Protect your brassicas

Popular garden and allotment brassica plants, including cabbages, cauliflowers, kale and Brussels sprouts, can need careful protection from hungry pests and birds.

Pigeons love pecking at young Brassicas and cabbage root fly and flea beetles are a big problem too.

There’s nothing worse for experienced or first-time brassica growers than seeing your harvest ruined, but there are simple and safe ways to protect your brassicas.

Protect brassicas with bird netting

Placing brassica plants under netting or a net cloche tunnel will keep birds away very effectively.

Tunnels or cloches come with supports so you can place them sturdily in the soil, around plants, and bird netting will either need pegs to keep it in the soil or support from canes.

Figo connectors can be used to connect canes together and hold bird netting in place.

Protect brassicas with insect netting

Insect netting is a finer mesh than bird netting, designed to keep small pests and insects away.

The holes allow light, air and water through but stop pests getting to plants and leaves. Rows of crops or individual plants can be covered by simply cutting the net to size and securing in the ground with pegs or clips.

Insect mesh can be better than a horticultural fleece layer as it won’t raise the temperature inside too much and alter growing conditions for your brassicas.

Protect brassicas with animal-deterrent spray

Add a safe spray to your brassica crops and leaves, such as Grazers, to deter creatures like pigeons, rabbits and other grazing animals from nibbling plants.

The spray works to make the plant unpalatable for animals to eat, without damaging the crop’s growth or taste when harvested.