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Wed May 30, 2012, 08:05 PM

Fending off cabbage moths?

I think that is what they are called, white buggers sometimes with a black mark on them landing on my plants and I think their spawn gobble up all the leaves.

Would a 3/8" mesh net work to keep them out but allow bees in?

Like this thing:

I have poultry wire around most of my cleared out growing area, huge squirrel invasion a few years ago, need to mend it here and there but otherwise I could toss a giant pond net on it to shrink those 1" holes. I have mixed crops in there because of the squirrels and I had a visiting ground hog but the neighborhood cats seem to be keeping him and the squirrels away for now.

I just don't get out to the garden enough to deal with them, checking every leaf etc.

The other thing I thought of was planting some leafy weeds outside the garden to distract them from MY plants. Read planting lavender might help keep them away as well.

The only other thing I can think of is to make a mini greenhouse to keep the plants those moths seem to love protected. I had been planning on keeping some plants in buckets cause I'm trying for more crops but don't know where I'll put them all if I have to add lettuce/broccoli and whatever else they go after.


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Reply Fending off cabbage moths? (Original post)
jp11 May 2012 OP
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #1
Denninmi May 2012 #2
NJCher Jun 2012 #4
Elad May 2012 #3

Response to jp11 (Original post)

Wed May 30, 2012, 08:29 PM

1. I seem to remember hearing at one time that a mixture of flour and sour milk poured or sprayed

onto cabbage will keep the moths from laying eggs. You might want to check out this site for some other info.


It looks like there are some good organic remedies listed there.

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Response to jp11 (Original post)

Wed May 30, 2012, 08:30 PM

2. If you dust with Bacillus thuringensis every 14 days, you won't ever have cabbage worms.

That's what I do. It only takes a very small amount. I usually plant a block of brassicas approximately 100 feet long and five feet wide. To dust that block, I use maybe half a cup of Btk dust, and I mix it with a cup of flour as an extender just to help me get it spread evenly throughout the patch. I prefer to do this on a windy day, walking against the wind if possible, because the wind helps it spread around the garden. Make a shaker with a quart jar and canning lid, poking maybe 6 or 8 fine holes in it with a nail or ice pick. When dusting, hold the jar high above the plants, and let it disperse a lot. It's not like a traditional dust that kills with contact and ingestion in a certain dose, this is biological warfare, so a few spores will do the trick.

Btk dust should be available at almost any garden center, hardware, or general merchandise store, and it's pretty cheap, a $6 canister lasts me most of the season.


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Response to Denninmi (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 1, 2012, 08:57 AM

4. going to try this one

Thank you so much for this tip. I even have one of those those powder diffuser things, so this will be easy.

Here's a link from Organic Gardening magazine that tells more about when to apply it:



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Response to jp11 (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2012, 01:48 AM

3. Floating row covers will work

but they won't allow bees in, although unless you're saving seed that's not really an issue. Although the one you linked is probably too widely spaced to work. You need something more like this:

It doesn't take much time to inspect plants and remove them though. I grow a lot of broccoli, and once a week I'll inspect the plants (20+). It takes about 15 minutes.

Carefully turn over each leaf and remove the pin-shaped eggs from the underside, look for damage on the leaves and look for a worm. They blend in really well, so sometimes you have to stare for a few seconds before they pop out. This 15 minute once-a-week routine removing the eggs before they hatch and any hatched worms easily keeps the damage at a minimum.

Spending the time inspecting the plants also alerts you to aphids/other problems that may need addressing.

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