Neem oil for cabbage worms is a great remedy for a long time because cabbage worms are not beneficial insects. The worms completely destroy the cabbage yields because they get inside the cabbage flower and start eating it from the inside so if you are not paying much attention, you would not even recognize that there are cabbage worms in your plants.
In this article, we will take you through a very easy-to-follow procedure of using neem oil for your cabbage worms and getting rid of them effectively.
How To Use Neem Oil for Cabbage Worms?
You can use neem oil for cabbage worms in your garden by making a solution of the oil and then spraying generously around your plants so that the worms drink the oil and eventually die. This is the easiest way of getting rid of the worms.
Neem oil acts as a great defense against these worms and also gets rid of them effectively. This oil is extracted naturally from the neem tree and can be used in many ways in gardening or self-care. You can extract your own neem oil or can choose to get some high-grade oil from the gardening store.
1. Make the Neem Oil Spray
It is very easy to make neem oil for your cabbage worms as you can make it at home with very few ingredients and no hassle. The solution has great shelf time so you can make it and store it for a long time for consistent use.
To make the solution you will need a good grade neem oil, water, dish soap, a spray bottle, and a mixing jar or bucket. Alternatively, you can use castile soap in place of dish soap to make the solution because they both work fine as an emulsifier to mix in the oil and the water.
In a mixing bucket, add two to three tablespoons of neem oil with two to three tablespoons of dish soap. Add a gallon of water to the mixture of this oil and dish soap and combine to make a solution. The solution will look translucent and soapy because of the combination of the oil and soap, and now you must pour this mixture into a spray bottle and now the solution is ready to be used on your vegetables.
Alternatively, you can choose to buy the neem oil solution for your cabbage worms rather than making it at home but the store-bought solution might not be as cheap or may have some unwanted ingredients in it. When buying a pre-made neem oil solution, make sure that it is safe for your plants and that the mix is ready to use and does not require some initial procedure of activating the key.
In addition, keep in mind that the best weather for spraying the solution on the plants is hot weather because at this time the worms may look for food and water nearby and crawl out of their dens. It is also the time they will decide to lay eggs so make sure you keep an eye out for them. You can spray on the worms every other week and check the response of the worms.
2. Identify Cabbage Worms
Before you use the spray on the worms, it is very important to ensure that the cabbage worms are ruining your yield of cruciferous plants. Cabbage worms are worms that have yellow lines and black dots on them.
You must also keep in midn that they resemble the cabbage looper very much can be differentiated only on the basis of their movement. The cabbage loopers move by pushing their body up and then moving forward because they have legs, but the cabbage worms do not have any legs, so they move by gliding, so this can be a mark for you.
The worms also like to go inside the vegetables and eat them from the inside so it can be hard to tell if they are there or not so if you feel like there are some worms, try to shake one of the cabbage heads. If there is a worm inside, it will probably fall off or find its way out. This is how you can make sure that there are insects inside the cabbage heads and they will cause havoc on your vegetables.
As the name spells out, cabbage worms affect the cabbage and leafy vegetables in the garden or on a larger scale, so identifying them is important. These little worms of various dark colors can get into your cabbage heads and other cruciferous plants and bore small holes in their leaves, making them useless for selling or eating.
You will be surprised to know that the same worms eating your cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, and broccoli if you have them next to each other.
3. Prepare the Neem Mix
The next step after making the solution of neem oil and filling up the spray bottle is actually to spray the plants with it. But before we get into that, you need to wear protective gear in order to protect yourself from the spray.
Even though the spray is nontoxic, but a stray droplet in your eye can be bad or you can be allergic to the neem oil so just to be sure get your protective gear out. Wear protective eyewear, facial mask, gloves, and overalls while spraying the solution on the plants, to avoid the burn if the matter is not diluted well and needs more water.
Now coming back to spraying the plants with the solution. The solution is slippery which keeps the worms off the plants and at the same time is toxic for them because of the insecticidal properties of the neem oil. Start by spraying the plants from the top to the bottom. Cover as much area as you can because the worms can spread very easily.
It would take around 24 hours for the neem oil to work on your cabbage worms; however, keep in mind that it can also work much sooner if the worms digest the oil sooner. The oil will kill them soon, and all there would be left to do is remove the dead worms from the plants.
Do keep in mind that you should start by spraying the neem oil on the plants in the morning when the worms will be out looking for food. At this time the worms will engulf anything they find worthy. Make sure that the rest of the day will be without any rain and heavy storms because the oil really needs to stay on the plants for it to work against the worms.
4. Spray The Oil
Neem oil is a great insecticide for cabbage worms but what if you can prevent the cabbage worms from ever occurring again? This can be done by deploying various tactics and tricks in your garden.
You must also remember that hey may include a protective plastic covering around the cruciferous plants, usage of organic soil that will keep the insect life fed and fulfilled, and finally, you can use other plants that draw these insects towards themselves.
The worms are known to lay eggs on the vegetables where they eat. If you see the eggs, washing the vegetables with a hose will also help in getting rid of them and cleaning the plants at the same time. You can spray the plants with neem oil even if the eggs are on the plants because the neem oil can surely act on the eggs as well and make them useless.
5. Take Further Precautions to Prevent Cabbage Worms
The worms come up to the vegetables when they cannot find food in the soil so make sure the soil is well-nutritioned. You can also use some varieties of plants that are worm-resistant. These are only some of the ways that you can use to prevent the cabbage worms.
The solution can finish the cabbage worms completely if the oil is administered in the most potent way. You can use the solution to spray the plants or you can alternatively, submerge the plants in the tub filled with the mix.
The spray will finish the worms and also get rid of the eggs, so be sure that you would spray again. This is the matter that you can take it positively and use the spray on the plants keeping in mind that the spray is safe to use for your plants and is not toxic to them or you. Once the worms die off, you can manually pick them up and dispose of them carefully because they are not beneficial insects.
After you are done, you can also try to spray some tansy oil, if you still see some worms, as this can be found easily in the store or online. Tansy oil works great in preventing the worms from laying eggs on your vegetables and eating them.
Tansy oil is a naturally occurring oil that is extracted from the plant called Tanacetum annuum or blue tansy. The only downside to using this oil is that it is not necessarily very cheap when compared to inexpensive neem oil, this is why you can also use this oil only when it is very hard for you to use neem oil.
In this article, we talked about how you can use neem oil to get rid of the cabbage worms in your garden but in any case, if you missed anything read the following conclusion points:
- Cabbage worms are worms that attack cruciferous plants and lay eggs on them.
- The neem oil solution can be made using water and dish soap and then sprayed on the plants with a spray bottle.
- The life cycle of the cabbage worms ends with them being a butterfly.
- Make sure to wear protective eyewear, facial mask, gloves, and overalls while spraying the solution on the plants.
- The worms do not climb up the plant when they are well-fed in the soil so make sure you keep them fed by keeping the soil full of organic material.
Neem oil can be named as the miraculous oil that gets rid of these worms when used correctly. We hope this article was very helpful for you in getting rid of the cabbage worms in your garden.
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