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Sprout Protection


Here's my first post on GW.

I have read that it is advisable to put a 7.5cm collar around the base of the plant to stop insects laying eggs which when hatched will burrow into the soil and eat the stem.

My question is, how long do I leave the collar on for ?

My concern is as the plant stem becomes thicker wont the collar start to cut into the stem ?

Also using a net as my area has lots of pidgeons.




  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    Hi Andrew

    As soon as my sprouts, broccoli, cabbages and related veggies go in I cover them with hoops and a very fine netting - a bit like fine voile net curtaining.  I bought loads of it a few years ago and it was well worth the expense as beforehand I was constantly picking off the cabbage white eggs and caterpillars - that's if the birds had left me anything to protect. I just use metal or wooden rods to anchor it to the ground.   I would take a photo but it's pouring down right now so I'll try tomorrow so you can see how it works.  My plot looks a bit like tent city but I'd rather that than lose my veg. 

    I don't have to bother with collars on the cabbages now either.  I used to use old bits of carpet around the stems but the root fly still got in - not now though. 

    You could do a search on the internet for the netting and if you can afford to buy as much as you can then it is worth it as all your hard work could simply go down the throat of some little pest.  It will last for years too.  I bought mine through a friend who got it from an agricultural outlet, but it is readily available in UK.  It is extremely fine and nothing gets in so don't cover things which need to be pollinated, like french beans etc.  I hope this helps.

  • Hi Robot

    Thanks for your reply very helpful.

    Look forward to seeing a pic

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    Right - just ran out between showers and took some photos.  I hope you get the idea from them.  Look at all those flipping weeds I have a date with!!  Rain and sunshine - what a fatal combination..... I'll do a Google for you and see what I can come up with.







  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    I have had a quick Google and there are loads of products to choose from.  But, I would say avoid the non-woven fleece as that is mainly for frost protection and will tear easier than this fleece.  Also, don't get anything less than 2m wide - the wider the better then you can cover more.  I think the 18 gsm woven fleece will suffice although it doesn't look as close a weave as the one I have. The chap who orginally got it for me (from UK) had his own veg growing and supply business and bought it wholesale from an agricultural supplier.  I paid about 1euro a metre which was as cheap as chips then but it is very strong and at the end of the year I put it all in the washing machine and then store it for the spring.  I have even used it to make fly screens (essential in this part of the world).  It is not a frost protection.  Unfortunately I have lost touch with the veg chap over the years.

    I'll keep looking tonight after I have attacked the weeds today.  If you find a supplier perhaps you could post it as I could always do with some more.  I think mine has a life span of 10 years but I take care of it and I'm sure it will last much longer.

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    Me again....  here's another discussion which should help..


  • That's a great set up for keeping all the insects etc.. outside.

    Even though you don't use collars to protect the stems do you know if they need to be left on indefinately or, just until the plant is established?

    Are you in Spain ?

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    Hi Andrew,

    I'm in S.W. France but don't go thinking we don't get it cold here.  We were snowed in for 3 weeks this winter and then a massive frost in April dessimated a lot of the garden.  I lost a lot of big shrubs and most of the contents of my polytunnel and had to start again. Anyway, to the matter in hand....

    I leave the netting on until towards the end of August when the cabbage whites are finished with their mating.  After that if I see a stray one I tend to nuke it before it finds a mate.  Cruel, I know, but there you go.  By then the plants are up to the top of the netting anyway and instead of just increasing the height of the poles I set them free.  There's just the sprouts really by then as I would have harvested the early cabbages etc but I will have new rows of brassicas coming along by then which will be uncovered too.  I'm lucky to have a lot of bamboo growing and use the new canes to make higher hoops if needed as they are bendy when just cut.

    I like the square ones which are on the other thread but my hoops have worked well over the years.  I would just mention that some people say you can just lay the fleece over your crops but you will find that if leaves are touching the surface the cabbage white will be able to lay her eggs on them.  She'll try to get in any gap or hole too.  It's a nightmare out there.... image

  • RobotRobot Posts: 137

    I've been looking around for the grade of fleece I have.  It seems I have the stuff which professionals tend to use - which would be born out by the chap who got it for me.  I found this site -

    and yes, they sell it in large quantities but if 50m is too much for you perhaps you could get together with some friends.  Personally I have about 50m of it and sometimes wish I had more.  What you see in my photos is about a quarter in use at the moment.  Looking at the site I definitely have the 0.3m grade as nothing gets through except the rain and sun and it washes up just like a net curtain.  I sew it when I damage it too so I don't think some of the cheaper stuff sold on eBay etc would last as long. 

    I'll keep looking for you.


  • OK Many Thanks for your help

  •      This may be what you have Robot    I love the stuff

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