged them in a bucket of water, and then sprayed the plants and soil around them with Bt. No more damage after that.

The good thing is that Bt is not only non-toxic to us, but it is non-toxic to most beneficial insects (Monarch, Swallowtail, etc., caterpillars being the exception). It does not affect bees, wasps, etc..  Bt is recommended to sprayed every 5 - 7 days, or after a rain. That will control the pest caterpillars very well.

Yikes! Sorry to hear about the cabbage worms! Will your plants recover? 

Thanks for the reassurance on the Bt. I was pretty sure it wasn't harmful. We try to use environmentally-friendly pest-control but lack of bees has me worried. I suppose that is an entirely different thread of its own. 

Thanks for the advice!
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Post  OhioGardener 8/11/2019, 10:02 pm

@LilBittyBean wrote:Yikes! Sorry to hear about the cabbage worms! Will your plants recover? 

Thanks for the reassurance on the Bt. I was pretty sure it wasn't harmful. We try to use environmentally-friendly pest-control but lack of bees has me worried. I suppose that is an entirely different thread of its own. 

Thanks for the advice!

Yes, Kale is a quick grower, and it quickly shot up new leaves to replace all of the ones it lost. And, we've been harvesting leaves weekly since that episode.

If you have a lack of honeybees in your area, consider putting up some native bee houses to attract the various native bees.  I did that years ago, and we always have native bees of one sort or another buzzing around. Of course, you also need flowering plants to attract the bees - things like Basil, Borage, Comfrey, etc., will bring in the bees.

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Post  LilBittyBean 8/11/2019, 10:31 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:Yes, Kale is a quick grower, and it quickly shot up new leaves to replace all of the ones it lost. And, we've been harvesting leaves weekly since that episode.

If you have a lack of honeybees in your area, consider putting up some native bee houses to attract the various native bees.  I did that years ago, and we always have native bees of one sort or another buzzing around. Of course, you also need flowering plants to attract the bees - things like Basil, Borage, Comfrey, etc., will bring in the bees.
Very good news about your kale, Ohio. 

Had no idea about the native bee houses. I'm doing a little research on them now. I do have a good number of flowering herbs around. Most of my regular flowers, though, are in front of my home with garden in the back.
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Post  sanderson 8/12/2019, 5:20 pm

Any plant attracting nuisance moths/butterflies goes under bridal tulle. Yellowstriped Armyworm Winter21

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Post  LilBittyBean 8/12/2019, 6:12 pm

Smart! That's a nice setup!
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Post  mollyhespra 8/12/2019, 9:10 pm

@sanderson wrote:Any plant attracting nuisance moths/butterflies goes under bridal tulle. Yellowstriped Armyworm Winter21

How long do you find the tulle lasts in your area, Sanderson? That's a mighty fine looking setup you've got there! Yellowstriped Armyworm 3170584802
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Post  sanderson 8/17/2019, 3:12 am

Thank you!  The tulle is up Oct 1 to March 1.  I hand wash, hang dry, pin the bed labels on each and store until the next fall planting.  I know they have survived 3 winter seasons and are good for the coming forth season. March 9, 2018. Yellowstriped Armyworm Bridal10

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