What can I put on my cabbage to keep the bugs from eating it?

Answered by Robert Dupre

To keep bugs from eating your cabbage, there are several effective methods you can try. One natural and environmentally friendly approach is to use companion planting. By strategically planting certain herbs and flowers that repel pests, you can create a barrier between your cabbage plants and the insects that may harm them.

1. Hyssop: Hyssop is a herb that emits a strong scent that repels many cabbage pests, including moths and butterflies. Plant hyssop near your cabbage plants to deter these insects from laying their eggs.

2. Peppermint: Peppermint is known for its strong scent, which acts as a natural insect repellent. Planting peppermint around your cabbage can help keep pests, such as cabbage moths, away.

3. Rosemary: Rosemary is not only a delicious culinary herb but also a great companion plant for cabbage. Its strong aroma can repel pests like cabbage loopers and cabbage worms. Plant rosemary near your cabbage to provide protection.

4. Sage: Sage is another herb that can deter pests from your cabbage patch. Its pungent scent can help keep cabbage moths and other insects at bay. Consider planting sage alongside your cabbage plants to ward off potential threats.

5. Thyme: Thyme is an aromatic herb that can repel cabbage pests due to its strong fragrance. Plant thyme near your cabbage to create a natural barrier against insects like cabbage loopers and aphids.

6. Southernwood: Southernwood is a shrubby herb that emits a strong odor that repels many pests, including cabbage moths. Planting southernwood around your cabbage can help deter these pests from laying their eggs.

When incorporating these companion plants into your cabbage patch, it’s essential to consider their placement. Interplant them between your cabbage plants or create a border around the perimeter of your garden bed. This will help create a barrier and maximize the effectiveness of their pest-repelling properties.

In addition to companion planting, there are other methods you can employ to protect your cabbage from pests:

– Regularly inspect your cabbage plants for signs of infestation, such as holes in the leaves or chewed edges. Remove any affected leaves or insects by hand.

– Encourage natural predators, such as ladybugs and lacewings, by providing them with a habitat near your cabbage. These beneficial insects feed on common cabbage pests and can help control their populations.

– Consider using row covers or netting to physically block pests from reaching your cabbage plants. This method can be particularly effective against flying insects like moths and butterflies.

– Apply organic insecticides or pest control methods if the infestation becomes severe and other preventative measures are not sufficient. However, always follow the instructions carefully and choose products that are safe for edible crops.

By implementing these strategies, you can help protect your cabbage plants from pests without resorting to harmful chemicals. Remember to observe your garden regularly and adapt your pest control methods as needed. Happy gardening!