Cabbage Worms

I was in the midst of a great nights sleep a couple of nights ago when I began having the most terrible dream. In this dream we had some friends over and I was showing them all the progress in the garden and we were sharing techniques. We sat down to spend time together and when we looked over at the garden again almost everything in it had been eaten down to the ground. I was so upset as it was too late in the season to replant and all of my hard work was gone, just like that. I jumped up from the bed a looked out the bedroom window to make sure it was just a dream. The plants were all there and accounted for but my dream was not completely unfounded. For weeks now I have been battling garden pests and I guess my subconscious was focused on the worst case scenario.

If you follow on Facebook you may have heard me mention my ongoing fight against cabbage worms. The spring started out with a huge cabbage worm population which was eradicated by team effort. I would pick off as many as I could and the birds would feed the rest of them to their babies. It was good team work and for a couple of weeks there was not one cabbage worm to be found. Then once the babies grew and left the nest the birds stopped being as helpful and I was left trying to handle the problem. The worms are not actually visible at this time but the leaves of the cabbage have the tell tale bite marks and the stems are cover with minuscule little eggs. I tried a spray of oil and herbs which has worked for me in the past on the fall crop but with the heat of the summer all it did this time was turn some of the leaves brown. I have read online that BT can be used but I have had zero luck finding this organic product in my area. Thus I have resorted to another old-fashioned  idea in hopes of saving what I can.

A gardening friend of my moms passed a technique that the Amish farmers in the area always use to protect their cabbage crops and my mom was so excited to share it with me that I wanted to give it a try.  Here is what I did. I took a half cup of flour, regular ol' all purpose white flour, and mixed in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. I took the mixture and dusted the cabbage heads. It was like combining my two favorite things baking and gardening. It has been about a week now and I have not seen any new holes in the leaves but for all I know the little boogers could be filling up the entire hard of cabbage. I guess I will find out when it comes harvest time whether or not this really works but I'll keep my eyes open and update if I find out any pressing information as time progresses.

What do you do to save your cabbage from cabbage worms? I know a couple gardeners who gave up on cabbage completely because of this problem and I don't want to become one of them.


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