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Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

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Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  vjam5555 on 7/13/2013, 1:34 pm

Hi Everyone,

Not sure what these bugs were, but they invaded my mini box with kale.  Then, I went out of town for about three weeks...so, no kale.  To prevent future problems, I'd like to make sure whatever the pests were are not still alive in the MM.  So:  is it possible to sterilize it, and how?  (If I knew how, I'd post a pix of the pests for identification...if you would, please let me know how, thanks!)

Many thanks!

vjam
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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  yolos on 7/13/2013, 2:54 pm

Yes there are plenty of ways to sterilize the soil.  Bake it, microwave it, poor boiling water, etc.  Google soil sterilization for pests.  But you really need to find out what type of pest it is before you kill everything in your soil.  It may not need to be sterilized.
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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  quiltbea on 7/13/2013, 7:09 pm

vjam.....A lot of pests don't invade your soil, just the surfaces of your crops.  Sterilizing the soil won't help that.  You usually do that for soil borne diseases like blight which is harbored in your soil over the winter.  
If it were me, I'd cover my kale with an insect barrier cloth while you are away to prevent the flying insects from laying their eggs on the leaves.  The light penetrates as does the rain, but the bugs can't get thru to lay eggs on the leaves and populate and eat your crops.  A note of caution:  Tulle doesn't always work if the fabric touches the plant.  They can lay their eggs right thru the teeny weeny netting onto your leaves.
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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  Nicola on 7/14/2013, 1:19 am

@vjam5555 wrote:Hi Everyone,
Not sure what these bugs were, but they invaded my mini box with kale. <...snip...>
(If I knew how, I'd post a pix of the pests for identification...if you would, please let me know how, thanks!)
Many thanks!
vjam
Have you read boffer's Sticky?  It is here: http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t129-how-to-post-a-picture-located-on-your-computer
Without a picture, I'll try my limited psychic ability and guess "flea beetle".  But as soon as you do post, I'll probably feel silly Embarassed about that.
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Trying to send the pix of the kale pest...

Post  vjam5555 on 7/14/2013, 6:18 am

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Thanks, Nicola, it worked (finally)! :)

Post  vjam5555 on 7/14/2013, 6:22 am

These were the nasty bugs/disease infesting my kale.  Nasty bugs...anybody know what they are and if sterilizing the MM is necessary?  The prospect of baking/microwaving the MM is not appealing...stinks up the house (tried this a LONG time ago, lol)!  Thanks!
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Is it Whitefly?

Post  Nicola on 7/14/2013, 11:43 am

They may be "Whitefly". (My only experience with them was on a pretty, um, houseplant a friend in high school gave me, that became infested with whitefly. I was told a remedy was to wrap it in a plastic bag. Well, I put a garbage/leaf bag around the whole thing, and ended up killing it, bugs and all. It's okay, it would've gotten my parents in trouble Shocked  if it had survived.)
Anyway, do an internet search for whitefly. This will help you confirm if it is that pest, and tell you what to do.  I just saw that there are various predatory wasps and things to get rid of 'em, as well as sticky-traps.
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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  walshevak on 7/15/2013, 11:24 am

Neem works pretty good on whiteflies. Looking at the plant, I don't think you need to sterilize the MM. Try soaking the plant and the top of the soil with neem and see if your kale starts growing again from the center.

I had cabbage worms on my collards and the leaves looked like lace. I smooshed what I could find (including some egg clusters and sprayed heavily with BT for the worms. A few days later I sprayed with neem for the flying bugs. Collards are making a comeback.

Kay

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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  camprn on 7/15/2013, 2:56 pm

I suggest speaking with a gardener in your area as it may be a pest we are unfamiliar with here in the US or Canada. Good luck and let us know what you find out.

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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  Nicola on 9/11/2013, 4:01 pm

Did you ever figure out what the infestation was? And were you able to salvage your kale? (Or did you get rid of it when you first saw the bugs?)
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Found out the pests were mites...

Post  vjam5555 on 4/12/2016, 9:31 am

...had to carefully discard the whole plant.  I haven't used the box since (that was in 2013).  I will probably use it this year) 2016 because it is "prime real estate" on my small balcony!
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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  sanderson on 4/12/2016, 1:57 pm

Hi vjam! happy hi

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Re: Sterilizing MM after pest infestation?

Post  vjam5555 on 4/13/2016, 2:24 am

@sanderson wrote:Hi vjam! happy hi
Well Hi There Sanderson!  It's good to be back! rock on
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