London (change)
9 messages
07/04/2014 at 12:15

Hi despite covering my sprouts and cabbages with four layers of fine netting the cabbage whites managed to get underneath and lay their eggs. My best efforts to pinch out the eggs resulted in a considerable number of caterpillars developing. I managed to pick some out but the remainder caused damage. Anyone got any advice here. Farmers crops never seem to be affected??

07/04/2014 at 12:22

Farmers will spray regularly.

Enviromesh is the best solution if you don't want to spray. Make sure all the corners and edges.are pegged down well.

You can try planting nasturtiums nearby which the butterflies will use as a food crop instead. You sacrifice the nasturtiums but  protect the cabbages.

07/04/2014 at 15:46

Do as fidget says, butterflies actually prefer nasturtiums to cabbages, so companion planting is the answer.

07/04/2014 at 15:53

and more time picking and squidging

08/04/2014 at 08:19

Brilliant everyone. I have seeded some nasturtiums so hopefully that will help.

Is Enviromesh the same as/similar to garden fleece?

I really don't like the idea of using sprays. I did rot down in water and drain off some rhubarb leaves. Disgusting smell and didn't do too much prevention work. Will try all suggested thanks

08/04/2014 at 09:27

Enviromesh has tiny holes in to let water and light in but not butterflies. You can get it online or from most garden centres.


09/04/2014 at 08:17

Thanks FB

09/04/2014 at 18:01


I can certainly sympathise with you Barney! I have horse grazing fields at the back which are just a bloody haven for moths and butterfly 

I tried everything; nets, companion planting, sour milk on the eggs, organic insecticides such as Dipel based on bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Even daily caterpillar squish patrols....None worked. I no longer attempt to grow brassicas!

Still- it left me with more space for others such as toms, courgette, beans etc so I cant moan. And the fields also provide lots of bees so that's another positive.

Best advice- look around your area and see what others are growing; if the only way to keep your cabbage alive is by using expensive chemical pesticides then is it worth it? Use the space to grow something else?

Best of luck in the butterfly battle!



10/04/2014 at 08:12

Thanx CC. Good advice. I will give it one more try this year.

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