Holes in Broccoli Leaves

momtopom03(z6b MA)July 8, 2012

Hi Everyone,

This is my first time planting broccoli. I actually planted from seed straight in the ground. The plants are growing large but something is eating holes in the leaves. I figured some kind of bug since it sort of looks like it starts in the middle of the leave. However, I have checked them twice and do not see any kind of bugs or worms under the leaves. It's got me scratching my head. Any ideas? We do have rabbits that visit the garden but they wouldn't make the holes I'm seeing. Are there any bugs that come out at a certain time of day or night and that's why I'm not seeing them? Very strange.

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wolverine1012

Cabbage worms. They are he same color as the broccoli and hide well. Treat the plants with Bacillus thuringiensis.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:09AM
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momtopom03(z6b MA)

Thanks. I will try that. Do they attack any other plants? I've got tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini. I moved four of the broccoli plants to the raised bed where my eggplants and tomatoes are.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:36AM
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wolverine1012

The cabbage worms seem to stay with the brasica family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale. etc). But tomatoes and eggplant can get worms too, although they are a different type. The good news is that BT will get them too.

Have you been noticing that the white "butterfly" seems to spend a lot of time around your broccoli. This is the cabbage moth and they are the egg layers that develop into the worms. Other years I waited until I saw the leaf damage before applying BT; this year I started as soon as I saw the white butterfly and I've had minimal worms.

When you pick your broccoli, let it soak in a brine solution before cooking and you'll clean out any eggs or worms that survived the BT.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 1:56PM
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momtopom03(z6b MA)

I just got back from the garden and still did not see any worms or eggs but I did see those teeny tiny ants on my zucchini leaves. I went to the farm store and bought some organic spray. They did not have Bacillus thuringiensis. I just sprayed all the leaves, top and bottom. I hope I don't harm them more then help them. It's bright sunny here and I wanted to do it now before it gets to late as we water around 7pm. I didn't want the water to wash the spray off.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:07PM
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wolverine1012

If you have a Lowes near you, they have a small organic organic department and you might find it there. The Home Depots that I have been to are not organic suppliers.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 5:16PM
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mandolls(4)

Holes in the middle of the leaves of the broccoli could also be slugs. Sluggo Plus works great to deter them. If you have cabbage worms, you can usually see signs of worm poop.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:36AM
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oliveoyl3

Flea beetles love brassicas esp my broccoli most of all & kale least.

Here is a link that might be useful: flea beetle damage pics & info

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:21PM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

This is my first year growing cabbage and brocolli and discovered cabbage worms. Yes, I did notice the little white butterflies all over the cabbage and brocolli. We had some Sevin for Japanese Beetles and had my husband spray the brocolli and cabbage late in the evening trying to not get the butterflies. Hilarious now that I know that butterflies created the worms!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 4:15PM
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