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Purple Sprouting Broccoli - caterpillars

EmerionEmerion Carmarthenshire Posts: 420
How do you keep your purple sprouting broccoli safe from the dreaded cabbage whites? I would like to keep them away with a mesh, which obviously needs to not be touching the plant anywhere. But as you know, the plants grow pretty big. I’ve never been able to construct a framework big enough to cover it, that will also stand up to winds. Every year I’m spending hours picking the little blighters off my plants, and some of them still get ravaged pretty badly.  I would give up, but it’s so useful at this time of year. 

I remember someone suggesting a peanut feeder nearby to encourage blue tits and the like to hang around and eat the caterpillars. Has anyone tried this, and what did you think of it?
If at first you don’t succeed, have some cake. 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,773
    It works for me in the nesting season but the butterflies ad caterpillars go on a lot longer so we have now resorted to netting.   You can make a wooden frame the size of your beds and just taller than the broccoli will get.  If it's made nice and sturdy you can move it around as you follow your crop rotation and if you can't give it stakes to sink in the ground, try using guy ropes over the frame an attached to pegs to hold it down. 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • EmerionEmerion Carmarthenshire Posts: 420
    Wow! OK, I need to think much bigger. Hoping we’ve got some suitable timber, as trips to a hardware store probably don’t count as essential  :)
    If at first you don’t succeed, have some cake. 
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