Kale being devoured by caterpillars

HomeFarmHomeFarm West MidlandsPosts: 34
I've just discovered that our kale, which we grow in trugs, is being devoured by these caterpillars. We don't like spraying our veg. Are there any solutions that anyone can recommend that doesn't involve chemicals?


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  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 2,274
    Cabbage white butterfly larva, they eat anything in the brassica family.  Pick them off and put them on the bird table.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,077
    Yes ... hand pick and feed to birds ... or fish if you know of any trout lakes nearby. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • The only way to protect your brassicca crops from caterpillars is to cover them with fleece or very fine netting. It is fun to watch the butterflies trying to find a way in to lay their eggs.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,113
    Fine scaffolding netting and a frame made from water piping from builders merchants will do the trick. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,251
    I'd rather the caterpillars ate the kale anyway. Vile stuff   :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,077
    We love kale here  ... just needs to be cooked by someone who loves it 😉 😋 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 25,251
    I'd rather eat my own hair @Dovefromabove ; :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 55,077
    🤣 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,087
    If you don't like chemicals you need to research barriers such as fleece, netting and even polythene sheeting in winter.  Make a permaent structure of raise dbeds if you can with built in frameworks for the structure Lyn suggests.

    Another trick is to mix things up so that you don't have solid blcks of one plant sending out "come and get me" signals to pests.  See if you can get hold of a copy of the DVD - Ornamental Kitchen Gardens by Geoff Hamilton.  He mixes fruit and veg in the flower borders and confuses the pests.  All organic.  No chemicals.

    Feeding the birds near your veggies will attract sparrows and tits which hoover up aphids and caterpillars to feed to their young in the nest so consider that for next year too.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 1,857
    My cabbages were covered with caterpillars but I decided I preferred butterflies to cabbage so left them alone 
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