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Keeping Brasicas safe!

Hi, I took a gamble last year when growing cabbage, kale and broccoli and I only covered them with basic netting. The year before I was lucky but last year they got eaten and so I didn't have much left!! The white butterflies snuck in through the netting!

I'm planning on covering them this year with finer netting and wondered what people used? I'm also doing a bit of strategic companion planting!

Where do people buy their netting from and also the tubing to keep it in place?

Thank you :)

Posts

  • ColinAColinA Posts: 353
    Look on Amazon for scaffold netting approx £26 for 50mtrs I had the same problem last year with caterpillars
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Thanks ColinA! :)This doesn't block out the sun too much does it? Sorry probably a daft question!
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,598
    I have used scaffold netting for a couple of years and while it does keep butterflies and moths off as long as the leaves aren't touching the netting that is, the problem that I had was with whitefly and aphids which as they were under netting the birds couldn't get to them and I couldn't easily inspect them and deal with the pests, this led to the plants suffering with sooty mould and during dry periods made it difficult to water, I accept that these problems could have been better dealt with if the netting frames had been higher above the plants but as kale and brussels grow high the frames would have had to be at least 1.5M high or slightly higher. Last summer I only covered the plants with anti pigeon netting and inspected the plants every couple of days to deal with butterfly eggs and caterpillars and I have to say that this was much easier to do than having the plants under scaffold netting. I did see a chap on youtube who used an old greenhouse minus the glass but covered with scaffold netting to plant his brassicas in, this made it easy to walk in to inspect his plant which also allowed for a better airflow and the plants grew well, the only problem that I could see was the size of the greenhouse restricted the amount of plants that he could get in.
  • polbpolb Posts: 198
    Thanks, that's really helpful. I think I'm just going to have to experiment. I might look into some kind of home-made organic spray as well to see if that will help keep bugs at bay! I'd not thought about the height issue as well especially with regards the brussels as I've not grown these before. The Kale I've grown doesn't seem to get too high. I wonder if there are other veggies/herbs which might help deter the butterflies? I might look into that unless anyone has any tips?

    Growing a mass of chives around my carrots has really helped keep carrot flies away!

    Thanks again :)
  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,598
    One year I noticed that there was a wasps nest on an empty plot but as the wasps seemed well behaved and weren't bothering me I left them alone, strangely that summer I noticed that there were far fewer caterpillars on the brassicas and on reading about the life of wasps they do take caterpillars to feed their own grubs. During cabbage white season look out for wasps flying around brassicas they are being helpful to us gardeners.
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