The Q&A Archives: Protecting Vegetables From Pests

Question: What can I use on my collard greens and other vegetables to keep bugs and other things from eating them?

Answer: Sometimes I wish there were a sure-fire way to keep pests from eating the veggies in my garden, but outside of enclosing them in floating row covers, there really is no single way to keep insect pests from munching on the plants. Greens like collards, lettuces, spinach and cabbage don't form fruit and therefore do not need to be visited by pollinating insects. But all other flowering veggies need insects to transfer pollen from flower to flower. You can enclose your greens under row covers, but leave the other plants out in the open or cover them just until they blossom. For those not covered, inspect regularly for signs of pests and hose them off, pick them off, or remove an insect infested leaf before the population gets out of control. Good luck with your garden!

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