Author Topic: Caterpillar attack on brassicas  (Read 1651 times)

Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« on: September 02, 2016, 02:38:08 pm »
Within a week, despite regular patrols and hand removing dozens caterpillars all purple sprouting broccoli have been pretty well shredded---just ribs of leaves left

Plants are about a foot high ---but now virtually leafless, any chances of their survival and producing regrowth or is it a case of put them into compost and nothing can be done ?

ta
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2016, 02:43:41 pm »
Probably tickets I'm afraid James. Anything thicker than a broomstick, smash up with a lump hammer and compost. If you don't need the land, the leaves will grow again for winter and spring greens. Not likely to flower into the 'sprouting'.

Next year, net your plants. Don't bother with horticultural suppliers. Too expensive. Buy scaffolding netting. Green is likely, but if you can get red, even better. Red netting is beneficial to photosynthesis. New study. Share/sell with a few friends and family as you get LOTS. Much cheaper and lasts years and years and years and years. A long time anyway.

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2016, 07:19:18 pm »
Thanks advice; I`ll just leave them over winter as it`s been put aside for their growing anyway so spring greens would be good
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2016, 10:41:23 pm »
Yeah, nets, nets & more nets. They'll keep birds off, too. I've suffered stripping of purple sprouting broccoli when I thought it was the wrong time of year for caterpillars so I could leave off the netting, but pigeons found it.  :(

Our thoroughly netted Japanese cabbages are doing very nicely this year. We had some for dinner tonight. And a cabbage heart + carrot + onion salad yesterday. Very nice.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 07:55:39 am »
Thanks advice; I`ll just leave them over winter as it`s been put aside for their growing anyway so spring greens would be good

pleased to report that PSB appears now to be very healthy and growing away with nice fresh shoots, so hopefully may get something out of them after all :thumbsup:
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 10:08:42 am »
Next year, net your plants. Don't bother with horticultural suppliers. Too expensive. Buy scaffolding netting. Green is likely, but if you can get red, even better. Red netting is beneficial to photosynthesis. New study. Share/sell with a few friends and family as you get LOTS. Much cheaper and lasts years and years and years and years. A long time anyway.

I did better with netting last year, but it was rather too flimsy, and the sprouts outgrew it, so I'll need more height as well as something more robust.

Something like this? http://tarpaflex.co.uk/acatalog/70gsm-Debris-Netting-GREEN---3-0m-x-20m-DEBMINI2.html

They also do it in red, although many colours are out of stock at Tarpaflex.

Does this let through enough light?  I'd willingly sacrifice a little light in order to keep birds/butterflies out!

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2017, 06:02:38 pm »
Next year, net your plants. Don't bother with horticultural suppliers. Too expensive. Buy scaffolding netting. Green is likely, but if you can get red, even better. Red netting is beneficial to photosynthesis. New study. Share/sell with a few friends and family as you get LOTS. Much cheaper and lasts years and years and years and years. A long time anyway.

I did better with netting last year, but it was rather too flimsy, and the sprouts outgrew it, so I'll need more height as well as something more robust.

Something like this? http://tarpaflex.co.uk/acatalog/70gsm-Debris-Netting-GREEN---3-0m-x-20m-DEBMINI2.html

They also do it in red, although many colours are out of stock at Tarpaflex.

Does this let through enough light?  I'd willingly sacrifice a little light in order to keep birds/butterflies out!

Plenty of light. You'll get nice crops. I'd be interested on how you get on with the red if that's what you buy. Red does get damaged quicker by UV I remembered.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 08:27:30 pm »
Thanks, HC, that's reassuring.

I'll have to do a bit of thinking about the best sort of framework on which to mount this; I've got 4ft wide raised beds.  I think my existing blue water-pipe arches will be OK for low-growing stuff, but I probably need something stouter to support a higher 'tunnel' to cover sprouts/broad beans etc. Any ideas?


Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2017, 08:54:58 pm »
Yes. A stout piece of timber (I used roof batten as it's cheap and well treated against rot) screwed to each corner and another midway on both of the longest sides. Think pool table. These will all be equal in height and as high as you wish. Then create a 'rim' with tight builders' twine (5mm I think) or wire threaded through holes in the top of the battens. Then toss your piece of netting over the top. Use cable ties to secure it to the top twine/wire. Fold the corners like you would a bed sheet and peg down the 'skirt' with cheap tent pegs.

In a way it works better than an arch of water pipe as it is a rectangular 'cage' so more room for foliage. Great mini fruit cage for strawberries. My chickens hate me now.

offcumden

  • Oh, no!
Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 09:15:25 pm »
Thanks, sounds like a good plan.  Good point about the sides being more upright than an arch; the plants along the edges do tend to get cramped.  Will do some measuring up.

We don't have chickens, but I'll be quite happy to frustrate the bloody pigeons!

All of a sudden I feel spring coming on . . .

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2017, 11:43:21 am »
Probably tickets I'm afraid James. Anything thicker than a broomstick, smash up with a lump hammer and compost. If you don't need the land, the leaves will grow again for winter and spring greens. Not likely to flower into the 'sprouting'.

Next year, net your plants. Don't bother with horticultural suppliers. Too expensive. Buy scaffolding netting. Green is likely, but if you can get red, even better. Red netting is beneficial to photosynthesis. New study. Share/sell with a few friends and family as you get LOTS. Much cheaper and lasts years and years and years and years. A long time anyway.

I thought much the same.  I now have loads of PSB coming through, plus sprout tops re-emerging as spring greens.

I will though be netting this year as the caterpillars were active until November this year
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 07:18:07 am »
Thanks advice; I`ll just leave them over winter as it`s been put aside for their growing anyway so spring greens would be good

pleased to report that PSB appears now to be very healthy and growing away with nice fresh shoots, so hopefully may get something out of them after all :thumbsup:

I can now report that had first crop of PSB shoots from these plants at w/e, very tasty too. After the caterpillar decimation this was a nice surprise  :thumbsup:
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2017, 09:31:52 am »
Were this in our garden I'd be cheering the beasties on.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2017, 12:08:32 pm »
Scaffolding debris netting is OK? What about for fruit cages? I'm just about to have an 8 x 5 m cage erected out of scaffolding (Miss Ham's paramour runs a scaffolding company) and I thought the debris netting was too dense.

Re: Caterpillar attack on brassicas
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2017, 07:08:26 am »
Scaffolding debris netting is OK? What about for fruit cages? I'm just about to have an 8 x 5 m cage erected out of scaffolding (Miss Ham's paramour runs a scaffolding company) and I thought the debris netting was too dense.

It's perfect. Sun is great, but actually in the depths of summer a bit if shade is a relief for the plants. The fruit doesn't rot off as quick either.

I don't put it on until the fruit starts to set then I drape a large net over all my soft fruit. This is so all the pollinators get in for the flowers. It is supported by tall, 3" round poles rammed into the ground. Buckets of fruit every year. I have to do tough things and share with the neighbour's.