The Milkweed Diaries

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cabbage worms

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of Christopher in his pajamas in the garden catching cabbage moths with a swimming pool net. So far, our haphazard methods of cabbage moth/worm control have been limited to Christopher's antics with the swimming pool net and my pick-n-squish endeavors with the larvae.

Nonetheless, we're not noticing too much damage from the larvae -- cabbage worms -- yet, but we're vigilant because there are lots of the pretty white moths (pictured above) around and we have created a very enticing brassica buffet of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, various kales, and collards.

While amusing to our neighbors, the pool net method is probably not good enough to keep down the cabbage moth damage through the season. And the plants are doing so well that pick and squish is getting to be a time-consuming chore. Most organic pest experts recommend spraying with BT to kill the larvae. Here's a great gardening blog--veggiegardeningtips--with a post on cabbage worm control, for example.

We'll see if we resort to's looking likely....but I'll probably also try planting dill around the brassicas, which is said to repel both aphids and cabbage moths. Even if it doesn't work, it's beautiful, attracts beneficials, and we'll use it for pickles, potato salad, sauerkraut, and other delights. See the wiki companion planting entry for more on dill and other companion plants for pest control.

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