When our first crop of broccoli was still in containers waiting to be transplanted, I noticed that there were little worms hanging out in the leaf veins and crevices. My aunt and I promptly got to work on keep those buggers in check. We plicked them off with twigs or heavy paper; and to get the ones that may have been overlooked, I sprinkled them with self-rising flour. The broccoli began to flourish and we never had any issues with the cabbage worms again. Now that we are trying a second crop of broccoli, it seems that we forgot about our earlier struggles with the cabbage worms. They have returned. Those cute lilting little white butterflies are NOT your friend. They are the parents of these covert leaf munchers. Can you see him in the middle of the leaf? This bugger is way bigger than the early season worms.
One of our late broccoli plants is leafless now. She’s naked, nary a leaf, all stem. It’s no wonder that sucker and his 2 friends are so hefty. This morning I went to work on their work. I dusted them with flour and sprayed them with Ortho’s Flower, Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer (which I bought last night to battle the whiteflies). I suppose the Ortho would kill the worms but I know from experience that the self-rising flour works wonders on them. I will have to get back to you on how well the Ortho works against whiteflies and other pests.
Moral of the day: Check your Cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, collards, etc.) regularly for cabbage worms. They’re not so gross when you get them while they’re small. They like to hang out in the nooks and crannies, right next to the veins and particularly so on the underside of leaves. Self-rising flour is a organic and inexpensive way to deal with them. Keep you eye on those little white butterflies.