Cat Damaged Brassicas

Brian5978April 30, 2012

Hi all, this is my first Garden Web post. I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone.

My problem today is due to an indoor cat attack on 6 week old indoor seedlings. Specifically, brusell spouts, brocolli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Left unattended for 24 hours, my cat gnawed away at most (if not all) of the main leafs of the plants. Leaving most cut up and in pretty bad shape. My plan was to transplant them this coming weekend. My question is, 1. Will they recover (either indoor or outdoor) 2. Should I hold off on transplanting given the damage - to give them a chance to recover first?


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi Brian - whether they will recover enough to sprout new growth or not all depends on the amount of damage so would need to see them. At best the odds are 50/50 so I'd buy some transplants to use instead while you can still get them.

In zone 6 it is getting a late for broccoli and cabbage to go out anyway so transplants may no longer be available. Cauliflower and brussel sprouts should still be available.

Meanwhile set those aside for a week and by then you should see new growth if they are going to make it.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:14PM
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Don't forget to put a piece of chicken wire or fencing between your plants and the cat during their recovery.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 7:35PM
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Thank you!

I've posted an example of a damaged brocolli plant to the url below. What am I risking if I do decide to plant them this evening? Are they more vulnerable to insect attacks, colder or warmer temperatures, etc? Would floating row covers help defend against these? Also, I'm new to cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts this year but I had good luck transplanting brocolli last year at around this time. When do you recommend they go out?

Noinwi, thank you for the advice. I have my cat on lockdown ever since the incident. The doors are staying shut for a while. :)

Thanks again,

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 2, 2012 at 12:09PM
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If the one in your photo is the most damaged, I think you're still good. I'd plant that one out, no prob. Six weeks is a long time for brassicas to be in pots; I don't like keeping mine longer than four weeks, five at the most (if weather isn't cooperating).

If it's any consolation, one (or more) of our cats destroyed hundreds of my onion seedlings a few weeks ago. They were on shelves that the cats had never tried to access before (awkward to get to), so I thought they were safe. Luckily, no one got sick (onions are toxic to cats and dogs). Dang animals. Why do they have to be so darn cute?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:46PM
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