Last month, I noticed a white butterfly fluttering around our garden. I immediately found it’s activity to be quite suspicious. It would not go away. There was something in our garden that tickled it’s fancy. I, however, didn’t know it was about our beloved cabbage. Two weeks later, I suppose, I started to notice teeny little holes in the cabbage plants that I was ever so proud of. So after noticing the holes in the our cabbage, I knew they had been attacked by cabbage worms. And I had discovered that the white butterfly that I had seen weeks prior, was the culprit. I tried making my own cabbage repellent solution and it failed me. It consisted of a combination of water, Fels Naptha shavings, and vanilla extract. It’s basically used to mask the smell of the cabbage to keep the worms at bay. Maybe I needed to add more of something to the solution, but it was unsuccessful.
After two days of spraying, the holes continued to get worse and the broccoli became victim of the little munchin’ monsters. I went out Thursday night to discover worms all over our cabbage and broccoli. I removed the nasty little buggers, sprayed the cabbage and broccoli down again with my homemade solution and dusted them with flour. So far so good. And for good measure, the folks at Eco Smart are sending me a Safe Plant & Garden Value Bundle which I will be reviewing on my personal blog.
Now for some cabbage worm prevention.
Cabbage worms attack the following: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Collards, Rutabaga, Turnips, Cauliflower, Kale, Mustard Greens, Kohlrabi, Radishes, and Broccoli.
Your crops may be at risk of cabbage worms if:
- You notice white butterflies fluttering around the garden during the day or brown diamondback moths at night.
- You notice dark green droppings and oval-shaped, pale yellow eggs on the leaves of your plants. Be sure to check the undersides too.
- You notice any holes in the centers of plant leaves and unexplained rips in the plant leaves.
Cabbage worms can be prevented and controlled by:
- Planting mint, sage, rosemary, thyme or hyssop alongside the cabbage plants to repel the worms.
- Dust plants with white flour after watering or during the morning dew.
- Using floating row covers for your plants, especially in late spring during cabbage worm emergence time.
- Place a nylon stocking over each cabbage head until harvest time.
- Hand pick and destroy any worms at the first sight.
Got any other (preferably natural) tips? Share them in the comments!