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8 Cabbage plants

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:41 pm
by Richard L.
Hello!... I'm in South Central Texas the San Antonio area. Our Winters down here are short with not many days below 32 degrees. My question is.. I have eight cabbage plants planted in early September and their doing fine, BUT... I see small holes in the large outside leaves. No insects but what causes the small holes in the leaves? Do I spray for insects or not? Thanks

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:57 pm
by rainbowgardener
At a guess, cabbage worms, which are small slender green caterpillars. Look carefully and if you don't see them, try coming out at night with a flashlight and looking.

Don't spray for insects at least unless you know what you are spraying for. If it does turn out to be the cabbage worms, Bt (bacillus thuringiensis, sold as Dipel or Thuricide) would be a good organic treatment for them or you can just dust the cabbages and around them with diatomaceous earth.

Insecticide would be effective against the adults if you see them (small white butterflies) but is also harmful to beneficial insects. I'm not sure it would even be effective against the larvae.

Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:34 pm
by Richard L.
Thanks to both of you for the good information... I'll give it a try & see if things improve. Thanks again!

Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:57 pm
by jal_ut
Cabbage must be a treat to all. There are sure a lot of insects, worms, aphids, slugs, snails, etc. that love to eat it.

A good visual inspection may turn up the culprit. Slugs and snails come out at night.

A few holes in the leaves is not going to hurt the plant. You need to watch closely though to see if the problem gets worse. Sometimes these problems can proceed very rapidly and ruin the crop if you don't catch it in time.

Bt, and diatomaceous earth are good natural controls for many pests. Aphids can be discouraged with a mild soap solution. There has been discussions on soap on here before. Do a search. Good luck!