Cabbage is relatively easy to grow. The plants start out as nothing more than small leaves, and they eventually develop into beautiful compact heads – if they are not destroyed by worms. The leaves can look great one day and end up full of holes the next. The pests also leave behind feces and eggs. It is important to stop them before they wreak havoc on tender leaves and entire heads. Forget about using chemical products. Use these natural ways to stop cabbage worms in the garden, and provide chemical-free protection. You will end up with dense, compact and perfect prize-winning heads that are clean and not riddled with ragged holes like the plant in the photo.
Start by Removing the Worms and Eggs By Hand
Hopefully you are able to stop cabbage worms in the garden before they have a chance to begin laying eggs and eating their way through your rows of cabbage. If they are already present, it is not too late. The best natural way to stop them from causing further damage begins with removal.
While wearing a pair of gloves, pick them off by hand. Be sure to check under the leaves as well as on top of the plants. They often hide in between leaves that are not tightly packed around the heads. Drop them into a jar one by one. Wipe away any eggs and feces with a damp cloth.
After all of the visible cabbage worms have been removed, drop a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) into the jar. They will die within seconds, and you can move on to the next step. It will solve any further problems before they start, and without using chemical products. It takes a little physical effort, but natural pest control methods are always best.
Protect Developing Heads of Cabbage with Pantyhose
After cleaning away eggs and removing any worms, the heads can be protected in a natural and very easy way. Cut off the legs of pantyhose, and use them as a natural method of protection. Carefully stretch the nylon material over the developing heads, and tie a secure knot at the top. Knee-high pantyhose can also be used. One pair of hosiery will cover and protect four to six heads of cabbage from the ravages of worms.
They will continue to develop and grow beneath their protective coverings. Simply remove the wraps before harvesting, and save them for future use. They will come in very handy as a natural and very effective way to stop cabbage worms in the garden. If necessary, they can be washed with organic soap and water and line-dried before storage.
Source: Organic Gardening and Pest Removal Experience