How to Grow Broccoli, Cabbage, and Other Cole Crops – Part 2 Pest Management

As for pest control there are a number of
critters to pay attention to when growing the Cole crops. We can first start with weeds.
You want to keep the weeds away from your plants, especially quackgrass, which robs
nutrients from the soil and also water and stunts the plants. There are a number of insect
pests to consider when growing your Cole crops. The flea beetles and the root maggots are
two that we’ve had some trouble with. We’ve used to good effect the beneficial nematodes
as well as a floating row cover of spun polyester that can be reused from year to year to cover
the crops during the beginning of the season. Aphids and the larvae of different moths and
butterflies; especially the cabbage moth, are also problems for these plants. But a
good control of the larvae is bacillus thuringiensis or BT, which is an organic control for these
pests. There are also beneficial insects that will help control those as well. The last
pest problem to consider is one I mentioned earlier, the club root, which is a disease
of the Cole crops. The best way to control that is crop rotation. Don’t plant the same
plant in the same place every year. You can also control this problem by raising the pH
of your soil by adding limestone. I would definitely do a soil test to determine what
the proper level of limestone is.

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