Condo Blues: How to Prevent Cabbage Worms and Garden Pests the Easy Way!

Friday, January 27, 2023

How to Prevent Cabbage Worms and Garden Pests the Easy Way!

For the 2023 gardening season depending upon how it goes in 2022

One summer, my husband and I tried growing a cabbage from its stem. Once it grew a good set of roots, I planted it outside in our container garden. 

Where we learn just how much cabbage worms love cabbage. We vowed never to plant cabbage again. 


how to grow vegetables from scraps

We were successful growing the cabbage and Romain lettuce. The celery failed us.

So what did I do? I decided to grow broccoli, kohlrabi, and bok choy thinking the seeds would be a better gardening investment because those fresh vegetables can be on the more expensive side in the grocery store.It was only after I got home that I learned I bought a bunch of seeds in the brassicas (cabbage) family.

We were right back where we started. Because not only do cabbage worms like to eat and destroy cabbage plants, they also like chowing down on broccoli, kohlrabi, and baby bok choy.

Fortunately there is an easy one and done way to prevent cabbage worms from wreaking havoc on your vegetables: use floating row covers. 

How to Use Floating Row Covers on Container Garden Flower Pots and Planters


There are two types of floating row covers:

1. Non woven plant row covers are made from a non woven fabric like this kind and allow you to extend your growing season by providing warmth for cool-weather crops (similar to using a cold frame in the early spring and fall, reducing water loss in hot weather, and keep out damaging light and weather (similar to a greenhouse.) (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

2. Woven net pest garden row covers like this kind  are lightweight pieces of netting fabric that cover the crop and prevent the cabbage worms and other garden pests from getting in contact with the plants.

Both types of floating garden row covers also are designed to provide protection from pests They create a physical barrier between your plants and the cabbage worms, preventing them from accessing the plants and causing damage. Floating row covers provide protection from other environmental factors like wind, frost, excessive sunlight, and weeds.

The key is to put the floating row covers over your plants immediately after you plant them. If you wait, garden pests bugs will have a chance to lay eggs on the leaves/soil of your vegetables and hatch in an environment they can’t leave. 


Self watering patio vegtable garden

My self watering vegetable container  garden before I installed the cabbage worm netting


You can use floating row covers on outdoor flower pots, planters, and raised garden beds as well as over a traditional plant it straight into the dirt vegetable garden. Since I have a patio container garden I used these exact plant netting vegetable protection bags on my large flower pots,and a floating row cover hoop kit for raised garden beds similar tothis one for the raised planter that surrounds my patio. I and staked edges of the plant netting with these exact Galvanized Steel Garden Stake Staples  I used a ton of garden staples to make sure there weren’t any gaps or openings between the soil and the bottom edge of the netting so garden pests could not get into my garden covers. 


how to prevent cabbage worms in vegtable garden
See the gaps around the garden staple? That is where pests can enter to eat your vegetable plants which means I need to stake the netting down with more staples ot eliminate the gaps. Pro tip: Buy more garden staples that what you think you need, you'll probably use all of them and need more.

 The floating net garden row covers worked surprising well and much better (and less smelly) than the Neem oil and other natural cabbage worm treatments I used the year before. I like one and done garden pest control solutions because I’m not always good at remembering to reapply sprays after it rains. The netting didn’t interfere with rain, a sprinkler, or my watering can reaching the plants either.

The only downside I found is that the net bags seem to be made to rest on a mature plant. The bags flopped and blocked the light from my tiny seedlings (I didn’t have this issue with the hoop kit.) I solved the problem by using garden staples to stake tomato cages into my large planters to act as a hoop before adding and staking the net pot covers over them. You can use garden hoops to support the flower pot protection bags inside your pots. I used tomato cages since that’s what I had on hand and cut some of them to fit as needed. 


how to naturally kill cabbage worms
Save this natural gardening idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


In hindsight, I should have used something like these Pop-Up Outdoor Mesh Plant Enclosures over my potted container garden plants to eliminate the floppy bag issue and for easier access for watering and harvesting. I will probably get give them a go this spring since I don’t see my patio container garden getting smaller, only bigger!

Looking for more quick and easy vegetable garden natural pest control ideas? Check out the following options – and more! - below!


Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed .

No comments :

Post a Comment

I love comments and read them all! If you’re shy and don’t want your opinions made public, you can always email me at condoblues [at] gmail [dot] com.