I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Cabbage Worms  RSS feed

 
Alicia Winkler
Posts: 51
Location: Indiana
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What is your solution to pesky Cabbage Worms on Brassicas? Is investing in covers worth it?

I am using BT this year and it seems to be working, but they are already holey. I feel like covers are a hassle, but if it actually keeps them out, it would be worth it!

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[Thumbnail for 18836087_1729105907101405_8763355776656948024_n.jpg]
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 2691
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I grow in seasons of the year when the worms are not active, for example during spring, winter, and fall.

I grow varieties that are not susceptible to the worms. At least the edible parts are not bothered.

I grow purple brassicas, so that the green worms are more visible to predators.

I let the worms eat what they want and wash them off before serving them to family.

 
Alicia Winkler
Posts: 51
Location: Indiana
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I grow in seasons of the year when the worms are not active, for example during spring, winter, and fall.

I grow varieties that are not susceptible to the worms. At least the edible parts are not bothered.

I grow purple brassicas, so that the green worms are more visible to predators.

I let the worms eat what they want and wash them off before serving them to family.



Thanks for the tips Joseph! I do notice the worms don't like the red cabbage as much, I figured it was a camouflage issue. Normally, I would share, too, but they are DECIMATING them. So I had to try something. BT seems to work. I just don't like putting anything on them. Organic, or no.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 906
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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I was just flipping through my copy of ruth stout's No-Work Garden Book and saw something interesting.

Quote: "I sprinkle salt on all young plants of the cabbage family and the result: no worms."

She does not specify what kind of salt.
 
Alicia Winkler
Posts: 51
Location: Indiana
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Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I was just flipping through my copy of Ruth Stout's No-Work Garden Book and saw something interesting.

Quote: "I sprinkle salt on all young plants of the cabbage family and the result: no worms."

She does not specify what kind of salt.


Interesting...Thanks Karen. I will look into it.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 906
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
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I'm not saying that I agree with her, as I have never tried it or heard from anyone else who has. Just "interesting". She also says in the same paragraph that she puts cigarette ashes in her squash hills and claims that's why she's never had squash vine borers. I don't think I will be trying that one, but again interesting.
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 128
Location: SF Bay Area
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I use row covers for a number of plants, brassicas being among them. It's what I've had the most success with, as it deters many a pest, not just cabbage worms. I bought a large roll, and probably won't have to buy more for at least a few years, but I do only grow for my family, not commercially. I almost exclusively grow brassicas in the late fall and winter, and cabbage worms are still active here. But I suspect that's because we have a mild climate. I don't like using bt, because I also eat the greens. I don't mind sharing either, but they will not share, they are greedy little buggers. Good luck.
 
Casie Becker
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Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I'm not saying that I agree with her, as I have never tried it or heard from anyone else who has. Just "interesting". She also says in the same paragraph that she puts cigarette ashes in her squash hills and claims that's why she's never had squash vine borers. I don't think I will be trying that one, but again interesting.


Sounds plausible. Tobacco has a long history of being used as a natural insecticide. It's only fairly recently that the organic crowd has backed away from that as they came to realize how very toxic these solutions were, even though they were natural. The salt sounds plausible, too. I wouldn't want to use it unless I was sure my climate had enough rainfall to dilute it before it accumulated to 'salt the earth' quantities in the soil. I don't know how much salt that would be, though.
 
Wes Hunter
Posts: 393
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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A couple things.

This spring, mid-March, I broadcast about 1/16 acre of oats, and broadcast a bunch of purple top turnip seed into it.  At about the same time I direct sowed kale and collards (two varieties of each).  Four or so weeks later I transplanted more kale and collards.  It has only been recently that the cabbage moths/worms have bothered the greens, though there have been plenty on the turnips.  It seems they're more attracted to turnips than greens.  (I have since read this suggestion elsewhere, as well.)

Another option, in combination, is to plant more than needed to allow for a certain amount of loss.  Bugs have to eat, too.

I've read that wild brassicas are most attractive, so encouraging those might work well.
 
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