Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Intercrop cabbage with onion against aphids
Recognize the problem
are very small soft-bodied roundish insects of about 1 to 3 mm in length. The
body colour varies from yellow to green to brown to purple. They live on most
fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. Aphids feed by sucking sap from the plant.
In cabbage, they are found on the leaves where they feed and cause damage.
The signs of aphid infestation include curling or distortion of leaves,
production of a sugary substance called honeydew, which leads to black substances called sooty
mould on the leaves, and the presence of tiny insects on the leaves. The
insects can be mistaken for the similarly small thrips, also found on onions, but
thrips are thinner and longer than the roundish aphids.
multiply very fast and can result in yield loss if not controlled. Aphids can
also carry virus diseases of vegetables. To control aphids, strong smelling
plants like onions can be intercropped with cabbage. Onions produce a
chemical that is repellent to many aphids, but also to other insects.
Prepare fine tilled land
by digging and crushing clods
- Rake the tilled land
evenly and level it
- Make planting rows and
stations of cabbage with spacing of 60 cm between rows leaving a space of at
least 20 cm on the borders.
- For cabbage, the planting
distance can vary depending on the variety. For
example, the plant to plant spacing
for Riana F1 is 30 cm (45 cm x30 cm), Sugar loaf 60 cm (60 cm x 60 cm) and
Drum head 45 cm (45 cm x 45 cm).
onion planting rows of 15 cm inter-row distance between the planting rows of
cabbage and on the borders of the field. These border rows of onion create a barrier
for the aphids.
- Plant your onions using
a spacing of 10 cm from plant to plant in the rows between the cabbage and on
the border rows.
- Any variety of onion can
be used but it is recommended to use Red creole or Texas Grano for their high
- Two weeks after
planting the onions, start planting your cabbage into the prepared stations.
Ensure proper crop
management for better results.
The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to:
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