Help! I have been unable to grow kale this summer. I plant my seeds and the plants come up nicely. I am growing in a barrel high enough to prevent rabbits from eating my crop. I have the bed covered so flying insects should not Eat my plants. Once my plants are 5-7” tall something removes all but the center stem and the main left and right veins. Very neatly done, no rough edges. I am left with green stick figures ever my little kale plants had been growing.
Livingston County Michigan
Thanks for the question. What you have described closely resembles the damage done by the Asiatic garden beetle (Maladera castanea). These guys spend the day in the ground and come out at night. A visit to the kale after dark (bring a flashlight) can verify this problem. Check out the following links for details: