Evidence of Worm-Damage in Garden Cabbage

The cabbage shown has been in the ground since the very end of April.  It had been in the ground 4 weeks exactly on the day I took these pictures last week.  This plant was about 14 inches at it’s widest, and the sorry little cabbage head was the size of a golf ball or just slightly bigger.

Cabbage moth droppings in a young cabbage plant

The worm who had been voraciously eating this plant had grown quite large.  He isn’t shown in any of these pictures, but he was about 1.75 inches long and almost as plump as a pencil. Those are his droppings. Disgusting.

This picture is forever going to help me remember to wash my garden produce before I eat it.

I pulled back the leaves that the worm had been hiding in so that, hopefully, the plant will get washed clean by the rain or the next time I water the garden

If it were not for the big outer leaves that I generally don’t eat anyway, this plant would have lost so much mass that it would have died already.  Those big tough leaves protected the little cabbage head–taking one for the team I suppose–by being available to be devoured.

The moral of the story- check your cabbage very often for worms, especially when you keep seeing the white cabbage moth.  Next year, use floating row covers or don’t grow cabbage.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. ::shutter:: I have difficulty growing and eating cabbage and broccoli because of the worms. Floating row covers do help.

    Reply

  2. Posted by thebeadden on June 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Those pretty white thing did that? I am so sorry! But those picture are enough to make me cringe. I’d take a few days before I could venture outside again!

    Reply

  3. I’ll have to keep this in mind. I haven’t grown cabbage yet, only broccoli and cauliflower, but my cauliflower never did very well. maybe it was worms!

    Reply

  4. What a drag! We used floating row covers on a few crops for the first time this year and they have changed our lives! Much less problem with carrot rust fly, earlier crops and much less trouble with compaction from our heavy rains. It’s expensive, but worth it.

    Reply

  5. I’ve had problems like that with the cabbage worms too. A gardening friend gave me a mix of 1 cup of flour with 1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper to sprinkle liberally on the plants. It worked quite well, just reapplying after a rain. And I didn’t taste either in the cabbage when we ate it. Now I keep the shaker with me when I check the cabbages.

    Reply

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