View Full Version : My garden at 30 days, and worms are eating my broccoli!

05-25-2009, 10:33 PM
And my cabbage for that matter - argh!

First, I must say that all the reading and advise I got here helped me build what I think is a pretty wonderful garden :) We planted about 37 days ago, and everything is growing like crazy. I started quite a few things from seed, and then supplemented with some purchased plants.

Yesterday I noticed a few holes on my broccoli leaves, and today there are tons! AND, there are some holes starting on my cabbage as well.

I can see the hungry critters on the back of the leaves, but I don't know what they are or the best way to deal with them before they eat all my plants!

Any ideas/advise? Thanks so much!



05-26-2009, 08:47 AM
High probability it is cabbage worms. I spray my cole crops (cabbage, broccolli, brussel sprouts, and kohlrabi) with Bt solution every 10 to 14 days during the growing season.

Here's some info on Bt which is a natural occuring bacteria that causes the worms to quit eating and die.

The only other natural alternative is to use a remay covering over the plants from transplant until you pull them up. The moths that lay eggs on the plants cannot get through the blanket and thus no caterpillar infestation.



05-26-2009, 06:37 PM
Ok, sprayed with some Neem today and picked off the worms I could see. I couldn't find a cover locally so may need to order that.

I found MORE pests/issues today though...all heck is breaking loose down there..haha

Most of my tomato plants are doing great, but my Brandywine's have yet to form a tomato...the blossoms are just drying up and falling off..I did some research but didn't really find any pictures that looked just like mine, or a good solution. In one spot I do see some little white things, so that may be the issue. Is there a website that has just pictures of common pests/problems to help you identify yours and a solution? The rest of my tomatoes are doing great though - don't know why it is just the one variety not setting fruit.

Also, I noticed some of my cucumbers are turning yellow and mushy when they are really small. There are a lot of good ones (we have eaten some already!), but there a some of these sick looking ones too. I took a few pix of a bug that was sitting on the cuke plant...could he be the culprit?

Thanks so much for all of your help!!


05-27-2009, 12:54 PM
New gardens take time for the soil to get into balance. You're first year is always pretty tough as the micro ecosystem starts to seek balance. BT works, soil containment with newspaper, mulch and of course a Chicken:).

The pics look like a fungal problem on the cukes. Letting mothernature take her course and find a balance will take at least 90 days, if you rotate you next crop in the fall, you should be fine by next season.

05-27-2009, 10:19 PM
i have had holey (not blessed) broccoli, spinach, and cabbage leaves - it happened to me last year and i just left it alone - added some compost - and waited. everything was strong enough to flourish and i just plucked off any damaged leaves from time to time and on harvest. the only thing that i was more aggressive plucking leaves with was my swiss chard (leaf miners - gross!). i compainion plant lots of herbs with my veggies - there are a bzillion websites that list pest deterrent herbs and i'm sure some folks here might have links to some. i have several holey plants now and i am just going to ride it out and see. i also impulse bought (i have no self control) a "siberian tomato" (i know - they saw me coming) and it was the only one in my tomato bed that got covered with what looked very much like a bacterial infection (although we had alot of rain - poss. fungus) - that concerned me and i was ready to pull up the whole thing to prevent it from spreading to my homegrown tomatoes - but it had 2TOMATOES! :((that was a loud whine) so i plucked the heck out of it - plucked many leaves, stems and flowers - and checked my other tomatoes for any signs of the big ugly spots and...this was 2wks ago and the plant looks 100% better and no sign of it in the other plants - so don't panic. i have also heard that foliar (sp?) feedings of compost tea strengthens plants so they can withstand onslaughts of pests. we have many wild birds that visit our feeders - i think that helps create some balance. we plan on putting up bat houses as well. good luck :)

05-29-2009, 09:32 PM
Thanks everyone!

The rate of munching seems to have slowed down, and I did quite a bit of leaf trimming/branch tying down there tonight. It has rained here for about a week straight and everything grew like crazy all over each other.

I pulled out a couple of cabbage plants out that just looked overmunched, but will leave the rest alone and see how they do. I've never grown broccoli before - I have these huge plants but don't see anything resembling broccoli yet...

I do have herbs, marigolds and nasturtiums planted throughout the garden, but maybe not enough or in the right places?

As far as the tomato blossom drop - if it's not the aphids doing it, I remembered that the temperature did get down to 39 about a week and half ago - kind of a freak thing - I would guess the tomatoes didn't like that too much.

They look great besides that, and are covered in blossoms. The Brandywines are the only ones that had the problem - I have tons of green tomatoes on all the others. I think I did spy a tiny green one on a Brandywine plant tonight so that makes me feel better.

And I would love to get some chickens! I definitely have tons of bugs and weeds around here for them to munch on! Maybe next year - I don't know if my hubby is ready to build me a chicken condo after just building all that garden stuff :) Don't want to push my luck :)

Thanks again for all your help and feedback!