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Ask Gardenerd: Green Worms on My Brassicas

We get questions like this one from Jody all the time: “Last year I ripped everything out of my garden, put fresh soil in and decided rather last minute to do an edible landscape. It was beyond anything I could have expected or hoped for, but what really was trouble was the white butterflies infesting/laying eggs/green worms in my cabbage, broccoli and kale. It was a full time job picking the green worms off (even though my son loved feeding them to his crayfish) it got old real fast. I did use neem oil at one point, and I would hate to give up on my Tuscan Kale. Any tips for next growing season?”

Green Worms

Ah yes, the dreaded cabbage worm. They’ll turn your kale and broccoli plants into skeletons in no time if left unchecked. We have a couple of blog posts to help you solve the problem:

Cabbage Moths – Pretty but Dastardly

Take Cover! It’s Cabbage Moth Season

Both of these blog posts will help you find cabbage worms more easily, and prevent cabbage moths from landing on your crops to begin with.

Garden Lore

A fellow gardenerd once mentioned that she grows rose geraniums between her brassicas each year and the cabbage moths flutter around but never land. The scent somehow keeps them at bay. We haven’t experimented with this here at Gardenerd, but it’s worth passing on if you want to try it.

Thanks, Jody, for asking this question. You’re not alone. Hopefully this advice will help you next year. Good luck!

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