What's eaten my brocollii, cabbage and cauli


Any ideas what has do e this to my new plants and what can I do to prevent it.

i assume the ones in the ground will not recover?? 


Many thanks in advance 




  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Mine did exactly the same on previous attempts, so far so good this time though.  From what I have read on here it may be Cabbage White butterflies, I had no idea they could do so much damage until I read it in here.  I think (but someone may correct me)  you need to cover with net, not sure about whether they will recover??

    I'm still quite new to gardening so no doubt someone else will come along with more advice for you (and me image).

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,473

    That looks very much like woodpigeon damage to me.  Do you have those in your area?  If so, the only prevention is netting.  Without nets, they have devastated my brassicas in the past.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • We do have a lot of pigeons, there is no physical evidence of caterpillars, so it could well be those 

  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 2,071

    I would guess at pigeons too, they make a real mess of cabbages, very disheartening, but its a lesson we've all learnt by painful experience.

    I use scaffold debris netting, its fine enough to keep out the butterflies too, if you buy it in a roll it works out quite reasonable and lasts for years.

    You can make hoops from the 20mm blue flexible water piping to support the netting.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005




     I haven't grown brassicas for years, but so far this seems to be working, but it doesn't make for a very attractive garden, but it's quick and easy if you have some plastic bottles to hand.  I presume that when the leaves get bigger they are less tasty to the birds, but think I might be tempted to get netting to protect against the cabbage whites. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    Yes, that's what wood pigeons do to fields of rape, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowers etc - but according to DEFRA farmers are only allowed to shoot them if they've tried to frighten them off first image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    I didn't realise wood pigeons would do that too, that could be what ate mine,a long with the butterflies image

    I have got a collection of those plastic bottles going in my GH for when I plant out mybroccoli  and sprouts.  I said I wouldn't do them again but thought I'd give it one last go image

    Wilkos had a net frame in for £20, it looked quite big, well big enough to cover my huge crop anyway image

  • LynLyn Posts: 8,376

    I bought a roll of very close mesh from Amazon, very cheap, i had some poles from broken plastic greenhouses so am making an everything proof cage,its too soon for cabbage whites to have laid eggs and then hatch out, must be birds.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Apologies Mark for my rubbish advice, I told you someone more in the know would help image It must have been an old article I was reading image

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I use mesh, but also attach shiny silver plastic ribbon to it to make sure the birds can see that there is a barrier; I would not like to have to disentangle a pigeon from the meshimage I also use slug pellets, as snails and slugs can do an awful lot of damage to young plants at this time of the year.image

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