Savoy cabbage is a very easy-care cabbage that is rarely attacked by diseases and pests. If you do, you have to act quickly.© KMBI - Fotolia.com
With regard to diseases and pests, savoy cabbage does not differ significantly from white cabbage or red cabbage. Some pests prefer to visit the plant to lay their eggs. The larvae then become voracious pests. This can be prevented by regularly checking the plant. Protection nets also help to protect the cabbage plants from pests and birds.
What can be done preventively?
There are some plants that are avoided by voracious caterpillars. These include tagetes, tomato plants and marigolds. If these plants are cultivated in the immediate vicinity of savoy cabbage, a natural protective barrier is built up.
Another good way to counter disease and pest infestation is to follow crop rotation. Cultivating savoy cabbage for several years in a row at the same location weakens the plant and increases the risk of diseases and pests. Savoy cabbage therefore needs a change of location, since it is a heavy feeder and the soil takes several years to regenerate again.
Particularly in need of protection - young plants
Young plants are particularly at risk in the vegetable garden. The delicate leaves are a favorite for snails. Those who do not use a close-meshed cover here will often see their harvest at risk, if not lose it completely. The larvae of the cabbage white butterfly can also severely affect young plants and cause balding without adequate cover.
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These diseases and pests can occur
❍ Cabbage hernia:
The slime mold Plasmodiophora brassicae occurs more often in cruciferous plants. The mustard plant is a feared vector. Strawberries can also be used as carriers, although they are not affected by cabbage hernias themselves. This disease affects the savoy cabbage the most. It seems particularly tricky that the spores can survive in the ground for several years. The mushroom initially sticks to the roots. The resulting thickening of the roots makes it difficult to absorb nutrients. In the case of an infestation, there is also an uncontrolled cell division and the savoy cabbage gradually dies completely.
What should I do?
An effective method of combating has so far been lacking. Fertilization with calcium cyanamide can demonstrably curb the infestation, but not completely eliminate it. As a preventive measure, the crop rotation must be strictly observed. The cultivation of cruciferous plants at the site should be avoided. If you loosen the soil regularly and supply the soil with compost in spring and autumn, you can prevent an infestation with cabbage hernia. The savoy plants remain healthy and resistant.
By the way:
Cruciferous plants are also often infected by the yellow beet mosaic virus. The disease is transmitted through various beetles. Winter savoy is particularly at risk here. Prolonged drought favors the onset of the disease.
❍ Cabbage white butterfly:
In summer, the caterpillars of the white cabbage can often be observed on the savoy cabbage. The infestation cannot be overlooked, because the leaves initially show smaller holes. It doesn’t take much time until bald feed occurs.
What should I do?
The caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly sit on the underside of the leaf and can be easily collected. Picking up the caterpillars is the simplest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly option. As a preventative measure, you can stretch close-meshed nets over the savoy cabbage.
❍ Cabbage moth scale insect:
If there are changes in the leaves, they appear yellowish, instead of lush green and they curl up, this is a clear sign of an attack by the cabbage moth scale louse. It is important to check the savoy cabbage in early spring. The females don't mind the frost and after overwintering in the vegetable garden, the infestation is often noticed already in March. As the infestation progresses, soot dew, the excretion of the cabbage moth insect, can become a problem and attract further pests.
What should I do?
You will need to be patient to fight the cabbage moth insect. However, this usually works without the use of chemical pesticides. If the plant is sprayed several times with soapy water, the scale insects can be removed quite reliably. The application of adhesive stickers has also proven itself. With the ladybug, the pest also has a natural predator that you are welcome to bring into the vegetable patch.
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Always keep the crop rotation and do not grow savoy several times at the same location. This is considered a very effective prevention.