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Caterpillar war

We get loads of butterflies in the garden as we have loads of flowers. The down side is all the eggs they have laid! I am having to kill off loads of caterpillars on the cabbage seedlings as the net I bought did not stop them getting in. Any ideas on how to combat this problem - it is back-breaking and time consuming finding about 12 a day on as many plants.

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  • Instead of netting them why don't you try fleecing them.  I did with my seedlings for spring cabbage next year and they are thriving without being eaten.  I'll take it off later on when the weather gets colder and the beasties have gone else where.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    For next year, try butterfly netting which has smaller holes (7mm max.) and make sure there are no gaps or holes as the butterflies will find them!  They spend hours flying around mine trying to find a way in. image

    Also don't plant young brassicas too close to the edge so the leaves will eventually touch the netting when they grow otherwise the butterflies simply lay through a hole.  The net must be held high enough so it doesn't touch the top leaves for the same reason.  Butterfly netting does work - not one caterpillar on mine this year.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for the replies - I will buy the right net next year but how can I stop my cabbages being eaten now? There must still be some eggs I can't see as every day some more caterpillars appear.

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