Keep Cabbage Worms off your Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower Plants

Last updated 04/25/2018 | |

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A few years ago, I grew cauliflower and broccoli in my raised beds. They did great, and I couldn’t wait to harvest them and inflict them on my family use them in lots of different recipes.

Keep cabbage worms off your broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage: BrownThumbMama.com

Then the cabbage worms came. Zillions of them. Since broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are all brassicas, the cabbage worms like them all. Since I wasn’t going to spray them with chemicals, and didn’t have time before work to inspect the leaves and pick off bugs, I lost the whole crop. I was devastated (but Hubby was happy).

A few years later, I found one of these nifty gizmos in a garden catalog. It's called a moth-blocker, and is made of really fine mesh that lets water and sun in and keeps the bugs out. The only problem--it's $35. Ouch!

Keep cabbage worms off your broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage: BrownThumbMama.com

There’s no way I'm going to spend $35 to cover each plant! I could buy a lifetime of organic veggies for that price.

Then, at a recent trip to Ikea, I found the perfect solution--a cylindrical, fine mesh laundry basket priced at a reasonable $7.99. There's a similar one on Amazon, too.

It’s not custom-made for the garden, but it should do the job quite well. I put it over half of my broccoli and cauliflower seedlings and left the rest out in the open as a control.

Keep cabbage worms off your broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage: BrownThumbMama.com

Keep cabbage worms off your broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage: BrownThumbMama.com

You can see that water and light can still get in, but the bugs can't. The only problem might be when the plants get too big to all fit under the cover. I've read that you can cover the heads of the broccoli or cauliflower with an old piece of panty hose to protect them. If everything grows well, that's a problem I'd love to have to deal with!

How do you protect your winter crops?

Don't let cabbage worms ruin your broccoli or cauliflower crops. There's an easy, organic way to keep them away from your brassicas for good! BrownThumbMama.com

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Pam

Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

5 Comments

  1. Candy on May 28, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Just take an old flower pot cut slits in and most of pot cut out leave enough to run pantyhosethrough remaining areas in and out pattern the pit over plant with panty hose over top of the bucket with bottle cut out of course..air and water go through. Cheaper solut8on

  2. Mike Goss on August 4, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Thanks for all your tips wish you good gardening! I am making chicken wire screens for fall plants and will be fighting squirrels also.

  3. Heather on July 29, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    My poor cabbage is already gone. I couldn’t seem to pick the caterpillars off before they did their damage, since they hide inside layers of leaves not even open yet. In fact now, towards the end of summer, the cabbage head is starting to have some sticking, rotting parts. Eww. I will definitely do something like this next year!

  4. Jen Zeller on December 8, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Brilliant!

  5. Danielle Fish on December 8, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Hi, Brown Thumb Mama –
    Kudos for finding a cheaper alternative! Have you considered building one of these? Even I, a first time this year gardener made it work! After you build it, you can place any of a few coverings like fine mesh, plastic for when it’s cold, etc. etc. Just another thought and hope it helps!

    http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/ultimate-raised-bed-how-to-00400000011938/page6.html

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/improvement/lawn-garden/build-a-raised-garden-bed-cover-15566073

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Pam

Hi, I'm Pam!

I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here! Learn more about me.

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