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Posted by nurseliberty Michigan (My Page) on
Mon, May 2, 11 at 9:26

Hello....I have been searching for information on preventing pests on cabbage.

My 3rd grade children grow mega-cabbage from Bonnie every year. Last year my daughter did well, but half the cabbage seemed to be eaten. There were holes all over. It was our first ever time at growing cabbage, and even with the instructions didn't do well (although she got 2nd place in her school!). It weighed just over 12 pounds, but according to the company, the variety is supposed to be closer to 40-50 pounds! :/

Now it's my son's turn this year. We have the seedling, and we are trying to learn as much as we can about it before proceeding. I have LOTS of info on soil pH, care, moisture, etc. But there is not much info about how to treat common pests, other than picking them off if you see them. Last year, we really didn't see anything, we just noticed every day more and more of the leaves had holes in them all over. We tried looking at night with a flashlight, etc.

Please help! I am not a very good gardener at all, I'm still learning! I never have been good at gardening, but I'm trying to learn along with my kids. This year I have my dad living with me, and while he is an experienced gardener, he has never grown cabbage (save from our bad experiment last year!).

If anyone has any ideas of what could have been our problem last year (I have pictures if anyone want to see), and how to prevent it (or treat it) this year, I would appreciate it VERY MUCH!!! Any advice, tips, and help is welcome. Thank you all so much.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: mega-cabbage

If you want to go ORGANIC, try compost tea and/or worm tea. I have repeatedly read how effective this is even when chemicals couldn't get rid of some disease, feeding compost tea took care of it.

Give it a shot.

RE: mega-cabbage

Hi trivedi would i go about making compost tea/worm tea? I am a total newbie to this. Other than growing the cabbage last year (and having the whole thing eaten pretty much), I am new to this.

Thank you for your help!!!

RE: mega-cabbage

Bt ( brand names Dipel or Thuricide) will take out cabbage worms and loopers which are are the worst pests of the brassica group. Slugs can also be a problem but that requires a different solution.

RE: mega-cabbage

I too got involved in setting up my daughter's science class with cabbages from bonnie plants. What a great program! the variety is O.H. Cross which gets huge. I would say 15-20 pounds but doubt 50 pounds unless you live in alaska (cool and 20 hours of sun in summer?).

The cabbage issue is cabbage looper and cabbage worm. We sprayed ours once a week with BT. Also called Dipel under
one manufacturer's trademark. It is a dead bacteria in suspension. Totally safe and organic. It acts as a gut poison on caterpillers only (lepidopterus larvae). I just
mix it in a quart mister bottle and mist once a week on the

My daughter had the second biggest cabbage in her class. The winner was bigger but looked like swiss cheese with all
the holes in it. At least we could eat ours.

Hooray to Bonnie Plants as a fantastic program on their part.

RE: mega-cabbage

Well, there are really two things you can do.

1: Plant something as a ground cover that the cabbage moths don't like/confuses them. corsican mint and wild thyme spring to mind, but any old herbs will probably do well enough. The more aromatic, the better. Certain flowers like marigolds and yarrow also work.

2: Plant things away from your cabbages that the moths like better. Something like wild mustard would be ideal.

RE: mega-cabbage

You can also put mesh or floating row cover over the plants so the moths can't get inside to lay their eggs on the plant, which is where the worms come from in the first place.

RE: mega-cabbage

Use Safari at one tsp/gal for foliage pest and diazinon for root maggots.You shouldn't eat it though. BT works for caterpillars too.

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