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How Do I Keep Worms Off My Cabbage Crops?

By: Jessie Keith

“All my cabbage family plants…example broccoli, cabbage…etc. get worms on them and they eat them up. What is the best pesticide to use? I even cover them with netting and they still get wormy.” Question from Chris of Orange, Connecticut

Answer: White cabbage moths, also called cabbage loopers/worms, are the most common pest (click here to learn how to manage them) of crops in the cabbage family, but they are really easy to manage. If your cabbage-family crops get loopers yearly, then apply pre-emptive applications of OMRI Listed BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) to stop them in their tracks. Lots of companies make this highly effective pesticide, and not only does it work, but it does not harm any beneficial insects. Start spraying your cabbages, broccoli, kale, collards, and cauliflower shortly after putting these crops out. That way, the caterpillars won’t stand a chance, and you will have clean crops!

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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