Many farmers and people who grow vegetables at home have problems with bugs eating their cabbage plants. The most common pest is the cabbageworm. The worm attacks young cabbage plants and feeds on the leaves. Furthermore, if the worms aren't controlled they can prevent the heads from forming.
I tried several natural remedies to control the cabbage worms in my organic garden. However, these remedies seemed to fail. Furthermore, I didn't want to buy Bacillius thuringlensis (Bt) to control the cabbage worms in my garden. I don't use non-toxic insecticides in my garden. I prefer to control snails, slugs, cabbage worms, and other pests with natural or organic remedies.
I experimented with different herb plants, using fish oil mixed with crushed garlic, and cutting up slices of cucumbers and placing them around the plants in aluminum pie plates. However, I still had problems controlling the cabbage worms eating the leaves on my plants.
I spoke with a few people and it seemed that everyone used an insecticide to control the cabbage worms in their garden. However, one person I talked with said that they used tobacco mixed with water to spray their tomato plants and control the bugs eating their tomatoes. Therefore, I decided to experiment with spraying my cabbage plants with a tobacco and water mixture.
Follow these simple steps to keep the cabbage worms and other insects from destroying your plants.
1. When you first plant your cabbage plants, plant them in rows. Space the plants 12 inches apart. Afterwards, dig a small trench on both sides of the plants. When you water the plants lay a hose in the trench and slowly soak your ground. Never water the leaves of the plants. Furthermore, when the cabbage heads start to form it's best to not water the new heads.
2. Alternate the rows when planting your cabbage plants. Plant the first row of cabbage plants. Next to this row, you can plant ginger, garlic, basil, mint, lavender, or clover. The strong odor of these plants helps prevent moths from laying eggs on your cabbage leaves.
3. Fill a large, covered drum or container with water. Add 20 to 30 tobacco leaves. If you can't grow tobacco plants, use 3 to 4 packages of rolling tobacco. Cover the container for 2 weeks. Three times a week, stir the water in the drum or container. The water in the drum will turn black and have a strong odor.
Place a cloth over a hand held sprayer bottle. Slowly pour the liquid in the sprayer. Afterwards, spray the cabbage plants with the tobacco and water mixture. Make sure you spray the underneath of the leaves. The odor and residue from the tobacco leaves are toxic to the worms when they eat your plants. However, the tobacco liquid isn't toxic to you. After the plants are grown and you harvest your cabbage, wash the cabbage. This removes the tobacco residue on your food.
4. After it rains spray your cabbage plants with the tobacco liquid. Furthermore, if you see the plants have cabbage worms, spray the plants again. You can spray your cabbage plants once a week with the tobacco liquid to control the worms eating your leaves.
5. Once a week, change the cucumber slices in your aluminum pie plate. The fresh cucumber slices on an aluminum surface produce an odor that snails and slugs don't like. When you slice the cucumber there's no need to remove the skin.