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  • Bloomin’ butterflies!

    Had 18 assorted Brassica plats delivered this morning. Put them out on patio to give them a good soaking. Turned my back for a few seconds to turn on the tap and the faling Cabbage Whites were circling!

    It’s going to be one of those Augusts

  • #2
    Ha ha ha !....the same thing happened to my OH when he was planting out his carefully nurtured Brassica seedlings from the blowaway!
    Amazing isn't it?
    Must be like smelling cream cakes or chocolate or the like from a couple of miles away!!!

    Turned out they were the least of his worries this year

    Have fun with yours!
    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

    Location....Normandy France

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    • #3
      I don’t think cabbage whites like to give up they seem to spend ages dive bombing the brassica cage.

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      • #4
        I noticed some black and red caterpillars (red Admiral ?) on a few nettles in my poly tunnel (don't ask) and as they'd almost munched off all the leaves I moved them carefully into a large patch of nettles outside - no shortage of those in my garden.

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        • #5
          Chickens love white butterflies.
          After netting them give them a little nip so they they don't fly away as the hens squabble over them.

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          • #6
            I always thought butterflies were picky about what they would lay their eggs on ie cabbage whites lay on brassicas, but I've been finding what look like cabbage white caterpillars on all sorts of plants, including dahlias and roses. A huge fat one in the middle of my beautiful dahlia flower yesterday.

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            • #7
              They’ve had a pretty good feast on my sprouts! Well the caterpillars have, they were well covered, but somehow they got in! Going to try and save the plants this morning!

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              • #8
                Cabbage white catterpillars are very partial to horseradish. But they still can't kill it.

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                • #9
                  Just found that cabbage white got into my make shift covering of my sprouts and one plant getting well munched. I had seen them hovering around at lot and thought I'd been successful, but no the little devils found a way in.

                  It's difficult to check the leaves for the eggs with my jury rigg canes and netting. The sprouts are another of my lockdown project, I have never grown any vegetables before. Would it be better to remove the netting and do a check, say every two to three days for eggs or will I have a bigger problem.

                  What do all you experienced folks do?

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                  • #10
                    I put up a bird feeder to attract birds that feed there squibs on caterpillars.
                    Chickens eat adults if they can catch them or you net them.

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                    • #11
                      Not much help now but I have used companion planting with leeks, dill, basil and lots of French marigolds/tagetes. The only butterfly that I have seen in my brassicas is a Peacock, not a single white cabbage all summer.
                      If your cane set up is a pain to get into I would probably take it off, gardening is tough enough without battling through netting (plus it always gets stuck in my hair claw, got into a right pickle the other day!)
                      Always aim for the best result possible not the best possible result

                      Forever indebted to Potstubsdustbins

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                      • #12
                        I’d also remove the netting and check every day for eggs/ caterpillars that’s unless you have trouble with pigeons then I’d leave the netting because pigeons can strip the plants bare in no time.

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                        • #13
                          Are you sure it’s not a moth that’s got in the net,they lay eggs singularly & the caterpillars look similar but they can bungee off of leaves on their webbing. These are what are getting in my net somehow,I’ve left it on but check whenever I’m out there what the situation is. Cabbage whites lay a cluster of eggs & they’re so hungry when they hatch they eat leaves fast. It will be easier if you remove the net littlemoney then you can turn each leaf & take the eggs off,every other day will be alright,I’ve never known a bird to eat the caterpillars,it would be handy if they would. With brussel sprouts,there’s always a caterpillar in the brussel tops & it’s difficult to get to them with your hand,I squirt garlic water with a dot of ecover washing up liquid into the tops to loosen them out,then squirt with plain water if it’s a bit bubbly,when the suns gone down so it doesn’t burn. It is a chore but they’re so productive & clean from chemicals unlike shop bought. They use some strong toxic chemicals on brassicas because of the pests.

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                          • #14
                            We used to have a bird box that was used by tits and tree-creepers and they all used to go in with beaks full of caterpillars for there squibs.
                            The problem is when the squibs have flown away and switched to seed.

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                            • #15
                              They are about, we have marigolds and leeks in the two larger cages which are covered in enviromesh. So far so good, we've had a couple of brocolli heads and plenty of dwarf curly KaleThe third cage is just scaffold netting as they were spare plants and swaps we had when the onions came out. We were also given a couple of cavalier nero cale plants and I was a couple of days late netting them - big mistake, one was almost stripped before I noticed so they now have a piece of fleece over them after several days squashing caterpillars.
                              That reminds me I haven't been up to check them in a couple of days so thats due after tea tonight.

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