Mildew, clubroot, mosaic, damping off, ash aphids, flies or flea beetles, etc. Growing cabbage is not easy, but requires careful monitoring. Learn how to identify cabbage pests and how to treat them naturally.
Symptoms: Young cabbage plants you have sown suddenly disappear. They are actually attacked in the collar by fungi present in the soil used for sowing or on the seeds. Damping off is not a disease specific to cabbage: it also affects many other vegetable plants such as radishes or tomatoes.
How to avoid depreciation?
Do not always sow your cabbages in the same place. We sow the seeds cleanly, in a row, not too early in the case of spring sowing: the soil must be well drained. Excessive moisture in the soil favors the growth of fungi that are responsible for melting.
Cabbage downy mildew
Symptoms: This cabbage disease affects the leaves of young cabbage plants as well as, later, those of well-established plants. The leaves are first covered with yellow spots and then with a large purple-white down. The disease progresses rapidly if the weather is hot and the leaves dry out completely.
How to deal with cabbage leaves?
For prevention or at the first signs of powdery mildew, spray one or more Bordeaux mixtures at 3-week intervals, reducing the 15 days in rainy weather.
Symptoms: When it is very hot, cabbages wilt, growth stops and some badly affected plants die. The roots show tumors, they rot. This cabbage disease is caused by a fungus.
Treatment to be carried out:
Pull and dispose of all diseased sprouts as quickly as possible. Don’t throw them in the compost pile. Clubroot occurs most easily when you grow your cabbage in acidic, overly wet soil. As a preventative measure, lime your soil and improve its drainage by mixing in sand. Also check the young plants you buy, sometimes they are affected by the fungus. Finally, wait 3 to 5 years before replanting cabbage where your cabbage has been infected because the clubroot fungus can survive in the soil.
Colonies of gray aphids live on the underside of cabbage leaves © DepositPhotos
Symptoms: Leaves of affected young plants or well-developed cabbages curl and turn yellow. There are many small round aphids, grayish in color.
How to treat cabbage naturally against ash aphids?
Normally, helpful insects such as ladybugs or lacewings manage to regulate and contain the number of ash aphids. In case of heavy infestation, apply one or more sprays a few days apart of a black soap or canola oil insecticide.
Symptoms: Cabbage worm damage often occurs with the onset of the first heat, in May, but sometimes earlier, as early as April. The attack is difficult to detect because the maggots of this fly multiply especially at the level of rotting roots. Affected sprouts stop growing, their leaves turn yellow and then purple, before drying up. Often the entire leg dies completely.
Treatment to be carried out:
Quickly uproot and discard affected sprouts. Do not hesitate to also remove the earth around the leg: worms are visible there! Don’t throw the whole thing in the compost pile because the larvae overwinter in the soil and can survive for several months, later producing a new generation of flies.
Several generations of flies succeed each other between spring and autumn. In prevention, the ideal is to cover your cabbages from planting with an insect net, it will prevent flies from coming to lay eggs.
It is not easy to get rid of flea beetles on cabbage © DepositPhotos
cruciferous flea beetle
Symptoms: Flea beetles make many small holes in the leaves of cabbage, but also in other plants of the same family such as radishes or turnips. They are small black or blue insects with yellowish stripes.
How to get rid of flea beetles on cabbage?
If infestations are significant, spray a natural insecticide with black soap or canola oil.
Symptoms: Cabbage leaves are eaten into lace by many greenish and yellow caterpillars. These are the larvae of a small white butterfly with a round black spot on its wings: the cabbage moth. It is very common in gardens.
White butterfly caterpillars quickly devour cabbage leaves! © DepositPhotos
How to fight the caterpillar of the cabbage butterfly?
The most natural means of control is to prevent butterflies from laying eggs on cabbage leaves by protecting your crop under an insect net. When caterpillars are detected in cabbages:
- If there are not many, you can pick them up by hand and make them disappear.
- If there are many, treat your sprouts with Bacillus thuringiensis, a natural caterpillar appetite suppressant.
Symptoms: The damage is similar to that caused by whitefly: your cabbage leaves are full of holes and heavily eaten. Brown or greenish caterpillars appear.
How to fight cabbage moth naturally?
The treatments are identical to those of pieride.
Galls producing textile
Symptoms: Your cabbage growth slows down. On the collar, growths formed by several hollow galls appear. Sometimes they reach 1 cm in diameter and contain the small white larvae of a piece. These infestations can also be seen on other vegetables in the Brassicaceae family such as turnips.
How to deal with sprouts?
There is no cure. Therefore, it is necessary to decide to pull the cabbages and eliminate them to prevent the recurrence of attacks. For prevention, insect netting placed at the beginning of the crop can be an effective solution to prevent the gall thrips from laying eggs.
At first, cauliflower or mosaic disease appears as large discolored spots and small round spots. © DepositPhotos
Symptoms: This cauliflower disease can also affect other cabbages or turnips. The leaves have large discolored patches that contrast with the darker parts. Black spots appear and the leaves dry quickly. Cauliflower mosaic is a viral disease.
What is the treatment for cauliflower disease?
There is no specific treatment. Once mosaic has been declared in a crop, the affected plants must be eliminated as soon as possible to prevent its spread.
Buy only healthy seedlings with no signs of this virus
Also control ash aphids as they are often carriers of this disease.