Request a Catalog   |   Quick Order   |    E-mail Signup   |   1-877-564-6697
My Account   |   Wish List     Johnny's Selected Seeds Login
Package of Johnny's Selected Seeds
Package of Johnny's Selected Seeds
Shop Season Extension Sale! FREE STANDARD SHIPPING On Orders Over $200!*
 E-mail Signup
Brassica Pest & Disease Prevention

Brassica

Pests & Diseases

• A List of Common Pests & Diseases • Basics of Prevention & Control • Further Resources

Although there are many insect pests and diseases of brassicas (crucifers), most can be prevented from damaging the crops by following a few basic guidelines. In general, a sustainable agriculture approach includes a combination of the following practices:
  • Proper crop rotation
  • Sourcing disease-free seed
  • Transplanting seedlings versus direct-sowing
  • Installing row covers as barriers

Other methods can also be employed, but the above four are fundamental to management of the most common problems listed below.

Cauliflower Starts for Transplants
Cauliflower seedlings started
in April for transplanting
Protective Row Cover
Agribon Insect Barrier
Protective Row Cover
Floating Row Cover
  • Flea beetles
    • Crucifer flea beetle (Phyllotreta cruciferae)
    • Striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata)
  • Cabbage "worms"
    • Cabbage looper moth (Trichoplusia ni)
    • Imported cabbageworm (Pieris rapae); aka small white butterfly
    • Diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella); aka DBM or cabbage moth
  • Aphids (several species target members of the brassica family)

Prevention Measures

Crop rotation. For growers/gardeners who practice proper (at least three-year) crop rotations, insect pests of brassicas are less problematic.

Transplants. Seedlings of direct-seeded crops are more vulnerable to damage — get a head start against flea beetles and other pests by using transplants.

Weed control. To reduce potential feeding sites in the spring, control weeds, especially those in the brassica family, and distance any garden flowers you are growing that are in the same family.

Row covers. Installing floating row covers is a worthwhile practice for protection against all of these insect pests. Row covers must be placed and the edges immediately sealed with soil once the seed or transplants are in the ground, and repositioned carefully if removed for weeding. If you choose not to invest in row covers, we recommend consulting our Pest & Disease Chart for alternative prevention and control measures.

Several bacterial and fungal diseases are worth knowing about. You can gain a better understanding of the nature and root causes of common brassica diseases by referring to information provided by agricultural universities and extension agencies, as listed below.

Bacterial Pathogens

Fungal Pathogens

How can all these diseases be avoided? Be sure to observe these fundamentals:

Practice proper rotation. If possible, only grow brassicas on the same ground every third or fourth year. These problems are mostly an issue in areas where crops have not been properly rotated. For specifics, contact your local cooperative extension agent.

Plant high-quality seed. Johnny's sells only seed lots that have tested negative for black rot.

If you have problems. Let us know, or see your crop advisor/cooperative extension agent.

Of course, there are many other measures that can be employed, with an integrative approach, to minimize pest and disease pressure while optimizing the overall health of your soils and crops. But with proper crop rotation, soil preparation, farm hygiene, and high-quality seed, most brassica pests and diseases can be avoided.



SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE AND SECURITY AT JOHNNY'S.

Choose Your Shipping Date

Please enter your zip code or select a hardiness zone from the menu below to view the recommended shipping date.

You may also manually select a ship date below.

Ship Date:
Want to change your ship date? Click on the drop down box and choose a different date.
×

Plant Shipping

Message

Would you like to ship these plants together? Yes No

Incompatable lead time. Please select a new date for both items.

×
Johnny's Selected Seeds Email Contest Gift Certificate Give Away
Johnny's Farm Crew
Thank you for signing up for growing tips, exclusive offers, and new product info. Close