Two of the cauliflower seedlings have been looking pretty bad. I pulled them today and replaced them with two new red cabbage plants from Busa Farm. Upon examination, we found at least one root maggot and a lot of damage.
Cabbage root maggots are the larval stage of the cabbage root fly. There’s not much you can do once you have root maggots, and our only hope is that the other brassicas are strong enough to grow in spite of possible infestation. We’ve already pulled a few cabbages with the same problem. So far, the brocolli doesn’t seem to have been effected.
The only effective prevention for cabbage root maggots is to grow the seedlings under an impenetrable tent or cloche until they’ve grown big enough to survive an infestation. It also helps sometimes to plant later than usual, after the first generation of the flies is past. I took the damaged seedlings home to compost, since we don’t grow brassicas at home.
Sadly, this little damaged plant had already produced a perfect miniature cauliflower bud.