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of the cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, cabbage root fly, pigeons, slugs and snails. Maybe it's just as well I've got so many.
, of course, the ubiquitous Brussels sprouts.The young Brussels sprout plants were given to me way back in the summer by my colleague Steve, a keen veg grower. They were almost decimated by wave after wave of cabbage white caterpillars which have infested
. But the disasters were beyond my control. The cabbage white caterpillar invasion springs to mind, not to mention onions that simply wouldn't dry off, thanks to the horrifically wet summer we had. This time of year is also perfect for planning how to manage the plot
. Of course, when I took it down to the kitchen and forced it to sit on a large leaf, it refused to adopt a picturesque position.It has a delicate jaunty flutter, hopping this way, then that, through the air. According to my guides the caterpillars feed
by leek moth. More and more gardeners have been asking about this small but potentially devastating pest at recordings of Gardeners’ Question Time, and at talks I have given.The caterpillars of the moth cause horrible, discoloured patches on the leek
of caterpillar droppings in the chewed-out core.I can imagine this might be very tiresome for the apple farmer, and not very pleasant on the tongue when biting into a nice juicy fruit. It bothers me less, because our apples are not actually very tasty. I
of butterflies, as they are the primary food source for many caterpillars including those of the comma, tortoiseshell and peacock. Without nettles caterpillars would go in search of alternative food sources - probably one of your favourite plants.Nettles help
.AdamAll brassicas like rich, hearty soil, so manure the ground well the autumn before planting.Advice on growing brassicasGrowing broccoli, with Monty DonMonty gives advice on planting summer cabbagesDealing with cabbage white caterpillarsRemoving flea beatles
't grow cabbages so I'm not too worried. The caterpillars sometimes make a mess of the nasturtiums, but the plants are so vigorous by now that not even a mass attack could do much damage. I had a quick look and sure enough several leaves have clusters
in the long grass and herbage (away from flowers) for moth caterpillars in which to lay its eggs. This is the first time I've seen it in the garden. It sunned itself for a few seconds, then it was off.